Food to fuel exercise
Simply put, exercise is doing things TO the body. Whereas training is about thoughtful movement WITH the body - listening to the body's voice and knowing when to challenge it and when to honor it.
Often when people are thinking about food and "exercise" the belief becomes, "eat the least amount possible to survive the necessary amount of movement." Whereas when people "train," it's about optimizing the body as a machine. Under-fueling the body undermines the entire process of movement!
Let's remember the "point" of training
When you train, you are essentially trying to accomplish 2 things :
Side note: Even if you consider yourself in the exercise camp, you are STILL trying to accomplish the above 2 goals. If you're trying to "burn calories with cardio" that is in essence working on endurance. If you are trying to speed up your metabolism, you are trying to build muscle...Bodies adapt better by training (varying workouts higher and lower intensity, incorporating rest, listening to your body) rather than trying to reach a certain # of minutes or calories...
Both of these goals require you to ...
Question: Do I always need fuel before movement?
Question: But I'm not an athlete...do the rules still apply?
Question: Won't I burn more calories (or fat) if I go into a workout starved?
Question: What kind of fuel is best?
Situation based fueling
We've talked a bit about why to eat and what to eat, but now how do you apply it to your life? Consider the below scenarios...
Some follow up questions I get are ...
Moral of the story...
There are SO many reasons to eat before training...and virtually zero reasons not to. What you eat and how much you eat depends on the training that you're doing. My job as a dietitian and personal trainer is to help you line up your performance goals with your fuel selection in a way that leaves you energized.
Stay nourished friends!
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DISCLAIMER: The writing here is for informational and educational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for individual care. Your needs may vary. or individual support, please contact a provider.
Please note it's been a number of years since I have updated these posts. The content and philosophies may have changed as I've grown as a provider. Please reach out with questions or concerns.
Dietitian, personal trainer, mother, wife, runner, and endurance athlete supporting well-being, one bit and bite at a time