Once you’ve made the commitment to start losing weight and getting fit, it can be tough to wait to see the results of your hard work. Many people start off with great intentions and set tough goals for themselves, taking on hours of exercise and a drastically reduced-calorie meal plan. But sometimes, these good intentions can be too much, and actually sabotage your goals. Sometimes working too hard or cutting back too much is detrimental in the long run.
A great example of this kind of harmful behavior is skipping meals before exercise. In theory, it sounds like a good idea: there will be no food in your belly to slow you down, plus less food before a workout means less total calories to burn off. But this strategy can really backfire. Because the body needs energy for workouts, The Food Network says that exercising on an empty stomach is one of the worst fitness mistakes you can make.
Why You Need Energy For Workouts
Imagine your body as a car or other machine that needs fuel to perform. A car that is running out of gas will start to lurch and sputter and will eventually give out and come to a stop. The body will do the same thing without the proper nourishment. Skipping a meal before a workout can make you feel fatigued or dizzy. And neglecting to fuel up can even backfire and cause you burn less calories. Without the proper energy, you may be more inclined to not push yourself or might slack off when you should be exercising harder.
Healthy Energy For Workouts
Just because there is no need to workout on a empty stomach doesn’t mean that you should eat a five course meal full of rich foods right before you hit the gym. Too much food right before vigorous exercise can make you feel nauseous and sluggish. The key is to find the perfect balance. Prevention Magazine suggests eating a 200-calorie snack 1-2 hours before you begin your exercise routine. Try foods that increase energy like an apple or banana with almond butter, a healthy energy or protein bar, or a low-fat yogurt.
When it comes to exercise success, remember to think long-term. Don’t let your weight loss goals tempt you to make unwise daily decisions like skipping meals. Choose food that boosts energy before your workouts, stay positive, and you’ll be seeing results in no time!
- “5 Workout Myths that Mess with Results”, Prevention Magazine
- “5 Food and Workout Myths, Busted”, Food Network