Exercise on Empty Stomach


GOAL:  Lose Weight.

I am a 5'10" 146 pound female with around 25% body fat.

I work out in the afternoon while my youngest (of 3) is in preschool. Usually from noon-2 p.m.

I've tried getting up early to exercise (run) but find that I have much more energy and endurance in the afternoon.

My question is what and when should I be eating before I go and exercise?

I usually eat a piece of wheat toast with some peanut butter on it about an hour before I work out.

Does this make it so I am not burning any fat while I am running (approx. 3 miles then some weight lifting)?

Should I be exercising on an empty stomach?


Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken


Good (and very common) Question

Your pre-workout food intake sounds text book perfect. If you are trying to lose weight you NEVER should be concerned what fuel your body is using during your exercise sessions.

Burning fat and losing weight is all about eating a balanced healthy diet with 3-6 small meals/snacks evenly spread throughout the day and plenty of water and rest.

If you exercise 1 hour a day for 7 days a week that is 7 hours. There is 168 hours in a week. This means even if you exercise for 7 hours a week you are exercising 4% of your time.

Focus on your diet during the other 161 hours in the week. Having a proper amount of food before your workout will allow you to workout with the necessary intensity to boost your metabolism and help you tone up and lose weight.

How much and what you eat before your workouts depends on the individual. The time usually ranges from 3 hours to 1 hour before your workout.

Working out with a full stomach is not good either but your small toast and peanut butter an hour before you workout should allow you to get through your workouts at full intensity without a crash.

Don't forget to immediately refuel your body after you workout with a quality low fat, carbohydrate and protein source as well. Workout hard, eat right and the pounds will fly off when you watch TV, take care of your kids and sleep.


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