Join Me For Another 10 Weeks! This is the first week of ten weeks starting October 22, 2012

Hi folks! I'm at it again. I'm going for another 20 pound loss in ten weeks. I've recently had another baby, a little girl, she is now five months old and I'm ready to drop some weight.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Please No Empty Stomach Work-outs

Hi everyone!!

I had thought I might use today's post to lament over my expanding waistline...but figured since most people right now aren't pregnant...I would discuss a subject that I read a lot about in the blog world.

Before I begin...I hope you all understand that I don't mean to offend anyone who does work out in a fasted state. I know a few of you who do, and I like you very much, But I would like to offer up a different point of view.

Even before fasted state work-outs became what seemed to be the rage...I could really never get myself to work-out out on basically fumes...or on no energy. I remember when my husband would train for his body building show several years ago...he would go do his cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach because he had been told or had read that, the doing it like that was what burned off your fat the most efficiently.

I just could never do that. I have been a runner all my life since high school. I didn't care who was saying what, I knew that my body needed fuel to complete the work-out. I've always been like that...I will even set my alarm to eat an 1 1/2 before a make sure my body has the fuel and then digests it in time.

I will take energy gels with me on my runs, perhaps an overabundance of them, to make sure that my body is getting a constant stream of fuel with which to perform the work-out.

About a year and a half ago when I decided in my mind that I wanted to train for a figure or body building competition, I checked out several books from the library on body building. One of the books was Arnold Schwarzenegger's book. In this book, he talked about the importance of making sure that there is enough glycogen in your body during a work-out. Glycogen is what a carbohydrate type of fuel will turn into once it enters your body. This is the best, most readily available fuel for your body to use. This is great to know.

But, if your body has no glycogen with which to provide fuel for your work-out, it will begin using then next available thing...your muscle mass. And as you may or may not know, we want to hold onto as much muscle mass as possible because muscle is what keeps our metabolism running strong and burning calories.

Sometimes last summer, I would have no choice but to first weight lift and then go on an hour run. I knew according to my reading, that I would have to bring fuel along with me, or all that hard work I had put into my weight lifting work-out would go down the drain if I went and did a run on no fuel. I would bring a banana to eat between work-outs to re-fuel.

The typical rule of thumb is that if you work-out for more than 45 minutes straight, you should re-fuel or your body will start using muscle.

When I went to this nutrition class a few weeks ago. The gal who taught us has finished first in the world in the natural female body building two years in a row. Last year she finished third.

This is what she said, "Please don't do cardio on an empty stomach."

Not only does it use your muscle mass to fuel the work-out, but you have starved your body when it needs food the most. Think of it like this...

You have a really nice red corvette. And someone tells you that, this car is different than any other can win races with it without putting any gas in it. You can run it down the road at high speeds...on empty.

Tell me that you would believe that. That would ruin the car. If you want your body to run at its optimum you need to fuel it. I mean...we all know how important water is to maintaining your body's functions. Without water, our body starts to break down similar to that red corvette without it's fluids filled to the proper levels.

Why do we then think that our body can somehow function at high levels of exercise on nothing?

A lot of people also believe that you need to stop eating at 7:00 p.m. at night. So that means if you worked out first thing in the hasn't has any fuel for over 12 hours.

This is the other problem with working out in a fasted state that I learned at the nutrition class. Because you have basically starved your body at a time when it needs food the most, it will slow down its metabolism because it doesn't know when it will get food next.

One of the reasons body builders will eat five to seven small meals a day is so that their metabolism's will run smoothly and so that their bodys are getting a steady stream of fuel. This helps to release the fat because then a signal is sent to the body that it is getting enough food. When it isn't getting enough food, it slows down the metabolism to hold onto the fuel it does get.

Well, I think that's all I'm going to say about that for tonight. Tomorrow I'd like to touch on what kinds of fuel we should be using and when to use them for your work-outs.

Hopefully soon I'd also like to talk to you all about this give-a-way I have in the works.

Other than that, I have been very tired lately. I think my jeans are getting tight on me.

The above is a picture of some quinoa and steak that I had the other night. I finally made quinoa for the first time. It wasn't bad. It definitely needed some salt and pepper. I think that if I had the option of butter it would taste even better, but overall I liked it.

Goodnight all!

Sunshine Mama


  1. Mmm your picture made me hungry for a warm meal, but I gotta get out the door for work. Had cheerios this morning and didn't even get my hot oatmeal.

    I agree with this post. You can "run on empty." If you want your body to do amazing things, you got to give it the power!! Can't wait to hear what kind of fuels you have in mind. Happy day to you!

  2. Your post makes total sense to me. It's amazing how many conflicting views there are out there. Your jeans better be feeling tighter!!!! We want that baby growing healthily and we're not worried about the Mama staying flat tummied!

  3. SM, Thankyou so much for this post... this has been an area that I have been trying to get answers on... seriously! For about a year!
    So appreciate your insight, and what you have researched and learned.. truly truly!

    I have been exercising well into the morning in a fasting state, not knowing if it was good for me or not. I had read in a couple of different books that in the fasting state was the most optimal fat burning time for your body to exercise. So that is what I have been doing. But after you explained more, I think you are spot on! I am really really wanting to see more results in my muscle mass, and more lean-ness as well... and I am wondering if it's the whole fasting and exercising deal?

    Changing it up today! Yep yep! Thankyou so much for sharing this... excellent post! I am going to post this later on my blog, and send folks over.. such a hard area to know what is optimal for the body! yay!

  4. Quinoa is an acquired taste in my opinion. It is hit or miss.

    What a great post! I love your insight on life.

  5. Thanks for the info. This is something I have often wondered about.

  6. Yes, Sunshine Mama!! I will listen to you!


    Actually, I already have. Your comment stuck out to me when I wrote about not eating pre-run last week. I have been fueling up properly now and I HAVE noticed a difference in my performance.

    PS- no "real" lettuce babies in the near future, just plant ones! I want to whip my body into super great shape before that happens...among other reasons! :)

  7. This is really great post! Thanks love =)

    Sometimes I find it hard to eat before a workout because I workout right when I wake up and I get scared that I might get nauseas if I eat something.