Surprisingly enough, some people actually start to gain weight when ramping up a workout routine. And it’s not always because of muscle. It’s because many overestimate how many calories they are burning. If you run a few miles you are probably burning about 200 calories.Yet the average energy bar provides about 250 calories, so it is easy to overdo it. Here are some tips for fueling your workout without taking in too many calories.

Morning Exercisers

Make sure to eat something small before a morning routine like a 100 calorie bagel, granola bar or protein shake that will help you make it through your workout. Post workout – follow up with another small meal. A good choice is to combine quality carbs and protein. Examples include a hard boiled egg with toast or oatmeal mixed with milk.

Night Time Exercisers

If you exercise after work, plan to eat lunch 3 to 4 hours before your workout so you don’t feel weighed down. Some of the best choices include protein and veggies. 15 to 30 minutes before your workout give yourself an energy boost with something like an apple or banana. If you are heading home and eating dinner within a couple of hours, there is no need for a post-workout snack. If your meal will be delayed, then recover with 6 to 8 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk or 6 ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt.

Keep Balance

Whether you are working out morning or night try to eat balanced meals through the day. That means don’t skip breakfast, eat a light lunch and over do it at dinner. That way you won’t be as likely to overeat and repeat the cycle over. Also, keep in mind you can write off goals by rewarding yourself with fatty or unhealthy foods after working out. Rewarding yourself is important but try it by buying yourself a new pair of kicks of even a new gym outfit.