As mentioned, timing of meals doesn't matter for weight loss. You do NOT lose more fat if you exercise on an empty stomach. You have to move through two other energy systems before your body starts tapping fat stores for energy during a workout. I always eat and recommend a light snack of simple carbs (a banana is my top choice) before an intense workout so you have the carbs to go full out.
I think timing of meals is often a matter of personal preference, schedules and how your body functions. Play around with it to find what works best for you and gives you the best workout. Perhaps you do need a snack beforehand so you aren't so hungry afterward. And even if you do eat a big meal before bed, it doesn't matter for fat storage if it is within your calorie limits. Your body doesn't know what time it is. However, some people don't sleep as well, which is not good. I always save some carbs for a light snack before bed because that helps me sleep better.
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4,482 4/5/13 7:07 A
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60 4/4/13 8:08 P
Well I just went for a run after eating dinner tonight, but that is not my favorite thing to do. I waited an hour and a half but still felt a bit crampy and didn't quite make my usual pace. I generally prefer working out in the morning, but because I kept pressing snooze this week I told myself I absolutely had to run after work tonight :P
I always eat dinner after when I work out in the evening, but that's mostly a convenience and comfortability thing--I don't like feeling food flopping around in my stomach. But if I don't eat a small snack, I feel weak. I'm a snacker, though. :)
Fitness Minutes: (465)
92 4/4/13 5:13 P
I always eat my dinner after, but I plan my menu to eat a little something before I hit the gym. I tend to get really hungry as I'm working out if I don't eat something in advance, so I usually have a hard boiled egg and half a banana, or a protein shake, a yogurt with some berries, etc. Just something to kill the hunger during a workout.
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53 4/4/13 4:17 P
I think it's a matter of personal preference-- whatever helps you work out safely without needing to binge after dinner. I usually like to work out before breakfast and before dinner, because I get a tummy ache if I work out on a full stomach. But once in a while I am starving when I get home from work and I need a light snack before I can safely work out, and that's okay, too. When I can afford the calories I have a slice of wheat toast with peanut butter!
I eat afterwards because I know once I get home and sit down I'm less likely to get back up. Get home, get the workout done and I'm ready to settle for the evening. I'll have a small snack before I work out if I'm feeling especially hungry.
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1,921 4/4/13 4:07 P
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620 4/4/13 10:31 A
It depends on the workout... I will usually eat dinner before I go for a swim (taking like 30 minutes post dinner to let my stomach do it's work) because if I wait until after I risk getting shakey, short tempered and all in all not good. It just takes longer to get to the pool, get changed in and out of my suit, and get home than it does to put on sweats, go to the y and hop on the elliptical and come home, cooking in my sweats.
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59 4/4/13 10:30 A
I like to workout before dinner. Once I eat It is likely that I won't want to put in the effort to workout. Dinner for me is the start of relaxing time.
Timing of meals and exercise is largely irrelevant for weight loss. What matters is the overall balance between calories burned and consumed over the entire 24 hour day.
Simple carbs are digested in around 20 minutes, complex carbs in 1-2 hours, fats in 5 hours and proteins in 7. (These are gross generalizations, but give you some idea). And the body typcially holds a usable energy reserve of around 2000 calories.
However, blood sugars can be low after an intense workout, and the body can sometimes feel ravenous as it signals you to replace those reserves. But you don't necessarily need o have a full meal - a pre-planned post workout snack (ideally a combination of carbs and protein) can help refuel the body, without making a huge dent in your calorie budget.
Fitness Minutes: (18,534)
734 4/4/13 12:31 A
I usually eat after working out (unless I'm starving before working out). I don't like the feeling of food in my stomach when moving around. Plus, I've noticed that if I grab food before working out, I usually end up eating after anyways because the workout makes me hungry again.
I was wondering what is best when trying to lose weight, to eat dinner before a workout or after a workout?
I know I don't want to have a big meal right before bed.
Just want to make sure I have enough energy for my workouts and just the post-workout nutrients I would need afterwards. I know sometimes after I do a intense workout, I get really hungry but I don't want to over indulge.
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