The Relation of Eating to Exercise

My current waist training student Ashlee (now in her ninth week of training and staying the course!) raised a good question last night to which my newest student, Carl, contributed with his experience which also echos  mine. When should one eat, if one prefers to exercise early in the morning?

Here is what Carl said:

Your experience with exercise and not eating beforehand leading to huge hunger during or right after, mirrors my experience to some degree.  My main form of exercise is to use my treadmill.  Because of my work schedule I usually exercise in the morning.  When I first started, I tried to use the treadmill shortly after getting out of bed but before I ate anything (had breakfast).  Big mistake.  I soon learned that doing that was pure torture.  I had no energy and could barely make it through an easy workout.
On a whim one day I tried eating breakfast first.  It meant breaking up my schedule a bit more, but it was an experiment.  It made a huge difference, like having another gear to go to on a car.  Sure, it was still work but it wasn’t a dreadful plodding seeming never to end torture session.  I try to eat breakfast about an hour before I get on the treadmill.  It really helps in minimizing the amount of effort I perceive. I’ll leave the what to eat to our coach and TB’s, but will note that one of my favorite cereals (Go-Lean Crunch – Honey Almond Flax) has a significant amount of protein in it. “

My answer to Ashlee had been along the same lines.  One of the goals during training is to avoid like crazy, crash hunger pangs that force us into binge eating. When I request students to divide up their portion of food into 8 meals during the day, and to always eat breakfast during three months of training, I mean that as one strategy to avoid binge eating. What I had apparently not clarified with Ashlee, is that the first of eat meals, breakfast, should be the first thing you eat when you get out of bed as soon as you can, especially before exercising. I know this might be difficult for those who take a bit of time to warm to a new day and whose tummy seems to rebel at eating early. However, there must be some challenge and some difficulties to overcome during training to make the effort feel worthwhile to most students as well as to reach their goals, and this is one practice that I must insist is worth the trouble to do follow.

I concur with Carl that eating protein in the key here, not necessarily eating carbs or even complex carbs, tho it’s true that complex carbs/fiber take longer to empty out of the tummy and accordingly, decrease our hunger. When I exercise without eating a bit of protein about 30 min. before I start, during exercise I find a wave of hunger overtaking me, just like Ashlee.

So what kind of protein might one eat early in the morning and how much? I like Carl’s suggestion as cereals have some protein, however my preference is two or three Triskets (low fat low sodium best of all) with about 1 level teaspoon or less of peanut butter spread on top (unless you have a peanut allergy). If I want a bit of sweet then I’ll add about four raisins per crackers or perhaps dried blueberries or cherries. I also sometimes eat a  slice of turkey or slice of meatloaf or beef or pork roast (round cuts are always less fatty) before I exercise. If you are into cooking then a 1/2 slice of bacon with oil drained and pressed out with a paper towell, is also fine so long as not prepared every single day. Cut those slices in the bacon package in half and you’ll soon be surprised how satisfying it is to eat only one half slice whereas you used to scarf down two pieces routinely, right?

Remember what I learned from Dr. Dean Ornish that it is the very first bite of any desireable food and flavor, that delivers about 95% of the flavor and satisfaction punch. Think on it and I think you will agree with him. Thus each bit more that you take delivers less of an impact as you go. Why waste valuable calories imbibing foods that don’t really satisfy you? Food should be pleasurable to the max and that’s why I don’t advocate denial as an effective method of weight reduction or waist training. You do not have to give up foods or taste sensations you cannot live without,m but what you must do during trainnig is stretch the pleasure out and increase the impact by slowing down the time it takes to eat the item you desire, in order to savor every bite.

That’s also part of the reason I require students during their first two weeks of training to chew every bite of food 30 times before swallowing  (yes, including ice cream–yes, that is “food”, right?). It’s a ridiculous practice to be sure and most often does not work well but if you have to force yourself to hold back swallowing to keep chewing and chewing…and chewing…you will soon begin to replace old unhealthy habits of bolting down food leading to overeating and less pleasure, with much better ones.

That’s my take on it. What kinds and quantities of food stave off hunger pangs for you during and after exercise, and just how important is eating breakfast to you?


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Filed under General Waist Training Information, Hot Topics on Health, Proper Nutrition Tips for Waist Training

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