Fuel Her Up!

Posted: February 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Ummm….oops! My post I had scheduled for earlier today accidentally published late last night instead. Looks like you got a three-fer here on FFF yesterday! I have lots to talk about anyways so it works. Did you miss those posts because they published so fast? I started something I’m excited about and need some suggestions for workout music!

Moving on. So, last night I was yet again unable to participate in the Fit Blog Chat of the week. The topic (courtesy of Monica) really intrigued me, however. It’s interesting to see what has changed over time in this topic, as I have let my food rules go.

Q1) Does when or how much you exercise impact what you eat? How?
When I exercise doesn’t really impact what I eat, but how much I exercise certainly does. I have to fuel properly for my activity. When I follow a regular exercise program, I make certain that I eat enough quality foods. I tend to crave healthier things when working out consistently as well.

Q2) What do you eat before you work out?
Right now, its usually my Chobani + apple snack like I mentioned yesterday. I typically like to have something lighter about an hour or so before I begin my workout. That equates to a snack with faster acting carbohydrates (like fruit) and protein (the yogurt).


Q3) What do you eat after a work out?
Right now, I work out after Peter gets home from work. That means I go workout, then come home and immediately prepare dinner. So whatever we have planned for dinner is my post-workout meal. Before I would have never let this happen. Post workout needed to be a protein shake with BCAAs (proteins for muscle recovery added in) and it would be the only time I “was allowed” to eat anything with sugar. Check out this flashback photo!!!

Q4) Do you eat more indulgently if you have exercised or plan to? What's your treat meal?
Nope. Like I mentioned above, I tend to eat better when working out regularly. I have more energy and want to keep that feeling. I enjoy the whole package of caring for my body – moving and eating nutritious foods. I used to equate eating treats with the calories I could burn in a workout. Now, I fit in treats when I want them…not because of the workout I did (or didn’t do) that day.

Looking at these questions I realize how far I have come. In my past, I planned workout nutrition to the tee. My food and workouts were so closely intertwined that I easily was sucked into the all or nothing mentality. Workout and eat good. Don’t workout and go hog wild with food. Or the opposite – don’t workout and don’t allow food….until I still end up going hog wild with it. I had to do things perfectly and follow all of the recommended guidelines.


Now I want to focus on fueling myself throughout the day and believe that will sufficiently work for my exercise. When I train for a more serious event, like my possible goal for a half much later this year, I will then of course make sure to find fuel that works best for me pre and post workout. But for general fitness? It’s no sweat anymore. Pun totally intended. 😉

Question of the Day – What about you? Do you have specific things you do for pre/post workout nutrition? How does your eating relate to your exercise?

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37 Comments to “Fuel Her Up!”
  1. I don’t really plan for pre or post workout fuel, I just go by how hungry I am. Not sure if this is the smartest way to do it or not. I have a really hard time working out with anything in my stomach, so I tend to not eat before working out. After I just grab whatever is quick.
    I try to not eat more indulgently when I’m working out hard, but I am always hungrier, so end up eating more. Which is fine, because that’s what my body needs.

  2. marcia says:

    Great topic…
    I am still trying to figure this out. On most days of the week I am an endurance athlete….I just eat a lot of food! On days such as my days off ( today would normally be 2.5 ish hours of cardio), but we are snowed in..I won’t do anything!! I seconds guess my planned meals of bean burritos! It’ s not really something that makes me anxious– more like confused! I need help! lol! I have already looked into getting some professional help ( of the nutritionist nature…. 😉 ) to help with my situation.

  3. I still struggle with not allowing myself to occasionally indulge in a treat when I don’t work out. I still get guilt sometimes with having a treat or two if I didn’t workout enough. It’s a growing process, but I have come a long way since the summer.

    • Tina says:

      It’s been years for me and its still a growing process! I think the old food rules and issues never completely go away. They try to sneak in, pesky buggers.

  4. I worry about eating when I’m hungry (and sometimes not) and getting adequate nutrition for my body. I don’t have rules about when to eat what to eat how to eat, etc. Restriction is not good for me!!

  5. i dont work out well with food in my stomach- usually have to wait a good 2 hours, so i eat a snack at night and wake up and work out. its worked for me for years and i’m sticking to it!

  6. There was a time that I would “justify” pigging out on hamburgers, french fries and beers by doing a long run before hand while half marathon training – needless to day, I saw absolutely NO improvement and basically made it through by the skin of my teeth. Once I realized I was sabotaging myself by doing that, and started eating (for the most part) fresh, whole, healthy foods, I saw dramatic changes! I still indulge every now and then, but they’re healthier indulgences rather than piles of grease.

    As for pre-workouts, my favorite pre-run breakfast is whole wheat bread with PB and honey. I’ll add some banana if it’s going to be a longer run.

    • Tina says:

      I have been there!! Good foods definitely make a difference. And love little snacks to get through my workouts too.

  7. Angela says:

    My eating doesn’t change that much on days I work out vs those that I don’t, but usually if I have a really intense cardio or weights session, I’ll be sure to refuel with a little extra so that my muscles can recover quickly. In terms of what I eat, it’s just as clean as possible… with a few treats of course! 🙂

  8. I’m still trying to tweak my nutrition, especially in the mornings. If I don’t eat or eat the wrong thing, I will get lightheaded during my AM run. Usually a half banana with some PB is good pre-run, then after I will usually have a protein shake.

  9. I usually have a granola bar about 45 minutes before a hard (to me) run. Otherwise, I try to just eat what when I’m hungry and listen to my body! 🙂

  10. I rarely eat before I workout since I typically wake up and am at the gym within 20 minutes. I can’t workout on a full stomach ever. After I workout, I usually go home and eat breakfast almost immediately (within 30 mins of my wo). I always try to have complex carbs and protein, unless I’ve had a super intense workout, I’ll have some simple carbs like a white flour tortilla to raise my blood sugar and replenish my glucose stores right away paired with protien!

  11. Post workout I do try to have something with protein – Usually a glass of milk while I’m prepping dinner if I feel hungry. I do try to plan to some degree what I eat because when I don’t, I tend to go off the deep end. I’m working on it though!

  12. I don’t eat specific things before or after working out. Right now I’m solely trying to listen to my body’s hunger cues, both on days when I work out and days when I don’t. If I’m hungry, I will eat. Pre-post- workout, or whenever. I just want to learn to be better attuned to my hunger, and what specifically I feel like eating. I do pretty well, most of the time, choosing whole, fresh, healthy foods. I’m still learning how to incorporate sweets into my diet and not go overboard on them! I think I’m doing pretty well with all of this stuff, and I’m just a perfectionist sometimes 🙂

  13. Allie says:

    Glad to hear you don’t let food and exercise dictate each other! That is the way to be 🙂 I don’t have any specific thing that I eat before or after I exercise as long as I have something in general! 🙂

  14. I don’t have any specific eats pre or post either! I will say that I try to have protein before – like a bar or a piece of cheese. Mostly I try to avoid eating heavy beforehand. Afterwards? No pref!

  15. Great topic. I work out first thing in the morning, so oatmeal is my after workout meal of choice. I don’t restrict myself either, it I am noticing I am hungrier when I workout, then I fuel accordingly. The Insanity workouts make me hungrier!

  16. I always try to eat a little something before I work out, usually just a half a banana and some nut butter or something. But– it all kind of depends on the time of day and the kind of workout I’m going to do!

  17. Definitely agree with your number 4! I usually eat worse when I don’t exercise regularly. It just reinforces how important all aspects of being healthy are, its a total package. 🙂

  18. Love those “rules”!

  19. Katie says:

    love this topic! I didnt get to join in on the chat either : p is it weekly?! I would love to join it next time on twitter, I saw it going on when I popped on twitter for a minute last night, but didnt have time to stay on!

    I just listen to my body when it comes to eating, i do notice on higher intensity workout days or weight lifting day, my appetite is on fire! I fuel it more those days for sure ; )

    • Tina says:

      Yep every week at 9 PM EST. I love them! Such a great way to connect with others. I will likely get to participate next week bec my sis is unable to visit…unless I’m too tired of course.

  20. I can really relate to your past…I used to only allow myself “extra” food when I exercised and felt the need to burn off everything I ate- crazy!

  21. Dorry says:

    I just make sure I’m fueling before and after my workouts. I love smoothies because they can pack in a lot of nutrients and protein if my stomach isn’t really hungry (like after long runs). I don’t use working out as an excuse to eat more or “reward” myself with treats. (I eat good food including treats everyday!) Since working out is a consistent part of my life, I’ve adjusted my nutrition accordingly. It’s certainly not perfect and I have a lot to learn, especially as I train for races.

  22. Lauren says:

    I usually eat something small – banana & peanut butter before an hour and a half before running, but otherwise, I don’t plan too many “workout” snacks. I wait to exercise a few hours after eating, so I feel my best.

  23. I am totally with you… if I am exercising regularly, I just crave healthier foods. There is something about a Hugh Jass salad after a nice workout that feels so right to me!

  24. I definitely want to eat better when I am working out. It gives me more energy and I feel even better. But I also, don’t feel as bad if I do have a craving if I am working out…

  25. I’m definitely still trying to figure all of that out. I am marathon training now but it’s hard because most people say you gain weight and I started the training with a handful of extra pounds that really needed to be lost. So it’s hard because now i’m hungry ALL THE TIME and I don’t think it’ good to not eat when you’re not hungry (and then I end up bingeing anyway if I try). But what I AM doing is to have protein and carb heavy meals at least an hour before my runs. I’m really conscious of having enough fuel before workouts because I don’t want to bonk.

  26. Since I workout at 5:30am I don’t eat too much before since I don’t want to wake up at 4 to have breakfast! I have some dried fruit or half a banana so I have something in my stomach!

  27. Kristi says:

    I try to eat better when I’m working out. I don’t really know about what I’m supposed to eat before or after exercising, so I usually just eat my usual snack which tends to be yogurt and fruit.

  28. I also feel that my body craves better foods when I am working out consistently. Some of my favorite snacks are bananas, grapes and greek yogurt.

  29. I need to try this yogurt. I used to eat Yoplait but don’t like it anymore because it is SO sugary! I am kinda picky about my yogurt, but I haven’t tried this kind yet 🙂

  30. Errign says:

    I also eat better if I am regularly exercising – the combination just makes me feel so much BETTER about my self & how healthy I am. 🙂

  31. I don’t tend to change how I eat too much on days I work out. I see the workouts as something I do to feel better and more energized and my food stays pretty consistent whether I move it or not.

    I do get hungry after long periods of cardio like hikes or long bike rides, so I fuel up after!

  32. I missed the chat last night..BOO..I’ll be there next week 🙂

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