Non Diet Fitness – Principle 2 ‘Honour Your Hunger’

If you haven’t ever exercised without also embarking on a diet, this one can be tough.

Ignoring hunger, especially when you’re exercising can be really harmful. I keep a stash of protein bars in my locker because I can guarantee first time clients won’t have eaten much all day and genuinely run the risk of fainting during a session.

No judgement here – I used to do EXACTLY the same.

It isn’t funny that a few years ago, feeling close to passing out during or after exercise was a regular occurrence for me. It seems stupid to have to say out loud that you can’t expect your body to perform anything physical without it being adequately fuelled.

It is common while dieting to ‘ignore’ your hunger, instead of ‘honouring’ it. In fact, there are some completely harmful suggestions floating around the internet which are supposed to ‘help’ you ignore your hunger.

These include chewing gum, drinking coffee and eating high volume, low calorie foods like rice cakes. Let’s just remind ourselves that low calorie just means less nutrients and less energy and that rice cakes are little circles of sadness. Ignoring your hunger could be a sign that you’re eating habits are becoming disordered.

In order to exercise free from diet culture and enjoy all of the benefits of exercise, it’s pretty simple. You gotta eat. And sometimes you’ve got to eat even in the absence of physical hunger to top yourself up before a work out. This can be particularly relevant if you’ve eaten lunch 3-4 hours prior to heading the gym. You might just need that ‘top up’ to stop you from face planting the fridge once you get home.

Some of my favourite pre workout snacks are toast with jam (but let’s face it, my body composition is 7% toast & jam), yum yums from Gregg’s and pop tarts purchased from the nearby Poundland. I actually wouldn’t recommend having a protein shake before a workout, not only is the science regarding protein synthesis windows dramatically overrated but having something milky sloshing around in your tummy can make you feel pretty sick while you’re moving around.

Before you go, I just want to let you know that I provide my brain dumping emails and blogs for free with no marketing ploys like *buy my work out plans* or *join my squad* etc but if you find this free content useful and you want to support me, you can find the paypal link to buy me a coffee anywhere on the right side of this website. Think of it as my own personal tip jar. If you do want to work with me, head to the personal training tab of this website or get in touch via the contact tab.


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I’m Amy and I’m a personal trainer living in Norwich, UK.

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