I’m trying to lose fat, when can I eat before I workout?
If you are not insulin resistant (Normal) and trying to lose body fat, you should not eat for about an hour before exercising, allowing for even the slightest insulin elevation to plateau and you can expect great results (see graph above).
On the other hand, if you are insulin resistant (Obese or Type 2 Diabetic), you need to extend the period between a meal and your exercise session to 1-3 hours depending on the severity of your condition. But be careful, because although too short a gap can prevent you from utilizing fat as your primary fuel source, too long a gap poses a risk of hypoglycemia and low energy which could stop you from continuing and confound your workout plan. A meal elevates blood glucose and insulin levels relative to its volume, carbohydrate content, and glycemic response. This is normal but if you are insulin resistant you produce higher than normal levels of insulin after eating a meal that stay elevated for longer periods. The excess circulating insulin inhibits or slows the breakdown of fats for energy needs. This causes a higher reliance on blood glucose as the primary fuel source, a faster use of ingested carbohydrates, and blocking of your fat stores from competing with the above two processes.
An obese or Type 2 diabetic individual already has a limited ability to use fats as the primary fuel due to chronically elevated insulin levels, so it is very important that there is no further elevation of this hormone from a meal ingested too close to an exercise session targeted for fat loss.
We recommend consulting a physician or a dietitian prior to starting a new exercise & diet routine if you are over 40 and diabetic or obese. If you have already done so and are interested in a highly effective Exercise Routine and a supporting Nutrition Plan to improve your health and body composition, contact us at Azhar Therapy & Fitness or call 405-752-7377 to set up an Exercise Consultation.