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Workouts early in AM--What is good to eat before?

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:51 PM   #1
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Question Workouts early in AM--What is good to eat before?

Hello,
Hoping to get advice. I've been hitting the elliptical for 30 min early in the morning (before my 18 month old wakes up). This is, unfortunately, the only window I have for exercising. M-F, anyways. I don't have this problem when the DH is home.

I have decided to kick it up a notch. I am adding in Jillian's Shred on top. Normally, I wake up, throw on my workout clothes, drink some water, and head to the garage. I then shower and dress, and by this time, my daughter is awake. I usually feed her, then I eat my breakfast. I typically do not get hungry for a couple hours before I get up, anyways, so this works for me.

So now that I am going to essentially double my exercise time, I don't think I can do it on an empty stomach. But I don't want to eat breakfast, either, because it is too early, and it would feel all heavy.

What would be the best snack that I could eat and then work out 15 minutes later and have more energy for the workout. Granola bar? Banana (I hate those, BTW) Fat Free Yogurt? I have been keeping my calories down to 1300-1400 per day and the weight has been coming off, but not doing anything like South Beach or Atkins or something real specific, so I pretty much can eat anything if it is healthy.

Looking for any suggestions/advice.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
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Funny, I was going to say Banana but then I saw the note saying that you hate those. What about an apple or an orange? The natural sugar in fruits I find is great energy and doesn't fill you up very much before a workout. The Luna Bars I found work great too or sometimes I do a 1/2 peanut butter sandwhich which gives me a little sugar and protein.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:15 PM   #3
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Any type of luna bar? I've never tried one...
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Try it without eating and see how you do.
I don't believe in eating if you're not hungry - lol !!
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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I used to go to Gold's Gym and one of the trainers there told me the best way to burn fat is to do cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then go about your day. She's wasn't a doctor, but she was a certified trainer. So if you're not hungry, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but make sure to have something soon after. Good luck!
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LacieRene View Post
I used to go to Gold's Gym and one of the trainers there told me the best way to burn fat is to do cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then go about your day. She's wasn't a doctor, but she was a certified trainer. So if you're not hungry, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but make sure to have something soon after. Good luck!
I have heard this too, but from people that weren't actual trainers. You could try this, just be careful, sometimes this is a recipe for passing out. If you're actually hungry, don't ignore that, eat something small. Maybe if you're not hungry then just try to work out on an empty stomache, but like I said, be careful. I had a trainer that once told me a lady passed out on a treadmill and slammed her head on it. So please! Be cautious.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LacieRene View Post
I used to go to Gold's Gym and one of the trainers there told me the best way to burn fat is to do cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then go about your day. She's wasn't a doctor, but she was a certified trainer. So if you're not hungry, I wouldn't worry too much about it, but make sure to have something soon after. Good luck!
Uh...and it is pretty much a myth. Just like the fat burning zone. You do cardio on an empty stomach in the morning your glycogen stores will be depleted quickly if they are not already depleted. Which means you move straight in to burning fat for fuel. So you burn more fat at that specific moment in time.

But you dont burn more calories, and WHAT TYPE of calories that are burned during exercise really doesnt matter as far as actual fat loss. When you eat things get replenished and the 300 calories you burned during your exercise session vs. the 1300 or so calories you burn living the rest of your life that day....if you didnt burn fat at one time you would at another. You are merely shifting around the timing.

And in fact you will probably burn slightly fewer calories on an empty stomach. The body can not extract energy from fat quite as quickly as it can extract energy from glycogen. So you can NOT work out as intensely. Anyone who has done endurance training knows what it feels like and the difference is not insignificant.

If you are capable of eating a little do so. If the thought of eating at 4 am turns your stomach dont. But dont try to force it one way or the other.

What I find ironic is the same trainers who will push "do cardio on an empty stomach in the morning and you will burn more fat" (because the body is depleted of glycogen) are often the SAME trainers who say "If you do more than an hour of cardio you will run out of glycogen and start to burn muscle for fuel"

To the OP I usually eat 1/2 apple and almonds for a moderate workout. Toast with PB for an intense workout. Have some fast carbs and a little protein - whatever sits in your stomach well.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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Ennay- well said.
i personally prefer to eat before i work out-- i find i get naseaus and light headed if i workout hard on an empty stomach. Have something light. A piece of toast works great!
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:52 PM   #9
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When I worked out at 5am I didn't eat, this, at the time was my only window to workout also .... Today, I still don't eat I often workout at 9am on the weekend. I don't feel sick, depleted, etc.... I think you have to do what works for you, experiment with how you feel with or without food,...
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:16 PM   #10
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eat a carb and a protein....apple and nut butter, yogurt and berries, oatmeal and egg...and such
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:42 PM   #11
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I tend to work better and have more energy if i've not eaten, provided it's only for an hour or so. Obviously it depends how much exercise you're doing of course.

How about just having a gel on the go (eg the GU stuff) if you're flagging. Then have proper food afterwards.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:40 AM   #12
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I workout in the morning too, and always have a light breakfast. It varies from cereal, a piece of fruit, to oatmeal whatever.

Can't do nuffin without something in my stomach in the morning.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:09 AM   #13
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I usually have almonds, dates & 100 ml of green tea 30 mins before workout.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:22 AM   #14
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I don't like to eat before a workout. All my workouts are about an hour total. I alternate circuit training (right at an hour) with jogging (time varies on distance, longest jog is just 3.1 miles right now with 1/2 mile warm up and cool down walk) so that gives ya an idea of intensity. Did a short jog in the evening about an hour after dinner and still felt like I had food sloshing in the belly. Wasn't a heavy dinner either. I hate the feeling of exertion with a full stomach.

I love the mini Luna bars. 80 calories, yummy, loaded with good stuff. I will munch one of those if I'm a little hungry before a workout and they don't bother me.

So, I really think its just a matter of what works for you. If you aren't hungry and feel good during your workout then don't stress on eating first. If/when your planned workout time surpasses an hour then start factoring in food for energy regardless of hunger.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:41 PM   #15
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What about just a handful of a high protein, low sugar cereal (like Kashi GoLean for example?) That's what I usually eat - just to have something in my stomach so I don't get nauseous. Oh and a glass of water or a bit of low calorie Gatorade. I have low blood pressure and it's worse in the morning, so my doctor recommended drinking a full glass of water or electrolyte drink before exercising.
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