I get a lot of health and fitness questions from friends, clients, and fellow parents. When it comes to losing weight, it's amazing how much people truly don't know, and we're constantly bombarded with “information” – most of it not true – that can be misleading and confusing. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below this blog, and I'll answer your health and fitness questions here, for everyone to see!
Q: IF I DON'T EAT BEFORE I WORKOUT, WILL I BURN MORE FAT AND CALORIES?
Answer: I know what you're thinking. “If I skip a meal before hitting the gym, I'll lose more weight because there are less calories in my belly to burn.” Well, this isn't necessarily true. You won't burn any more fat or calories skipping a meal before a workout. The only time I would ever tell you not to eat before a workout is if you are doing cardio in the morning before breakfast. Otherwise, always eat on a normal, frequent schedule; three small meals and two snacks throughout the day eating once every two and a half to three hours.
But you will be able to exercise harder, faster and you'll get so much more out of your workout if your body is well-fueled. Skipping a meal or snack before hitting the gym can lower your endurance and put you at greater risk of injury. Plus, exercising on an empty stomach increases the production of the stress hormone Cortisol, which leads to the breakdown of muscle tissue and packs on the belly fat. And that's the exact opposite of what you want after busting your butt at the gym. Eating less and exercising more is detrimental to your weight loss goals. Having a quality snack before your workout – if it's time to do so – is a good idea. Shoot for a 150-200 calorie mix of carbs and protein, like a peach and low-fat string cheese, hummus and baby carrots, or an apple and PB or AB.
Love and Exercise,