In certain cities, blizzards incapacitate citizens…in West Michigan, half the city was at the health club I work at while the snow continued to fall [thanks to those lovely NY resolutions]. I hope this means they’ll want nutrition counseling, too.
While we’re on the topic of gym-ming, I want to revisit the whole eating breakfast before exercising debate. I briefly mentioned this in an earlier post, asking you about your pre-workout eating routine.
Some of you may have seen this article in the New York Times by Gretchen Reynolds. While the article was carefully crafted, many people drew the conclusion that skipping breakfast before exercising was the best way to go (as evidenced by the article’s comment section).
After reading the actual study, here’s what I found interesting:
- the number of study participants was small (n=28); they were also regular, healthy exercisers vs. obese individuals (who are also often insulin resistant).
- the workouts implemented in the study were pretty intense: 60 minutes x 2 days/week + 90 minutes x 2 days/week of cycling and running; again, not something in which the casual exerciser could likely engage.
- all 3 groups gained weight while consuming a high calorie (>30% caloric needs) and high fat diet (50% total calories), regardless of whether they exercised or not.
- Good things: insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance were improved in the group that fasted before working out but not the breakfast before exercise group. However, both of these things should be fine if you’re healthy.
Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to eat a healthful diet and engage in regular, moderate exercise (let’s be honest…most people probably don’t run or bike for an hour at a time)? I doubt that eating breakfast before exercising will cause weight gain if one is not consuming excess calories. In addition, having low blood sugar before beginning a workout may lead to a pretty sub-par workout.
In all, I think that the breakfast thing is personal. If you can complete your morning workout sans breakfast without going into hypoglycemia, then kudos to you. If you can’t, I wouldn’t worry about turning into a donut anytime soon.
Day 9: Send a snail mail thank you…
Although email is incredibly convenient, there is nothing like getting a handwritten note via the good ole postal system...I still keep a collection of letters from friends that are always nice to return to after a rough day.
Thoughts on this post are welcome, as always!