Working out is hard, eating shouldn’t be. Many people think that working out on an empty stomach will help them lose more weight or speed up their weight-loss. Sorry guys, the truth is that your body needs fuel before and after your workout. This is especially true if you have not eaten several hours before your workout. This is very typical of early morning exercise routines.
What to eat
Typically you do not want to eat much before exercising. It is best to eat a protein with fiber. For example a piece of whole grain bread with peanut butter or a small bowl of granola with milk. Notice the portions, you do not have to eat much. You need just enough for your body to have energy for the workout.
If you have trouble with your stomach and are uncomfortable eating before exercise you can slowly train your stomach to get used to eating pre-workout. Start by eating eating a half a piece of bread with a couple berries or a small banana and slowly work up. You can also try eating 1-2 hours before if time permits.
After you are finished exercising you will want to make sure you re-hydrate yourself and eat a small meal. This will help replenish electrolytes lost during exercise and continue to fuel your system for the day. In most cases, water is sufficient to re-hydrate your body. Do not wait until you are finished before you drink your water. Make sure to drink throughout your regime. The more you sweat the more you need to drink.
What not to eat
Stay away from refined carbohydrates or food with high sugar. Common snacks such as plain bagels, juice and sugary snack bars will not provide your body with a slow burning energy needed to sustain workout intervals. These types of foods will cause your blood sugar to spike up quickly and burn out quickly and will cause you to feel a quick burst of energy followed by a crash.
Fueling for a workout is not much different than snacking throughout the day. By combining proteins and complex carbohydrates you will create a slow burning energy that will fuel you for your entire workout. Remember, you need energy to be productive in your daily life. You will not jeopardize your weight-loss goals by eating properly portioned whole foods.