One of the MOST asked questions I get as a wellness coach is: Should you workout on an empty stomach (or in a fasted state).
As an Intermittent Faster, the answer for me is YES. It really did change the game for me, it's when the dial started moving and I finally saw differences in my body.
What is Intermittent Fasting? Intermittent Fasting or IF for short, is a time restricted way of eating which involves a period of eating and a period of fasting (not eating).
(I have a FREE E-book packed full of all the info around this, I totally recommend grabbing it if you're interested in learning more...)
But back to the main question. SHOULD you workout on an empty stomach?
There are several really great benefits for it. But let me say first that, just like Intermittent Fasting, it's not for everyone.
Some people feel like they workout best after a healthy meal. As with everything, you have to listen to your body- there is no one size fits all plan. The real name of the game here is learning to connect with our bodies and really listen to our biofeedback.
If you plan to do extended workouts like long runs or a long day of tennis, for example, your body will need different fuel to keep it going. But if you're focused on shorter and more focused HIIT workouts and strength training, like those in my programs, then you may want to try out fasted workouts and see how you feel. The idea behind fasted workouts is that in the absence of food, your body turns to stored fat to burn for energy.
Many people see weight loss benefits because of this. It's important that you refuel after your workout AND if you try fasted workouts and feel light headed or less effective, then try adding in light protein packed foods like a boiled egg or a spoon full of peanut butter.
It's also VERY important to stay hydrated before, during and after any workout.
If you do try fasted cardio and it's not for you, that's okay too. Let's talk about some healthy options that will fuel your workout to make sure you're getting the most out of your sweat session.
Try to stick with low-glycemic and complex carbs that will fill you up and provide a source of energy.
Things like: Hummus, steel cut oatmeal, apple slices, carrots, whole grain cereal (without milk), nut butter on whole grain toast, or an omelet with a whole grain bread (avoid white breads).
These types of foods will fuel higher intensity workouts without making you feel sluggish or full. Be sure to keep your portion sizes small to avoid upset stomach or acid reflux.
There are also foods that you'll want to avoid, so that you have the best workout. Things like citrus, milk and white breads will drag you down in a workout.
"Any food that’s going to relax the esophageal sphincter is terrible to have before exercise, because you’re jumping up and down and making that muscle jump along with you,” says exercise physiologist Franci Cohen.
Whatever you do, mamma, I want you to get out there and start moving. If you have any questions at all - I am here for you.
LET'S BE FRIENDS!
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