Best Diet Plan for HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training involves pushing yourself as hard as you can for short bursts, followed by short rest periods. HIIT is great for those looking to improve fitness, as well as those looking to get some serious health benefits such as improved blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and improved cardiovascular health. As with any new fitness regime, to get the most out of it requires that you follow a healthy meal plan plus the right pair of HIIT workout shoes. You will also get a lot get drinking the right crossfit protein powder shake.

Many HIIT followers, especially CrossFit HIIT’ers, have professed that the paleo diet is the ultimate diet plan for HIIT. The paelo diet is based on the principle of mimicking the ‘cave man’ diets and is made up of meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts, whilst also avoiding all processed foods, dairy, grains and sugar. Although the paleo diet is inherently healthy, in order to get results from HIIT you do not need to eliminate any food groups.

Instead, by following a well-rounded nutrition plan that is close to nature will help you to get serious health and fitness benefits from HIIT without cutting anything out. The best diet for all provides enough calories and macronutrients to fuel the body for workouts and is made up of lots of lean meats, seafood, fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grains like quinoa and rice, dairy products and adequate amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, whilst also avoiding processed foods and sugar. Eating a diet such as this will work for everyone, and can be adjusted by simply altering serving sizes to suit individual needs.


Pre-Workout Nutrition

HIIT workouts are intense, so it is really important that your diet contains enough energy to allow you to work really hard in the session so you can get the maximum benefits. Your body works 24 hours a day, and so it needs food to build muscle and recover all the time, not just during your gym session. However, by timing your snacks well, you can give your body just the right fuel it needs to gain muscle, burn fat, and recover as best it can. Real, pre-workout nutrition starts about 4 hours before you actually work out, and at this time you should plan to eat a moderate to high carbohydrate meal with some protein. Great meal options include:

  • Oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder, and sliced banana and berries
  • Scrambled eggs on toast
  • Smoothie made from fresh fruit, some veggies, plain yogurt, oats and almond milk
  • Rice with scrambled tofu

Then an hour before your workout aim to eat a high energy, high carbohydrate snack to really give you a boost. Great snack options include:

  • Toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Dried fruit and almonds
  • Fruit and nut bar
  • Apple with almond butter
  • Fruit cup

Post-Workout Nutrition

After a hard, high intensity HIIT session it is really important to replace lost energy stores (glycogen), and to provide your muscles with the protein they need to repair themselves with after being broken down in the workout. As it is often hard to eat a main meal straight away, opting for a balanced snack that you can eat within 20 minutes of finishing your session is a great option. Some ideas include:

  • Whole-grain cereal with fruit and soy milk
  • Hummus and pita bread
  • Protein shake
  • Chocolate milk and pretzels

Then, like with pre-workout nutrition, it is important that you consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein after you finish working out. Research suggests that it is best to eat a meal that is made up of carbohydrate and protein in a 3:1 ratio. You should aim to eat this within 2 hours of finishing your session. Great meal ideas include:

  • Quinoa or rice with vegetables and chicken
  • Jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn
  • Pasta with meat sauce and salad
  • Tofu scramble with matchstick carrots and yellow bell peppers sautéed in sesame oil with rice

By eating well, and following these pre- and post-workout nutrition tips, you will feel full of energy throughout your sessions, and your results and motivation levels will skyrocket. Also, to ensure that you stay hydrated, and to keep your metabolism high, make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.