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Think fitness trainers only eat roast chicken and steamed broccoli? The truth may surprise you. Fitness experts agree on many different healthy eating philosophies, so your paleo weight trainer may disagree with your plant-loving yogi. Some people are susceptible to trends. Others are passionate about science. A registered dietitian may tell you that you have reservations about their advice. But most importantly, trainers focus on results—most people are willing to swear by what works for themselves and their clients.
One thing they all agree on? When it comes to losing weight and building muscle, exercise is only part of the equation. If you want to get in shape, you need to get into the kitchen. Straight from the gym, studio, tarmac, here's what five top trainers love to eat after a hard, sweaty workout.
Adrian Richardson, Fitstar Coach, Boot Camp Coach and Life Coach.
A former military fitness instructor, Richardson discovered his passion for field strength training during three trips to Iraq. When it comes to food, he tells customers, "Don't just count the calories. Count the calories. Provide your body with quality fuel that supports your activities today and brings you closer to your long-term goals." Richardson is old-school - after a strenuous workout , he immediately mixes the protein shake. The only update is that he prefers plant protein to whey. "Americans eat too many animal products and not enough plants."
Post-workout snack: protein shake. At home, he mixes bananas, berries, coconut water, and protein powder. At the gym or "in the wild", he'd pour protein powder into the water, shake it up, and go!
Lea Rouse, Fitstar coach, culinary nutritionist, owner of Le'ola Wellness.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Rouse has a laid-back approach to healthy eating. "I believe your health is a product of what you do most of the time," she said. "If you eat clean at home and cook most of your meals yourself, then you don't have to be nervous for a few tacos and margaritas!" She's obsessed with colorful vegetables, plant-based protein and Healthy fats in nuts and seeds. Even though she is not intolerant, she still chooses to avoid gluten and dairy.
Post-workout snack: A green smoothie with pineapple, spinach, ginger, flaxseed, and plant-based protein powder. Drink as slowly as possible!
Eve Kessner, Coach at SoulCycle, Holistic Nutritionist
Brooklyn icon Eve Kessner rocked her bike on the podium like she was wearing her mom's jeans. She drinks coffee with coconut milk and feeds the children organic oranges. Her concept of healthy eating is simple and straightforward. "Believe in yourself! If you treat your body kindly, it will tell you what it needs. Listen to your cravings. Don't indulge them, but definitely have any healthy version of what you want and need." On Hard Spinning Courses Afterwards, she was often busy chatting with her riders. But in a perfect world, she would eat real fruit and nuts.
Post-workout snack: Bananas with maple almond butter. Peel and party.
Jonathan, Equinox Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach
"JJ" won the Hottest Coach award while shaping San Francisco's tech elite. But as a self-proclaimed "ex-fat", his whole purpose is to remove the stigma of good food. "Add up what's missing before you worry about taking them," Jordan assured his clients. "Start with water to keep your cells healthy and happy, and try eating a sandwich bag full of veggies every day." Currently, he does cardio twice a week and lifts weights four times a week, so after sweating, He needs more protein than the average bodybuilder -- up to 20 to 40 grams. But he offers a super cute retro recipe.
Post-workout snack: Two leftover turkey rolls. Yes, this is his mom's recipe.
Amy Opilowski, Yoga Instructor at CorePower
Opilovsky, who has advised on meal planning for the CorePower boot camp program, has been plagued by nutritional issues. Her yogic wisdom? Try to be grateful. "I believe that if you treat food with gratitude, you'll really absorb the healing benefits that food provides," Opilovsky said. "I focus on all the food that serves my body." Here's what she calls nom(aste) after unleashing her inner warrior on the mat.
Post-workout snack: Mason jar salad with quinoa, beans, lettuce, carrots and celery, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. Stick a fork in and you're done.
There are some common themes in talking to all these trainers: try to eat within a half hour or an hour after a hard workout. Eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein. These should be quick and easy to digest. But within these guidelines, there are many options! Still, if you're not working out as hard as a fitness trainer, you probably won't need to snack too much -- sometimes it's smarter to just eat your next meal. If you want to maximize your workout recovery, here's a sports nutritionist's advice.