Monday, December 26, 2011

I've recently added running to my exercise schedule, and have found that my appetite has climbed! Should I be eating anything before running? Or after? Suggestions on how to combat an over-active appetite?

           If you are an athlete or exerciser you need to have at least 45% of your caloric intake made up of carbohydrates. Your body arrangement goal determines the total calorie intake and your activity determines the % make up of those calories (protein, carbs and fats). Consequently if you are an exerciser/athlete pursuing a weight loss goal and allowed 2000 calories/day in order to continue reducing fat, then those calories should be "good" carbohydrates. If you are not an exerciser/athlete then it matters less how you eat your 2000 calories. If you choose to make up your calories with primarily protein and/or fat you may become sluggish and burn less calories, ultimately forcing you to keep lowering your intake to maintain weight loss, and you may develop powerful desires for what your body needs most in order to produce energy: carbohydrates. Better to head off those cravings before you find you've eaten two-thirds of a cheese cake pie and half a quart of ice cream!            Just remember when it comes to weight loss it's all about calories, and when it comes to production it's all about carbohydrates ~ so pick the foods that make you feel the best within the calories you are allowed.
             Should you eat before working out?  If you are a recreational exerciser or simply working to attain fitness, weight loss, etc., you can positively achieve your goal not consuming anything 45 minutes before a workout. But doing so can make the workout more productive (and for competitive athletes the practice of consuming the proper formulated snack ~10-45 minutes before a workout has become typical protocol in order to maximize energy levels throughout the training/event period and speed the recovery process).