The short answer is nothing! Of course there is no one size fits all formula so experimenting with different approaches in your Bride Fit diet and exercise approaches is best. Working with a Bride Fit coach like me is a big help in order to have support, guidance, and motivation.
Let’s get back to the question of what or what not to eat before a workout to maximize fat burning. This study supports my suggestion of eating nothing! The truth is that when your goal is to lose fat then exercising fasted will accelerate fat release. I know this may go against your current belief based on what “they” say. The “experts” are promoting the idea that you need to eat something before a workout because you need the energy to get through it and exercising without food will eat away your muscle. These ideas aren’t accurate, I can assure you that if you experiment with performing a steady state cardio like a 3-5 mile power walk, HIIT (high intensity interval training), or a weight lifting session in a fasted state you may be surprised with the amount of energy you will have! With that being said I need to insert that if you did not sleep well or you’re not fat adapted then it may not be a good idea to try fasted workouts. Intermitted fasting and fasted workouts can potentially have great fat burning effects on brides that have already dialed in a Bride Fit diet consisting of mostly whole food, abandoning the Standard American Diet filled with lots of processed complex carbohydrates.
If you eat carbohydrates prior to workouts your body will use that immediate energy for fuel. By avoiding eating carbs pre-workout you will burn adipose tissue (FAT) for fuel. Through a process called gluconeogenesis, your body can actually create it’s own glucose (sugar) from amino acids and fatty acids therefore you don’t need to eat a bread, cereal, low fat yogurt, or even a banana before your workout. “This conversion (of amino acids to glucose) is metabolically more expensive process, consisting of 20 or more metabolic steps, compared with the deep discount of consuming carbohydrates.”~Dr. Doug McGuff, Body By Science. Your body is all about efficiency, if those carbs you just ate are available, then why would it want to go through the work of breaking down stored body fat and using it for fuel? It won’t! Also, please don’t eat bagels, cereal or low fat anything, these foods increase insulin (fat storing hormone) and offer zero nutrition!
NOTE: If you are training for an event, sport or performing a really long intense workout that requires sustained energy or demanding high energy intervals for an extended period of time then eating whole food carbohydrates prior would be beneficial.
Here are some options of pre-workout nutrition if your goal is fat release and to get the chiseled “wedding dress ready” body you desire:
- Exercise in a fasted state. Always have water (with lemon is best) in the morning and you can have some organic black coffee (my favorite) or tea.
- There are days when you feel like you need to eat. I usually workout fasted when I exercise in the morning but there are days when I wake up hungry. Having some protein and fat, not carbs, 1-3 hours prior to exercise. Good choices include eggs, avocado, protein shake, or making your coffee “bullet proof” by blending 1-2 TBS. of MCT, coconut oil, or brain octane oil with 1-2 TBS. of pastured butter in about 10 ounces of organic coffee.
I hope you are motivated to give exercising fasted a try! I’d love to hear how you do and if you have any questions leave a comment below. Join my on-line Exceptional Bride Program for the roadmap to getting ‘wedding dress ready’ and learn the secrets to living ‘healthily & happily ever after’ with your fiancé. Have an amazing week!