There’s a popular concept in the fitness industry about losing weight, getting lean and toning up. It’s starting to make national news, but is it really the best concept?
It’s a warm, sunny day here on Long Island, and I’m going to take that first step! We’re about to get real here: I absolutely HATE cleaning my apartment. I’ll get into little 2-3 day binges here and there where I’ll be really on top of everything, but after the craze has passed, I’ll find that I’d much rather do work, play with the pets, and hang out over de-cluttering, vacuuming, dusting… Just thinking about it bores me to shit…
If you’re a neat freak, I must ask – HOW DO YOU DO IT?! TEACH ME!!!
Now then, back to working out on an empty stomach…
Many health and fitness enthusiasts recommend that you should work out first thing in the morning, BEFORE eating anything! The theory behind this is that your body is in a lipolytic (fat-burning) state due to the fact that it’s been (hopefully!) 4-6 hours since you last ingested any food because, well, you were sleeping…
There are arguments in popular forums going back and forth on this line of thinking. Some swear by fasted workouts, and have seen great results working out on an empty stomach every morning. Others swear that because you have no food in your system to fuel your muscles, that while your’e burning fat, you’re also going to burn muscle, and thus, your body composition may not look all that great when all is said and done.
As a highly accredited health and fitness pro myself (a thank you 🙂 ), let me be the first to tell you that I am NOT a fan of fasted cardio, fasted workouts, etc. Between my personal experiences of trying to do this, as well as those of my clients, it often doesn’t end well – Especially if you’re working out hard!
If you’re doing a lower impact activity like yoga, then this might be OK, as you’re not often jacking your heart rate up to astronomical levels. But if you’re doing some type of cardio, or an interval training-style workout like I do with my clients, then it’s not uncommon to feel nauseous, dizzy and sometimes, faint, while pushing yourself hard without any fuel in your system…
Now, I’m not a fan of carb-loading before a workout or an athletic event, either. Your body has to burn the excess carbohydrate BEFORE it gets to your fat stores, so if you’re looking to lose weight, tone up, and all that good stuff, then you’re going to be sadly disappointed if you’re eating a high-carb breakfast ahead of time.
Here are my go-to pre workout snacks that I’ll have 30-45 minutes BEFORE working out:
1. For low-impact workouts, like yoga, I’ll go with a handful or two of organic, raw nuts. My favorites are Brazil Nuts, but I’ll mix in some almonds, pecans and walnuts to keep things fresh.
2. For high-impact workouts like Tabata, HIIT, running, etc., I’ll often turn to an apple. Apples are low-glycemic fruits, so they’ll give you enough of a blood sugar spike to get you going, but not enough where your body won’t be able to tap into your fat stores as you’re working out.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re doing a high intensity workout, your metabolism will be revving for up to 72 hours AFTER you finish up! Burning fat both during and for literally DAYS after a workout? I’d say that’s a win 🙂
Moral of the Story: I’m NOT a fan of working out without eating anything beforehand. While I understand the scientific argument behind doing this, I think it’s more prudent to have adequate energy levels so that you can push yourself, which can, in turn, keep that fat burning long after you’ve completed your workout!
Hope you found this helpful 🙂
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