Many people give up on their fitness goals because it is confusing, time-consuming, and advice from a hundred different people makes it mythical. How about I break down the jargon for you and tell you five things that make workout more effective and result-oriented? Science, my friend, is going to be the basis of this blog post. Let’s get on it!
Should I Exercise on an Empty Stomach?
The answer is simple if you ask science. If you are going to do heavy exercising like running, swimming, and heavy weight lifting, your body will need energy. Hence, eating before exercising is the right thing to do. However, if you plan on doing light exercises, like pace walking, a little yoga, or a short walk with your dog, then going empty stomach is as good as working out on a full stomach.
However, if you are overweight (or obese), studies prove that working out on an empty stomach is better. It is essential to understand how does this works. When you are on an empty stomach and trying to push yourself, the body first starts consuming glycogen from the liver. Once that supply runs down, the body then starts burning fat. Being on an empty stomach ensures that the body switches to fat-burning mode quickly.
Finally, if you are a healthy person, it doesn’t matter whether you work out on an empty stomach or a full stomach.
Are All Carbohydrates Bad?
Carbohydrates aren’t as bad as you think. In fact, as per Mayo Clinic, as much as 60% of your total daily calorie should come from carbohydrates. This is even more true for people who indulge in regular workouts.
But the catch here is to include the right kind of carbs in your diet. Simple carbs found in sweets are not the ones that you should be relying on. Instead, go for complex carbs found in fruits, whole grains, beans, and vegetables. Complex carbs are better because they provide a more reliable energy source for a longer duration (making you feel fuller for a more extended period).
Also, such carbs are filled with several other nutrients like minerals and vitamins that contribute to a balanced diet.
Do I Need to Stop Consuming Food with Calories?
It is essential to reduce calorie intake if you are trying to lose weight. But the same calories also supply the energy for workouts. So, while you need to decrease the calorie intake, you still need to maintain a healthy calorie intake. As per the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the minimum calorie intake for women is 1200 to 1500 calories, and that for men is 1500 to 1800 calories. These numbers are essential even if you are trying to cut down on your weight.
However, if you are not overweight and still exercising a lot, you might need to consume more calories than the above-recommended value. The best person to tell you about the minimum calorie that you need is your dietician or doctor. For a quick review of your calorie intake, you may also use the calorie calculator. While using the calculator, keep in mind the kind of workouts that you perform on a daily/weekly basis.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to achieve a ‘healthy’ zero-calorie diet since that situation will soon become a nightmare for your body.
Should I Let My Experience Dominate My Workouts?
More than your experience, your goals should dominate your workout routine. A marathon runner requires a different kind of training than an Olympic swimmer. Similarly, people trying to lose weight have different needs than people trying to maintain their body mass. Also, lifestyle and habits should dominate your fitness routine. A person who spends a lot of time on a computer needs fewer calories than a person who moves a lot at the workplace, like a door-to-door salesperson. There is nothing like one-size-fits-all when it comes to fitness.
For starters, try maintaining a journal of your activities and the food you eat. Once you have some data, analyze it, and cut down on the unhealthy habits. As we discussed a while earlier, aim for the calorie intake and throw in some hours of exercising. As per some studies, 150 minutes of weekly exercise is enough for most people. Try to achieve these targets.
Remember, if your goals are easy to achieve, they are not good enough. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so won’t be your fitness. Give yourself time, be patient, and stay committed to your workout routine.