This is a shorter post, but this topic really needs to be addressed right away. One of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym is NOT preparing their body to cut body fat. I would say that a large majority of people are using a pre workout snack as “fuel” to get them going. This fuel may come from the calories in shakes, sports drinks, energy drinks, or other types of food. So why are pre workout food/drink calories a bad idea?
What The Body Stores As Energy
I’m sure you have heard this a lot, but the body stores fat as an energy reserve. So what is so important about that statement? Well it means “everything” if you want to make sure you are optimizing fat burning potential! So this means that your body will not burn fat if it still utilizing “food energy” stored in the muscles. So, the body will only burn body fat once “food energy” has been used up. Don’t forget this! Food energy will always be used up first.
Carbohydrates=The Main Fuel For Energy
Carbohydrates give you energy. It is one of the main fuel and energy sources that the body uses. This food energy is stored in the muscles as a sugar called glycogen. Any time you workout the body will burn the stored food energy. Well, what happens when there is no more food energy to be burned??
Body Fat Will Be Used For Energy
When your body has no more food energy, its only source left is to burn the fat reserves. If your body is consistently filled up with “food energy”, you will find it very difficult to cut body fat. Don’t make this mistake. So how do you go into a workout in the best fat burning condition?
Workout On An Empty Stomach
If you want your body to burn fat and not food calories, then I suggest to NOT consume any calories 4-5 hours before your workout. I see this mistake all the time. Begin your training on an empty stomach. Consuming a protein shake, carbs, or a sports drink right as a small pre workout meal is the worst thing you can do.
Note: Your metabolism isn’t going to slow down and you won’t lose muscle. This theory might be one of the biggest lies in the fitness industry. Skipping meals or even fasting will not hurt you, but will actually benefit your tremendously. This is the whole idea about intermittent fasting that I consistently point to on this site.
Now The Body Is Prepped
Now that the body is prepped to maximize fat burning, you can now begin your workouts knowing that excess fat reserves will be used for fuel. The type of workout you choose really doesn’t matter at this point. You just want to make sure you are preparing each workout the same, which is in a slightly fasted state. Ever since I ditched my pre workout snack, it has helped me to stay lean all year round. A simple change of working out in a fasted state has made such a big impact for me in regards to losing stubborn body fat.
Note: If your workout is specifically dealing with strength training or just fat loss, then wait at least an hour post-workout to consume any calories. If you are mass building, then you will want to consume post-workout calories right after training. (that still isn’t set in stone)