What Should I Eat Before Working Out to Lose Belly Fat? 

 

 

 

People love to say that you can’t outrun a bad diet. This rings especially true if you’re aiming to shed fat and improve your physique. Your nutrition is just as crucial as your workout schedule, if not more so, in achieving your fitness goals. 

Having said that, considering how much information you can find online about what’s good and what’s bad for weight loss, it can be hard to filter out what’s true from what’s another advertisement campaign to sell you a magical tea or miracle pill. That’s why, in this article, our main focus will be to give you all the vital information on what to eat before your training sessions if your primary goal is to lose fat. 

If your primary goal is to lose fat and you're eager to learn more about pre-workout nutrition, then this article is tailored for you. Let’s dive in. 

How To Determine What to Eat Before Your Workout

Some people like to work out first thing in the morning. This choice is often based on sleeping preference or schedule - for busy professionals, the mornings are the calmest time of the day, when they have the most free time to get to training. 

When it comes to losing fat, this might also be a strategic choice, as you’re exercising towards the end of your fasting window, and that increases your body’s ability to burn fat since your glycogen stores (where the body typically looks for fuel) have already depleted due to the absence of food. 

Once your glycogen levels go down, your body looks for other sources of energy and begins tapping into its own fat stores, which results in weight loss. 

On the other hand, there are also people who enjoy evening exercise, which means they’re often working out just at the start of their fasting window. This timing isn’t necessarily better or worse; it’s mainly different because exercising serves a different function. Instead of capitalizing on the already depleted glycogen stores to push your body into burning fat, working out at the beginning of a fasting window (after your last meal) speeds up the process of glycogen depletion going into the fans, which makes you start burning fat a lot faster. 

Now, all this talk about timing might have you thinking that it’s the most crucial part of weight loss. It’s not in fact, you can exercise at any point in the day, and if your nutrition is on point, it will lead to losing fat and gaining muscles. But seeing as the focus of this article is what to eat before working out, let’s talk more about the best options. 

Morning Exercisers Pre-Workout Nutrition

The saying goes that the early bird catches the worm, but in this scenario, our advice would be to eat the worm after the workout is complete. Extending your overnight fast will allow your body to continue to burn fat as you exercise - a process that will be cut short if you eat before your workout. However, it’s important that you break your fast with a healthy meal containing protein and carbs, as that will help build muscle and recover faster.

With that said, training fasted doesn’t include being dehydrated. It’s a good idea to get some water, coffee, or a pre-workout drink before the start of your morning training session. In fact, there are a number of benefits to getting some caffeine. The main ones include:

  1. Improved metabolism: Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, leading to an increase in metabolic rate. This means your body burns more calories, even at rest, which can contribute to weight loss over time.
  2. Enhanced Fat Oxidation: It also enhances fat oxidation, which is the process by which your body breaks down fat and uses it for energy. This can potentially lead to greater fat loss during exercise or physical activity.
  3. Better Performance: Having a caffeinated drink can improve exercise performance by reducing perceived exertion and increasing endurance. This can allow you to exercise harder and for longer periods, potentially leading to greater calorie burn and fat loss.

Evening Exercisers Pre-Workout Nutrition

If you’re planning on working out later on in the day, you have to take a different approach to your nutrition compared to the morning exercisers group. A good idea here is to have a healthy meal packed with protein, carbs, and fats at least 2-3 hours before your training session. That way, your body will have enough time to digest the food, and you will feel ready to push hard in the gym. A tip from us is to try and make this meal the last one you will have before going to bed, as that will allow you to deplete your glycogen stores faster and burn more fat overnight. But to make sure you don’t go to sleep hungry, your pre-workout evening meal needs to have a good source of healthy protein, a complex carb, and plenty of healthy fats. Some examples include: 

  • Salmon (protein & healthy fats) with quinoa(complex carb) and a salad (fiber)
  • Chicken (protein), brown rice (complex carb) & avocado (healthy fats) 
  • Steak (protein & healthy fats) with sweet potatoes (complex carb) 

The combinations here are endless if you stick to the simple formula of protein + healthy fats + complex carbs = a good meal. The only thing we advise you not to do is to have any type of caffeinated drink this late at night. It will likely disturb your sleeping schedule and negatively affect your recovery, which is why it’s better to stick to a low calorie soda or water as your beverage. 

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this article helped you learn all about pre-workout nutrition - as you can see, it’s not as complex as everyone on the internet loves to make it seem. As long as you stick to the basics and find a schedule that works for your body and your goals, sticking to the right diet and exercise regime will feel easy and eventually turn into a habit.

 

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