Eating or working out first?

  • @ jr1964:

    I am in the same boat as you. I am not a dev, but I am a software test engineer, so I also sit in front of a computer most of the day.

    I turn 30 in July (one week after my first 12 wk challenge ends), and I am in the middle of week three. I have more energy, and I have lost about 6 pounds. I enjoy my job, but I know sitting all day at work isn't too good. That is one of the reasons why I started BFL.

    I read about if you weight train, your muscles will burn fat, etc., while sitting/resting. Have you noticed a difference with your workouts and sitting at a computer all day? I am only one week behind you, but I am still curious.

  • wryun,

    I honestly can't say about burning fat while sitting/resting, but I read the same. I did feel better and with more energy at first but I've felt kind of tired lately. I was checking the forums and I think my diet is low in carbs so I'm going to change a little bit there and see how it goes.

    I'm training on a Bowflex and I'm not sure I did the exercises correctly at first. It wasn't until the second week that I started noticing which muscles  I was exercising and making sure I did the routine correctly. I feel the first and a half weeks were learning curve and didn't get what I was supposed to get from the weights.  I'll let you know if I feel any changes in the next couple of weeks.

    I should've trained a couple of weeks before starting the challenge just to get the hang of things but, once I started, I rather finish and then do another than interrupt this one and begin from scratch. It's silly, but I feel like cheating if I do so.

    I've lost about 12#s so far. Very quickly the first two weeks but now is slowing down. I've noticed gradual increase in cardio resistance, not as much in weights.

  • I think everyone is different. Why don't you try one way for one week and one way for the next and see which way makes you feel better. Sometimes I get so caught up in how to do it, I end up doing nothing or spend too much time agonizing over it. Melissa

  • mac,

    Obviously anyone can do it anyway they want, but just one week isnt going to show any great results.  I still stick with, at least for one challenge cycle, 12 weeks, do it by the book.  Eat clean, hit your 9's and 10's and see what happens. THEN if it doesnt seem to be working for you, re-evaluate and see if BFL is the right program for what you need to accomplish.  

    I'm not saying BFL is the only way, because it's not!  BUT if you are on the BFL site, wanting to do the BFL program, well, do the BFL program :)

  • Since the computer geeks are chiming in...

    I too am a systems analyst who works at a computer all day.  (C#.NET, etc).  I'm 47 and in the middle of my 2nd personal challenge with BFL.  It WORKS.  I followed BFL by the book for the first challenge and lost 20# and about 8% body fat.  When I first started my HIIT, I had to hold on to the treadmill for most of the routine.  At that time, 5mph was my 10.  Now, I'm running almost the entire routine and peaking out at 7mph sustained.  I'm into this program.  I bought a heart rate monitor off ebay "just to see".  Turns out, I'm ready to step it up on my HIIT even more as my heart rate is staying below 85%.  Further proof was my latest EKG - sinus bradycardia!  (That's a slow heart rate).  This, from a guy who has been on blood pressure medication for almost 10 years.

    You young folks are at a distinct advantage at this point in your lives.  Hit 9's strive for 10's and your bodies will reward you.  Keep it up!  If you ain't losing weight, count calories for a week to make sure your portions are correct.  But hit those 9's and 10's!

    Best of luck to you all - YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!  Just stick with the program.

  • For crying out loud, you need energy to do HIIT.  I tried working out in the AM on an empty stomach.  Good luck with that if you want to pass out and fly off the treadmill.   It doesn't matter when you do the cardio......

  • dburg30,  Obviously the original question was asking for people's suggetions and when to eat and do cardio. One week may not show results,  but you should get an idea of how you feel as far as energy and being able to get to your 10 on an empty stomach.

  • Highplainsdrifter -

    I would say HALF of BFL'ers do their HIIT first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.  Unless you have been diagnosed as hypoglycemic (or conversely, are diabetic), it really is the best time to do it if you want to burn the most fat.   As long as you are in a fasted state (at least 3 hrs since your last meal), then I would agree with your comment that it doesn't matter when you do your cardio.

    Laurie, 2010 Body-for-Life Champion 46+

    Never underestimate your power to change.

  • I would like to ask a question. BFL is based upon eating frequent meals every 2-3 hours. This keeps your metabolism ramped up. This is undisputed. Why would we sleep for 8 hours, wake up and do cardio, then wait another hour to eat? This goes against everything we did all day to eat frequently. Would it not slow our metabolism down more by not feeding it? I did fasted cardio through 2 challenges and had good results. But I seemed to stall on bf% dropping after a while. I started eating right upon waking, then doing cardio recently and have lost down to 12% bf with no problems. I think I have maintained and possibly gained some muscle mass along the way. I am not saying either is better, but it is not mandatory in bfl to do fasted cardio. Whatever works for each individual is what they should do. Results will come if you eat clean and have consistent workouts. Any comments would be welcome.

  • If you have food in your system, your cardio will burn that off before getting to the fat stores.  If you're eating 42 meals a week, the 3 meals that are affected by cardio really don't have that much impact.  In my opinion, that's one more reason to do cardio first thing in the morning.  It actually interferes less with your food schedule.  So if I workout at 5 am; done at 5:20, I can eat at 6:20 (I actually never eat til 8 am anyway).  If I workout at 6 pm however, I have to eat at 3 pm, workout from 6-6:20, then not eat til 7:20.  It is much more difficult to get the timing down.

    Having said all that, I still do most of my workouts in the evening.  However, Challenges 1 and 2 I did my cardio in the rmorning and lost 50 pounds.

    Cuervo - I suspect you had reached a plateau.  The change in your routine has probably busted through it.  Congratulations.

    Laurie, 2010 Body-for-Life Champion 46+

    Never underestimate your power to change.

  • I just finished my fourth week with mixed results. Prior to that I was doing cardio six times a week (HIIT), weights three times a week and eating 6 times daily. I did my workouts in the afternoon and I never waited three hours without eating before exercising. My weight loss progress had been acceptable until then (12#s in three weeks) but I was feeling tired and my body ached all the time.

    I was having three shakes daily but I noticed that, because of the type of shake, I wasn't consuming enough carbs. So I adjusted my diet accordingly adding some carbs to the shakes and replacing some of them with other snacks that had balanced carbs and protein.

    I also started doing my exercises in the morning before eating and instead of six sessions of cardio I switched it to three as it's indicated in the program.

    I barely loss any weight this week. I followed the diet and did my workouts according to plan but somehow I wasn't able to progress as well as before. Since I started working out in the mornings I've felt better during the day although I found it more difficult to do my weights and I'm not sure if I was as effective as before. No problem with HIIT though. No tiredness or body aching during the day.

    Since my main goal is fat loss, I rather feel a bit of pain and lose weight. At least for now. So this week I'm going back to my six cardio sessions. I'll keep the changes to the diet and do my cardio in the mornings on a fasted state but I'll do the weights in the afternoon. Let's see how this week works out.