Should I Work Out On An Empty Stomach?
Working out on an empty stomach, or ‘fasted cardio’, may work for some people, but it isn’t for everyone.
Fasted cardio is sometimes recommended to improve fat oxidation (fat-burning), encouraging your body to rely on stored energy, rather than energy from recently digested food, as fuel.
When there is less energy available in the bloodstream from a recent meal, your body may burn more fat during exercise.
If your blood glucose and glycogen are completely depleted then this can sometimes result in muscle tissue being used up for energy.
This is something we DO NOT want, as muscle is what gives you definition, shape and tone! Usually, if you were at this stage, you wouldn’t be feeling that great either.
If you are doing a high-intensity workout, it can help to have a light snack first. Having a snack before you exercise can also mean you’ll be less likely to overeat after your workout!
If you are a night owl who prefers to train after dinner, allow a couple of hours for digestion, or break your evening meal into two smaller meals, before and after your workout.
Fat is stored in special tissue called adipose tissue, in various locations throughout the body. In order for fat to be burned (i.e. used for energy), it must first be released from the adipose tissue.
This means that to effectively burn fat during fasted cardio, there needs to be plenty of oxygen available.
What type of exercise is best on an empty stomach?
Something you should be aware of is that if you’ve eaten a large meal before your workout, a portion of your blood is potentially being diverted away from your working muscles to the digestive system to help process your food.
As a result of this, there is less oxygen available to your muscles. You might feel sluggish and your body’s fat-burning capacity could be reduced.
Do you prefer to have a snack first or workout on an empty stomach? Let me know in the comments below!
Why is it important to recover after a workout?
When you work out you put your body under stress. During recovery, muscle tissue is repaired. This process can take 24-48 hours, which is why we work out different parts of the body on different days!
1️⃣Warm up and cool down.
Stretching prior to your workout can help improve flexibility, as well as slowly increase your heart rate and blood flow.
Likewise, stretching and foam rolling at the end of your workout can help to reduce muscle soreness, making it easier to get into your next training session.
If you become dehydrated, you may not recover from a workout as quickly and you are more likely to get cramps or muscle spasms.
If you enjoy the taste, coconut water also contains natural electrolytes.
3️⃣Get plenty of sleep.
During sleep, your body produces hormones that help with tissue repair. Aim for seven to nine hours each night — try to get to bed at the same time each night to get enough sleep for recovery.
Low levels of magnesium in the body can cause muscle tension, cramping and spasms. In addition, magnesium is great for sleep — which means it helps you recover in more ways than one.
5️⃣Run a bath.
Taking a bath can help you to relax. A warm bath will increase blood flow throughout your body to aid recovery. A bath is most beneficial on a rest day, rather than straight after a hard training session!
6️⃣Make time for active recovery.
Taking a walk, going for a gentle bike ride or a swim can help to improve circulation.
Improved blood flow can promote recovery by allowing more nutrients to get to the muscles and efficient removal of waste products that contribute to muscle soreness.
7️⃣Stretch every day.
Stretching can help you to wind down at the end of the day and assist with better sleep. Foam rolling regularly can also help reduce muscle imbalance, which may restrict your movement in future workouts.
8️⃣Think about what you eat.
A balanced eating plan should have carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats to support your training and recovery.
You can find plenty of healthy eating inspiration on my blog.
Are carbs evil?
Try to avoid refined sugar as this type of carbohydrate doesn’t contain any essential nutrients or fibre. It’s very easy to overeat foods containing lots of refined sugar and this can lead to excess carbohydrates being stored as fat.
Unrefined carbohydrates are much healthier for you than refined carbohydrates as they are absorbed much slower. The energy you get from unrefined carbohydrates is released slowly throughout the day.
Complex carbs also come with fibre and micronutrients that are important to your overall health.
What carbs should I be eating?
The best type of carbohydrates to consume are high fibre, complex carbohydrates because these give you long-lasting energy and fill you up for longer. They’re also amazing for keeping your gut in check.
Here are some examples of complex carbohydrates:
Wholemeal bread and cereals — I personally love rye bread! (You can even make it into French toast)
Wholegrains such as quinoa, brown rice, whole oats or spelt pasta
Vegetables like sweet potato and beetroot
Whole fresh fruits like apples, berries, and bananas
Legumes like chickpeas and kidney beans
If you’re wondering how you can include good carbs in your meals, my recipes have lots of healthy ideas for you to try.
What Should You Eat (And Avoid) On Your Period?
Some women get through their period with hardly any symptoms, while others can struggle with menstrual cramps, pains, headaches and even nausea.
Here are some small changes you can make to your diet during your period that can help to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
🥦Spinach and broccoli are high in iron, rich and fibre, and high in magnesium. You can steam them, use them in a stir fry, make a salad, soup or green smoothie. Replacing iron by eating greens can also help you to feel less fatigued, and the high vitamin C content will help iron to be absorbed into the body.
🍣Salmon is rich in vitamin b12 and Omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce cramping pains. If you are vegetarian or just don’t like fish, other options include walnuts, flaxseeds or avocado.
🍞Whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, as well as important B and E vitamins. Plus, whole grains will keep you full for longer.
🍌Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6 and other vitamins, plus they are high in fibre which can help with your digestive system.
🍳Eggs are so healthy — the yolk contains iron, fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and protein. However, hard-boiled eggs may contribute to gas and bloating for those with sensitive stomachs.
☕Chamomile tea is a calming tea that you can have at any time of day to relax your nervous system and aid with digestion.
📛What foods to avoid on your period?
❌Caffeine can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, which can make PMS symptoms worse. If you are a regular coffee drinker, consider switching for some coffee substitutes during that week of the month.
❌Salt can increase water retention in your body and may contribute to bloating. Avoid salty and highly processed foods and choose easy healthy snacks instead.
❌Foods that are high in sugar or high in unhealthy fats can affect your natural hormone balance. If you are craving something sweet, try eating fruit or try a healthy dessert like this chocolate mug cake.
What are your solutions for these days?
7 Ways To Improve Your Workout.
Following these easy tips may not only help to improve your workouts, but in the long run can improve your results for a stronger, fitter and more confident body.
1. Play music
It’s really important that you pick music that you like and makes you want to work HARD! I would encourage you to remove any slow or sad songs that aren't going to motivate you during your workout.
2. Watch your form.
Completing exercises slowly and correctly certainly can get you better results than rushing through your workouts with bad form. Focus on getting the basics down pat and I promise you, the results will speak for themselves.
Using a mirror when working out is a good idea if you’re working out in the gym or at home as it allows you to see your body in motion and make corrections as you need.
3. Make sure you are properly hydrated.
If you haven't drunk enough water during the day you may start to feel tired, which might affect the amount and quality of the reps that you are able to complete. Carrg a water bottle in your bag so you have constant access to it.
4. Always warm up.
A proper warm up gives your brain and muscles a chance to wake up, which can help your body to work more efficiently when it comes time to bust out those burpees! Warm up exercises also help to reduce the chance of injury.
5. Foam roll.
Not only do foam roller exercises help to improve flexibility and relieve sore muscles, but it can also help improve overall muscle condition. So spending a few minutes rolling out your muscles as part of your recovery can actually help you get more out of each workout!
6. Start with your weakest exercise first.
If there are exercises that you know you don't like doing or you struggle to complete with correct form, focus on these first. You can then move on to the exercises you love doing and are more comfortable with.
7. Choose compound exercises.
Make the most of your workout by choosing compound exercises that use a number of large muscles groups. Exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lunges are great because they work multiple areas of your body and burn more calories
Did you know that being healthy is about looking after your wellbeing — both mentally and physically? These two basically go hand in hand in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle!
⚜️Accept yourself for who you are.
Many people struggle with low self-esteem and self-worth. It can be hard to love ourselves when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. If you focus on being the best version of you, you will feel so much happier as you aren't constantly comparing yourself to others.
⚜️Surround yourself with positive people.
Take the time out of your busy schedule to socialise with your friends, go out and try new things and have fun! Feeling appreciated, loved and laughing helps to keep your mental health in check. Having positive people surrounding you also encourages to strive towards your goals and be the best version of you possible.
⚜️Talk about your feelings.
Many of us keep a lot of our feelings in, whether that be sadness, anger or disappointment.
However talking about what we are feeling can help to process our thoughts and feelings, and move on from them.
⚜️Review your life regularly.
Sitting down every few months to track what we are doing in life can be really helpful to see where we are making good progress and areas that we can improve. This helps us to be real with ourselves and maybe adjust our paths if what we are doing is not working.
⚜️Focus on what you can control.
Many of us spend a lot of time worrying about things we can’t control, ultimately all this does is stress us out and make us feel anxious. Remember there is always going to be something in life you won’t have complete control over, and that is just part of growing up and understanding what you should and should not focus on.
⚜️Use failure to encourage success.
It can be hard failing at something and we may instinctively want to give up, however, it is important to remember each time we fail at something it teaches us a lesson. Remember, changes don’t happen overnight. Start small by replacing a bad habit for a healthier one.