When it comes to training whether it be cardio or strength training, timing and consumption of food is very important.

Do not train on a full stomach!

If you eat right before you train you may feel sick, and all that does is put extra stress on your body. While your stomach is already breaking down food. Your body is also breaking down muscle. So that doesn’t work out well for your body

Do not train on a completely empty stomach!

You body needs carbohydrates for energy. If there is nothing there, then the body will move to finding energy somewhere else. The next place the body will do is start converting proteins to glycogen for energy. Your muscles live on protein, and if you are using protein for energy you are starting your muscles. Starving muscles shrink, and the less muscle we have on our body, the slower our metabolism gets. So bottom line, do not train on a completely empty stomach, you will lack energy for your best most effective performance and sacrifice losing muscle as a result. Confused yet? So what can you do to optimize your workouts as well as create the goddess like lean sexy body you are looking for? The key is to have a light snack 1-2 hrs before your training session.

Pre Work Out Meal

To get the most out of your workout, eat a light snack about one hour before you exercise. This includes cardiovascular workouts (even ones that are done first thing in the morning).

This will give you some time to digest the food, and will give you the energy you need for your workout. If you are not putting your best out there when you are working out, because you lack energy, you are not going to get the results you are looking for. Remember you need to push your body in order to make progress. (sorry it is true, despite what the infomercial tells you – no pain, no gain my friend).

Before your workout, stick to low calorie complex carbs such as an apple, some berries, or even whole grain crackers with hummus. Once digested, these foods will supply carbohydrates for energy without a lot of calories. Avoid fat foods, or high protein foods like nuts and legumes this close to a workout, since they take longer to digest. Stay away from high calorie sugary foods like soda and candy, they may add too many calories to your daily diet, and you will end up with excess carbs in your system that will essentially store as fat.

Post Work Out Meal

It is wise to eat some complex carbs right after your workout as well, especially after weight training. Complex carbs help replenish your depleted glycogen stores that help with recovery. It is also wise to add some protein post workout that also aids with muscle recovery. Choose a snack such as a banana and some natural yogurt, a protein shake with some berries or even a small chicken breast with a small apple (sometimes I make a chicken apple salad and have it like that).

If you have hit a platue in weight loss, you can experiment with removing the complex carbs for a bit from your pre-work out and having a lean protein instead (like a protein shake). This will protect your muscle. This is just for a bit to kick start your weight loss again, but you should get back to the above suggestion within a week or two. Beware though you may find you lack energy.

Do not eliminate your complex carbs from your post work out snack even if you have hit a plateau. You may need to chance your training program or reevaluate your diet instead.