By : Charelle Johnson

You’ve been busting your butt in your weekly Switch Playground workouts and the results are amazing (obviously- because you’ve been sweating like a beast!) and now you want to take it to a whole new level, and you know that the only way to achieve your next monstrous goal… is by leveling up on your chef skills in the kitchen!

It’s no secret anymore that abs are made in the kitchen, and if you’re hitting those Switch Playground workouts like a champ, then I seriously hope you’re fueling up to make sure you have the highest levels of energy possible to make it through those killer workouts!

Eating to fuel your exercise regime is a vital part of reaching the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself because the last thing you want is to be working out like a pro athlete, only to be stalled by the fact that you may not be eating enough carbs or fats to maximize and increase your energy levels and effort in the gym. I know what you’re thinking… “What do you mean Charelle? Everything I’ve ever read and been made to believe tells me to always eat less carbs, less fat and to double up on protein!”

Yes, protein should be a fundamental part of your daily nutrient intake, but it is not the only food group that can offer you some serious results! And, just like all other foods- even excess protein will result in excess calories and therefore, delay your goals!

Now for carbs, ah don’t we just love them and hate them at the same time?

But why exactly do we hate them when they have so much to offer us?

The truth is that carbohydrates are not the enemy but an excessive intake of “bad carbs,” ill understanding on how to maximize the benefits of good carbs and an encyclopedia of misleading information have led so many of us to believe that if we want to look and feel our best, then the first thing we should do is eliminate them from our food plans.

On paper this may sound like a fantastic and simple way to ensure your diet is at a deficit to your workout regime, but in reality, there are some serious setbacks to doing this that include creating an unsustainable lifestyle for yourself (so you’re just never going to have a pizza? That’s a hard pass for me!) not having adequate energy levels to finish workouts or to push yourself to better your best, and feeling super lethargic, decreasing your concentration level and being out of energy even when you’re not trying to pop a squat!

The best way to approach your nutrition plan is by not eliminating anything (ok, except for refined sugars), to eat everything in moderation, to enjoy the tasty things on the menu that you know have very little to offer you every now and then, to fuel up adequately both before and after your Switch Playground classes and to learn to listen to and understand your body!

This week I challenge you to change your mindset towards food, to try out different and exciting proteins, fats and carbs, to put the refined sugars, especially that chocolate aside (This one’s actually for me), and to push yourself to know more about nutrition by reading a little each day to help you understand your own body to better your results!

Learn to love the act of living a balanced life.

Yours truly,

Charelle x

Wardah Hartley is a Switch Playground instructor, personal trainer as well as a fitness and mommy blogger for www.fabufit.co.za. She is a wife and mom to her two-year old son Esa.