What To Eat If You Just Started Working Out

If you're just starting to work out regularly, congratulations! You're taking the first step towards a more active and healthy lifestyle. But, as anyone who's ever been to the gym knows, exercise alone isn't enough to get you in shape. Proper nutrition is just as important. In fact, what you eat can have a significant impact on the results you see from your workouts. 

When you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to follow every fad diet or social media trend, but eating well doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply a matter of eating balanced nutritious meals and ensuring your body has enough energy to keep up with your new workout regime.

How Should You Start?

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need to follow a strict diet or count calories. Yes, it's important to be mindful of what you're eating, but obsessing over every little detail can be counterproductive. Instead, focus on eating real, whole foods that nourish your body and give you the energy you need to crush every workout session.


Start your day with a hearty breakfast that includes protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Whatever you choose, aim for a balance of nutrients that will keep you full and energised throughout the morning. Here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms, and whole wheat toast: This is packed with protein, vitamins, and fibre. The eggs provide protein to help build and repair muscle tissue, while the spinach and mushrooms provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron and vitamin D.
  • Greek yoghurt with mixed berries and granola: Greek yoghurt is an excellent source of protein and contains probiotics that promote a healthy gut. Mixed berries are a great source of antioxidants and fibre, while granola provides complex carbohydrates and healthy fats for sustained energy.
  • Avocado toast with smoked salmon: Avocado is a good source of healthy fats, fibre, and potassium, while smoked salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Whole wheat toast provides complex carbohydrates to fuel your morning workout.

Lunch And Dinner

For lunch and dinner, aim to fill your plate with a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Experiment with different cuisines and flavours just be mindful of portion sizes and avoid high-calorie or processed foods. Here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and balsamic vinaigrette: Grilled chicken is a great source of protein, while mixed greens, tomatoes, and cucumber provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. Balsamic vinaigrette adds flavour without adding excess calories.
  • Quinoa and black bean bowl with roasted vegetables: Quinoa is a complete protein and provides fibre and complex carbohydrates, while black beans provide additional protein and fibre. Roasted vegetables like sweet potato, zucchini, and bell peppers add flavour and nutrients.
  • Grilled chicken breast with roasted Brussels sprouts and brown rice: Grilled chicken is a great source of protein, while Brussels sprouts provide vitamins C and K. Brown rice provides complex carbohydrates to fuel your workout and fibre to keep you feeling full.


When it comes to snacks, opt for nutrient-dense options like fresh fruit, nuts, or veggies with hummus. And don't forget to stay hydrated! Here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Apple slices with almond butter: Apples provide fibre and vitamins, while almond butter is high in protein and healthy fats.
  • Greek yoghurt with honey and mixed nuts: Greek yoghurt is an excellent source of protein and contains probiotics that promote a healthy gut. Honey provides natural sweetness and mixed nuts provide healthy fats and protein.
  • Hard-boiled eggs with carrot sticks: Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein, while carrot sticks provide vitamins A and C. This snack is easy to prepare and will keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal.

Can I Drink Alcohol?

Of course, no discussion of nutrition would be complete without addressing the elephant in the room: alcohol. As much as we may enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine after a tough workout, it's important to remember that alcohol can make achieving your fitness goals a lot more difficult. Not only does it dehydrate you, but some drinks also contribute to your calorie count and of course, after a few drinks, the urge to snack on unhealthy food becomes much harder to resist. So, if you're serious about getting in shape, it's best to rethink your alcohol intake or avoid it until your designated cheat days.

Background Factors

Finally, remember that nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, and staying consistent with your workouts are all equally important. And above all, be kind to yourself. This journey isn't always easy, but with patience, dedication, and a little bit of culinary creativity, you'll be well on your way to a healthier, happier you.