The Truth About Working Out After Eating

November 26, 2011
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working out after eatingI can imagine you have been wondering about this question for quite some time. A lot of people get really confused about working out after eating, because they are unsure how the calories will be utilized. There are some people who swear by eating right before a workout and others who swear it is better to wait many hours before working out after eating. Let’s get to the basics of this concept.

Whether or not you eat a meal prior to exercise really depends on the exercise and the kind of meal you are consuming. There are some workouts that you should never eat before participating and there are other workouts that it is beneficial to eat before you participate. Let’s break it down to a cardiovascular workout and a weight training workout.

Cardiovascular workout. With a cardiovascular workout your goal is to burn fat with your workout and therefore it is better to not eat prior to this exercise regimen. You want to have at least 60 minutes between your last meal and your cardiovascular workout. If it was a really big meal, then I recommend at least 2 hours or 120 minutes prior to your cardiovascular workout.  If you consume calories prior to the workout then your body will utilize those calories for the energy needed to finish the cardio and not utilize the fat on your body.  Hence, you don’t burn as many calories from fat.  Seems logical, huh.  That is why I recommend trying to do your cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so you can burn the fat on your body for the energy you need to finish your workout.  In addtion, when it comes to cardio I recommend not eating for at least an hour after your workout.

interval taining advantages

Weight Training. Eating before weight training can be a double edged sword and therefore you have to understand what your goals are going to be for your weight workout. For instance, if you want to gain a lot of muscle and not worry about burning fat because you are trying to lift heavier and heavier, then I recommend consuming some extra fast acting carbohydrates prior to the workout to give you the extra bit of energy so you can lift heavier weights and not run out of gas. On the flip side to this, if you are lifting weights like in a circuit training program then I stick to the no food for 60 minutes prior to the exercise. This is because you are also trying to burn fat while building muscle and are not worried about lifting heavier weights.

As you can see it depends on the type of exercise you are going to perform and also depends on the type of meal you are going to consume prior to the exercise. The food can benefit you with one exercise (weight training) and hinder you with another type of exercise (cardiovascular).  Take this concept to heart, because it can make or break your fat loss efforts.

To Your Healthy Weight Loss,

Dr. B

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