I typically eat a big lunch around 1PM and work until about 6:30-7. I get home around 7:30, and after a few domestic errands, go work out. The problem is, by that time I am typically hungry yet I don't like to eat right before workout because of the weight in my stomach.

One workaround I have devised is to eat a snack of small volume yet large calories: a piece of chocolate or a fudge brownie. While it doesn't fill me up uncomfortably, it does give me the much needed energy boost.

I was wondering if this is a good idea and whether I should replace the chocolate or similar heavy items with perhaps something more nutritious but that has the same cal/weight ratio.

2 Answers 2


Your question doesn't sound like you are overweight and need to watch your calories.

In my opinion you could replace the brownie with some whole grain energy bar, replace the simple sugars with some more complex carbohydrates and maybe have some additional fibers, too.

But the question is if you should.
I think this is more a mental thing, the boost you may receive from the taste might be worth far more than something that you don't like but is healthier. Maybe you even work out harder because you ate such an evil treat.
So you should ask yourself if you want to optimize your nutrition to the last bit(e) or have some things left, because you simply like to.

Small example of myself: I love to stop at a gas station and get myself a coke when I am on a longer bike ride. This simply motivates me, gives a small sugar rush and it just feels great to pop up a can in the sun.


Should you switch to something less enjoyable but healthier? That depends on how much you enjoy it, and how integral to your habits this has become. If you find yourself "going to the gym so you can eat a brownie", then the brownie has probably become integral to your exercise as a reward for your workout habit. Exercising regularly is better for you than eating a few brownies a week, and changing habits is hard, so it's likely worth the tradeoff. Just make sure the brownies have natural ingredients: no partially hydrogenated oils, HFCS, etc. (Note: If you're trying to lose weight, you probably won't burn off as many calories in most workouts as the brownie.)

If you're just looking for calories for purely utilitarian reasons, and brownies are a convenient way of doing that, switching to something healthier is a good idea in theory, though it's difficult to find foods that dense in calories. According to NutritionData, a 60g brownie has 240 calories, which as many calories as if it were made of solid sugar! Brownies have more calories per gram than heavy cream, and almost as much as triple-cream brie. Plenty of "energy bars" are that high in calories, but they're frequently not very good (and the ones that are good are pretty much just candy bars anyway). If you're looking for that density of calories, you're going to need to eat something that's either very fatty or very dry (or both): potato chips, fatty cheese, candy bars, buttery pastries, etc. None of it is likely to be very good for you, so go with something you like. Personally, I go for the triple-cream brie, but to each his own...

  • it is really more about being energized and not hungry yet not bloated for the gym. that's all it is. it is not about indulging.
    – amphibient
    Jan 3, 2013 at 15:20

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