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Exercise Q&A: How to Tone Your Butt

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Q. Is it better to eat before exercising so you burn off the calories you've just taken in? Does eating afterwards slow your metabolism?
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A. It's best to eat before and after! Always have a light, nutrient-dense meal an hour or two pre-workout so you have sufficient energy to train. If the intensity is not there, you are not maximizing your fat-burning and muscle-building efforts. More intensity leads to greater fat loss. A post-workout meal is equally important since glycogen replenishment and muscle repair are chief concerns. Studies actually show that if you have the right foods after working out, your metabolism speeds up. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein with no fat is the best way to accomplish this. A wonderful book that discusses this in more detail is Dr. Susan Kleiner's Power Eating. I've had the most successful results following her eating plans and I know you will, too, if you give it a try!

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