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Running on empty at the gym

annalisa0annalisa0 Posts: 4Member, Premium Member Posts: 4Member, Premium Member
I've been trying to find the right combination of carbs/proteins/fats to lose weight but to still do cross fit. I've tried not eating breakfast before the gym and barely made it (though once I did really well), this morning I had no carbs for breakfast and that didn't work either. I'm not doing a keto diet, but I think fewer carbs for me is the only thing that will help with weight loss. I exercise in the morning. Maybe I need to have my daily carbs in the morning? What works for you?


  • collectingbluescollectingblues Posts: 2,307Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,307Member, Premium Member
    Many people find that they need carbs to exercise effectively, and that low carb can hinder the process -- my dietitian even tells me to aim for 1 gm per pound of body fat at a *minimum*.

    Is there a reason you're cutting out carbs?
  • debrakgooginsdebrakgoogins Posts: 1,649Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,649Member, Premium Member
    annalisa0 wrote: »
    I'm not doing a keto diet, but I think fewer carbs for me is the only thing that will help with weight loss.

    Low carb isn't any better for weight loss than any other method. You can eat what you like, just be sure it fits into your goals.

    To answer your question, I can't eat a full meal before a morning workout but I do need fuel. I've tried all sort of things; smoothies, fruit, eggs, and deli meat to name a few. I find that a piece of whole wheat toast or an English Muffin with peanut butter is enough for me to not feel drained but also not so much food that it makes me get an upset stomach. You just have to experiment with different things and see what works for you. Don't discount the fuel you can get from carbs - if they work for you and they fit your calorie needs it's fine.
  • Cassandraw3Cassandraw3 Posts: 916Member, Premium Member Posts: 916Member, Premium Member
    Personally, if I workout in the morning, I do not eat before hand. But that is just what works for me. If you notice that your workout doesn't go as well if you don't eat or don't eat carbs, then eat the carbs for breakfast. Weight loss is all about maintaining a calorie deficit, so macro timing will not have a direct impact on weight loss.
  • tcunbelievertcunbeliever Posts: 6,600Member Member Posts: 6,600Member Member
    I do keto for migraine control, and it took me about 3 weeks for my workouts to pick back up to where it wasn't just a struggle to get through...I usually have extra salt, and that helps, but to some extent fasted training or low carb training just takes adaptation time.
  • Panini911Panini911 Posts: 1,620Member Member Posts: 1,620Member Member
    the only thing you need to lose weight is to eat in a calorie deficit. it doesn't matter what macro the calories are in. Media always makes one food or food group the villain but that's just BS.

    you can (and I have) lose weight and eat carbs.

    you may need a snack before bed and good overall calories to get thru a workout. make sure to eat back exercise calories. If i need something small before i work out that is when i go the smoothie route.
    edited January 11
  • GiddyupTimGiddyupTim Posts: 2,756Member Member Posts: 2,756Member Member
    Oatmeal is supposed to have advantages for breaking a fast. It has protein. It's carbs gets broken down and absorbed slowly so you don't get spikes in blood sugar.
    Maybe with a bit of brown sugar, since you are rushing off to Crossfit after eating, I assume.
    Then restrict your carbs the rest of the day?
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Posts: 639Member Member Posts: 639Member Member
    I clicked on this thread to come in and say I have carbs for breakfast before the gym, and have recently started bringing intra-workout carbs, and post workout glucose recovery carbs....probably not what you are looking for!

    I try and eat a protein and carb balanced breakfast before the gym. I take a glucose drink (I use 50/50 juice/water with a pinch of salt, but it's basically Gatorade) for during lifting, and then I have 100 calories of gummy bears post workout so I don't feel like collapsing in the shower.
  • urloved33urloved33 Posts: 3,361Member Member Posts: 3,361Member Member
    what works best for me is to go to the gym as early as possible...6ish am and eat after I work out.
  • born_of_fire74born_of_fire74 Posts: 752Member Member Posts: 752Member Member
    I drink a protein shake before I crossfit in the mornings. It works out to ~14g carbs and ~42g protein so not terribly carb heavy. *shrug* It seems to be what I need first thing.

    I've never tried a more carb heavy pre-workout snack as I tend to eat most of my carbs later in the day for whatever reason. I have tried working out fasted though. That was a terrible decision for me. I barely made it through the workout and had a hell of a time figuring out how to get my sweater on afterwards LOL.

    Don't be afraid to experiment a little bit to see what works best for you. As long as you stay under your calorie goal, you will lose weight.
  • RunnerGirl238RunnerGirl238 Posts: 288Member Member Posts: 288Member Member
    I have rethought my carbs. Also, I eat before runs that last longer than 3 miles. Under 3, no food. Weighs me down.

    Anyway, try a few dates or bites if banana. I feel way better eating those carbs before a run than toast or something
  • Katiebear_81Katiebear_81 Posts: 719Member, Premium Member Posts: 719Member, Premium Member
    Eating a big meal before bed will help you feel better/more fueled in the morning too. Carbs are nothing to be afraid of or to avoid unless you have a medical reason to do so.
  • keithwp99keithwp99 Posts: 64Member Member Posts: 64Member Member
    Eat a banana 30 mins before your work out.
  • Mike1804Mike1804 Posts: 114Member, Premium Member Posts: 114Member, Premium Member
    I’ve played around with my diet over the past couple years and there’s one thing I’ve learned... When I cut back on carbs I have a really hard time working out in the morning (mostly CrossFit, kettlebells, and rowing). I usually workout at 530a, so I have zero time to eat. I grab an 8oz glass of water and a cup of coffee on my way out the door to the gym. Since I’ve upped my carb intake (40%), I have a lot more energy and feel better all day. I’ve seen my best results when I balance my meals with carbs/protein/fat (40/30/30). Carbs aren’t the enemy... balance is key.
    edited January 12
  • kodiakkekodiakke Posts: 379Member Member Posts: 379Member Member
    I've done, and lost, weight on paleo... But it wasn't sustainable way of eating with my lifestyle. So I gained it back. Now I'm working on fitness as a way of life, and I have learned that I need carbs to fuel me, otherwise I gas out about 30 - 45 minutes in.

    But I'm also one of those that can't eat immediately after I wake up, so doing workouts in the morning is challenging. I either need to wake up at least an hour earlier than when I need to eat, or else making sure I eat my carbs the night before, and working out on an empty stomach.

    I'm still a newbie when it comes to all of this stuff, but these methods work for me.
  • Silent_SoliloquySilent_Soliloquy Posts: 237Member Member Posts: 237Member Member
    I went low carb for 3 months ... and had big deficits, and lost weight.

    But i have found when i fuel my body with carbs (oatmeal or such) i have much better workouts.

    So now i aim for 100 to 150 grams of carbs and my energy is great.

    For me, keto was great when i was 30% body fat... but after i lost 30 lbs, it just wasnt working to fuel my workouts anymore.
  • mengqiz86mengqiz86 Posts: 170Member, Premium Member Posts: 170Member, Premium Member
    I run 10-12 miles in a 12oz latte with 2% milk and a teaspoon of brownsigar. It works awesomely for morning runs.
  • neugebauer52neugebauer52 Posts: 669Member Member Posts: 669Member Member
    I have been logging all my food / drinks with MFP for over 300 days and I am starting to see a pattern emerging: 1) My initial objective of keeping carbs around 50 grams a day didn't work for a long time - after 300 days I am now consuming about 100 grams a day. 2) During holidays both - carbs and fats % go up, I consume more calories than I should. 3) In summer I consume fewer fats - I live in a very warm country and prefer salads, fruit and fish. 4) Winter can get cool here and during that time I want to increase carbs and fat. However overall I stick to the MFP calculated 1740 calories a day, to lose a total of about 80 kg (175 pounds) over time. My macros average is around 30 % carbs and 35 % each fats and protein - I am happy with this split and can live with that long term.
  • cmhubbard92cmhubbard92 Posts: 599Member Member Posts: 599Member Member
    Everyone is different with what they can or can't eat before a workout.

    I used to fast until after my workout, but my longer workouts weren't allowing me to continue like that. Now, I can only have a yogurt, coffee and some fresh fruit before my workout. Anything else messes with my stomach. Right after my workout I have three hard boiled eggs, and then I'm fine until my lunch break at work...

    Try different foods and see how it goes.
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