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5:2 Diet 'Rules' & Variations

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Eating before exercise
04 Nov 2014, 09:29
I'm trying to incorporate daily strength training into my regime, but unless I do it first thing in the morning I won't do it at all. But there are so many confusing messages about whether it's bad to work out on an empty stomach!

On a fast day I try to hold off on my breakfast of a boiled egg and oatcake until about 11am. On a non-fast day my breakfast is the same, but I also wait as long as possible because I find when I start eating I don't stop! Until my first bit of food for the day I have lemon and ginger water or tea with milk. I don't struggle to work out on an empty stomach.

But am I not burning as much fat as I would if I had my egg and oatcake pre-workout?! Should I have a bit of protein straight after? All the sources online say different things.
Re: Eating before exercise
04 Nov 2014, 10:11
It's generally held that eating after exercise is preferable and that you burn more fat if you exercise fasted. However, this theory is based on some studies that showed a tiny but statistically significant difference between after- and before- exercise eating. The difference is very slight. Whether you eat before or after exercise matters a lot less than whether you exercise at all, so put the emphasis on exercising and eat when it suits you.
Re: Eating before exercise
04 Nov 2014, 11:56
This is an interesting question that is not easy to answer.
Speaking only from personal experience. It depends what time on he fast day I exercise.
If it's morning Im fine but, if it's later on in the fast day I usually eat at least an hour before.
Saying that, last Monday was a fast day, I ate before evening class, then did another class in the following morning (Tuesday) without any food. Felt great. Burnt fat I believe to provide the energy needed.
Some people just can't beat to eat pre exercise but ive obviously got a strong constitution. (As my MIL would say)
Re: Eating before exercise
04 Nov 2014, 13:55
@Carorees - I can't remember where I read it, but I do remember reading that it's best to exercise on an empty stomach, if possible, because you burn off all of the glycogen stores in the liver. Once those are gone, your body starts burning fat until what you eat is able to be converted to glycogen. Is this true? Or a gross overstatement/simplification?

Re: Eating before exercise
04 Nov 2014, 15:29
For the first few weeks of IF, you'll most likely feel extra-tired during and after exercise if you haven't eaten something first. After that it's no big deal to skip eating beforehand. Why? Because fasting helps re-train your body back to its natural ability to burn fat for energy.
Re: Eating before exercise
04 Nov 2014, 18:14
I sometimes exercise while fasting - sometimes I don't feel like I have as much energy as when I've eaten but I've never felt particularly weak and feeble! I definitely can't exercise too soon after eating though - bleurgh!
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