Pole Dancing is a challenging, demanding and fun workout that really puts your body through it’s paces. So the food we eat is very important to help promote muscle recovery to help us to become stronger and stronger as we progress with the pole!
How many times have you felt torn about snacking? For example, a common situation: you don’t want to go into your pole class on a full stomach (because trying to lift yourself upside down with a full stomach is NOT a comfortable feeling!) but you don’t want to be fighting hunger during class (training on an empty stomach is not a good idea either).
Or, how many times have you felt ravenous after finishing your pole class, and all you can think about is how quickly you can get food into your body? While having a good appetite after class is awesome, we want to be sure that we get into good habits and don’t immediately undo all of our hard work. Putting good, honest healthy food is extremely important in helping to promote muscle recovery and keeping our metabolism high, so that the body can continue to burn fat as well as repair the muscles after working out.
The foods you eat in between your main meals, and before and after your pole classes, can go a long way to keeping your energy up and helping you to perform your best and get the best results from your training.
It’s also an area where it’s easy to consume so many unnecessary calories without even realising… For example, “It was only a couple of biscuits” – when it’s a couple of biscuits several times a day (or a whole packet of biscuits straight after class, which can be very tempting!), we have issues.
So to help you out I have made a list of my favourite snacking options to give you easy ways to keep on top of your snack times. This is by no means exhaustive, but they are quick and easy options that are also great to take with you on the go.
Almonds are my favourite!!! Almonds are packed with Vitamin E, good fats, Vitamin B and Zinc. These all combine to reduce sugar cravings and help to take away the feeling of hunger. They also taste really good and have great texture.
You can pick up a bag of almonds in any good supermarket very cheaply and they are easy to carry with you, just pop them into a zip-lock bag. A snack size portion of almonds is around 10-12 almonds.
Full of flavour, apples are also great sources of fibre (which reduces hunger) and high in water content. This will help you to feel fuller and prevent temptation for the biscuits and cakes 😉
Green apples or red apples, just pick whichever one you prefer. Nutritionally speaking, there are only very small differences between each type of apple. One is not necessarily ‘healthier’ than the other.
My favourite fruit, you just can’t beat them. They are massively convenient to just throw into your bag, and they contain high levels of potassium and fibre. They are also low in calories, so they make a great sweet snack without the guilt. Other benefits of bananas is that they are fat and cholesterol free, they contain fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, iron, magnesium and calcium.
The best thing about bananas is that their carbohydrates provide a slow release of energy, which is perfect to start off your day or to eat as a post-workout snack to refuel.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants that essentially act like little bodyguards protecting cells from damage. Berries are also a terrific source of fibre. They have also been shown to reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, which is key for weight loss as insulin shuttles excess sugar into fat cells.
Fresh berries aren’t as easy to carry with you on the go (you can pack them into small lunch boxes), so they can be a great snack first thing in the morning or to reward yourself with when you get home after class. You can throw a handful of fresh or frozen berries into your porridge in the morning to make it more exciting, or into smoothies.
Chocolate, really? Yes really!! Dark chocolate helps stabilise blood sugar levels and it’s great to help combat those sugar cravings. But go easy!!! One or two small pieces every other night is plenty. It’s best to buy dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content. Green & Blacks is particularly good, as they have a great range of flavours, as well as Lindt chocolate. But you can also find surprisingly good dark chocolate with high cacao content in Aldi and Lidl.
I love these snack bars! They are wheat free, gluten free and dairy free, and vegan friendly, which is perfect for those of us with food intolerances. They come in a great range of flavours; berry, cacao, banana, apple, mocha (my personal favourite), rhubarb and custard to name but a few.
The main ingredients are dates (which also make a great snack on their own, as long you don’t eat the whole bag in one go), cashew nuts, raisins and fruit. There are no syrups or additives, which means no nasty sugars. They are also cold-pressed which means all of the ingredients are raw and therefore unprocessed, as nature intended. They are super handy to throw into your handbag and they make a great alternative to bars of chocolate and other cereal bars. You can pick them up in most Spar/Centra shops as well as Tesco and other supermarkets, and health food shops.
Bonus: Coconut water