Pre-Workout Problem: To Eat or Not to Eat?

By far, one of the longest standing debates in the health and fitness world is whether to eat before a workout, after a workout, or both! Because it is also one of Chris’ and my most frequently asked viewer questions, we thought we’d settle the debate once and for all… to eat or not to eat? View the video below for our stance, and some helpful hints for fueling your workout!

Okay, so we didn’t exactly?squash the debate, but it truly is a matter of personal preference and opinion. Find what works for you and stick with it. What works for me, doesn’t necessarily fit the bill with Chris, and might not for you, either. Experiment with your eating before and after a workout and discover what feels natural for you!



Related post:

To Eat or Not to Eat…Before Exercise?

37 Responses

  1. Heidi and Chris, I don’t eat a lot at all. Most meal plans are a lot more than I eat on a daily basis. What’s the best way to alter my meals/snacks if I only consume half of what is recommended?

    1. It’s hard to answer this question without knowing exactly what you’re eating. If you’re interested, Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program is awesome! It can work if you want to lose weight or maintain your weight. You can find it in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” And here are the nutrition basics:

  2. Heidi,
    Thank you so much for bringing me here. I’m so dang tired of living like this. I’ve been a prisoner of this body far to long. I’m tired of hiding in my home so the world won’t see my failure. I’m still a young woman ( 41 ) and I want to live !
    A lot of childhood issues have drove me to this ugly place but I want to let it go and forgive myself. Ugh !
    Anyways… Thanks again, I appreciate you more than you know !

  3. Can you please put Close Caption on your videos so i can understand what you are talking about which its important for me to understand even other deaf people too.

    Thank you…

    1. I just double checked, and that option is available on some of the videos. I’ll check with our technology team and make sure they try and make close captioning available on all videos. Thank you!

  4. I want to start working out.I need to lose 50 to 80 pds. I feel awful very low self esteem.I was terminated from my job in Sept I was there 15 years im 50 and have to start over.I’ve been really depressed and have gained 25 pds. in 3 months.I put in applications everywhere now my computer has died and my child does home school on line so add that to more depression. I know there are people worse off then me.I was denied unemployment no insurance bla bla bla.I want to feel good about me again.So could you send some exercises I could start doing.I walked a mile today just because its nice outside on crappy days I can’t. So some inside floor exercise would be great.Heidi and Chris you two are awesome thank you..Sandi

    1. Hi Sandi: We’re so sorry to hear about all you’ve been going through lately. Here’s a great idea that can help you get started on your transformation journey today: Check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn all about it here: There are some awesome links within this post that will help you understand what to eat and how to exercise – even within your home. You can do this!

    1. They stick to the low carb meal guidelines (unless it’s breakfast) and eat a protein and healthy fat. Some people prefer to eat 1/2 before and 1/2 after, but do what works best for you.

  5. When I workout, I try to make sure I have something in my stomach beforehand and I eat some protein right after, like almonds or peanut butter. Or I workout right before lunch and eat my meal after. Sometimes, like Heidi, if I work out too soon after I eat something, I feel nauseated. However, no matter what I eat or when I work out, I make sure I am well-hydrated!

  6. Any advice or thoughts on waiting an hour after waking to eat? I take a thyroid med that requires an empty tummy and wait an hour til first meal. Thanks!

    1. If that’s what your medication requires, then that’s the best thing to do. You will still be fine waiting an hour to eat.

  7. When I do my lunch hour workout I do like you suggested in your video, I eat half of my lunch before I work out and the other half after. When I go for my Monday night boot camp workout I have to eat a few hours before the class or I feel sick to my stomach. I have stomach issues so I can’t eat food to close to when I go to sleep so nothing after the boot camp workout.

  8. I’m a crossfitters and working on some Olympic lifting for my schedule I have to work out at the end of the day and I usually spend 5 days a week doing this I however have been stuck at the same weight for months and I loose and gain 5 lbs over and over it’s supper frustrating… I also am a plant based athlete I eat a very vegetarian/vegan diet and typically I try and eat as clean as I can however I cannot lose weight… I weigh 173#s and I’m 5’2 so I know that is clearly over weight… I just don’t know if I’m eating enuff or eating 2 much I typically eat about 1000 calories a day maybe 1500 but I’m just not sure what to do anymore I want to get stronger but I also want to get to a healthy weight…. I have some health issues associated with this weight it’s called pcos and I gain weight easily but loosing is hard….. Even with how active I am… I’m at a loss and don’t know what to do…. Can u recommend just something for me??? Thanks for ur time!!! I love u guys and watch all I can from the both of u!!!

    1. Hi Stacy: Check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn all about the nutrition basics here: There are some vegan options, and Chris and Heidi have had clients with PCOS who have had success following their program. You might discuss their program with your healthcare team so they can help you make any necessary modifications. Happy carb cycling! 🙂

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