When to eat

I had the following email in my Inbox this morning:

“When is the best time to eat? I don’t have a problem with eating, but I don’t know when the best time to eat. Like before a work out or after for the best results possible. Also when is the best time to work out? Early morning, late at night, mid-day, or just whenever fits your schedule? Let me know what you think.”

As I started my response, I realized this was something that I needed to share.

Here is my response:

WOW – this question has been the topic of MANY great debates actually.  LOL  You could ask 100 people and probably get different answers from everybody.

For me personally – there is no perfect time to eat really.  I do not eat before a workout, simply because I don’t want to puke.  Whether I’m running, doing TurboFire, Insanity or leading my own HIIT Training sessions I simply don’t want that food sitting in my stomach.  I also enjoy pushing my body to the MAX and by not eating pre-workout, I force my body to burn more fat as fuel.  Sometimes this can be brutal, depending on the distance I’m running.  When I’m running races, I’ll have a snack about 2 hours before the race, but that’s about it.  When you finish a workout, your metabolism is at its max, I try to eat within an hour of workout.  Typically my workouts are between 4:30-6:30AM – and I’ll have my Shakeology as my post workout meal.  Shakeology provides my body what I need to recover and get ready for the day.

As for the rest of my meals, I try to eat on a schedule so my metabolism will keep working FOR me.  As a recovering fat guy, I want to make sure that I do everything possible to keep my metabolism working in my favor.  I eat three meals a day and two snacks between those meals.  Now that I am in Marathon training I will be very careful to FUEL my body, NOT fill my body, there is a huge difference.

Best time to workout – early morning!  In my opinion, there is no better time or way to get your body going the right direction than an early morning workout.  Working out first thing does several things to the body 1. it cranks up your metabolism.  As I said before, it’s crucial to me to keep my metabolism moving.  Working out early gets this started in the right direction.  2. boosts your energy levels – those awesome endorphins will boost the energy and carry you a long way into the day.  Your body will burn more calories.  Lastly, I believe that most people will actually STICK with a fitness program when they do it in the morning hours.  It’s a challenge to get started and keep getting up early, BUT you will have FEWER distractions in the morning allowing you to develop a schedule that works for you.

Having said all that, I’m going to quote Greg McMillan, “You are an experiment of one”  What works for me or what works for the other 99 people you ask may not work exactly for you.  Take notes, journal your nutrition, be intentional about it and formulate what works for you.