After a meal, much of your energy and blood flow is focused on digestion, so I wouldn't recommend exercising right after a meal. A light snack of fruit or cheese would probably be ok though. If you want to maximize fat loss during the workout, then don't eat anything several hours before hand that is high in sugar or refined carbohydrates since these will raise your bloodsugar and insulin levels. If your bloodsugar is high, then your body doesn't need fat for fuel. If your insulin level is high, then fat metabolism is effectively blocked.
The tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T H Huxley
It depends on what kind of working out you are doing and what your goal is. For aerobic activity, it's best to fast for an hour or so before... maybe have a small snack like carrots or hard boiled eggs (something with low carb content) so you're not hungry while you work out. That will help your body burn fat instead of carbs. Then eat something afterward... light, of course.
If you are lifting weights, you will want to eat somehting with a decent amount of carbs about an hour before hand so you have the energy and stamina to work hard, and eating something high in protein immediately afterward helps build the muscles (I found a protein shakes work best in this capacity. Easier to carry around than a lunchbox full of eggs, too).
Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins
I have actually been reducing my exercise (it was consuming disproportionate amounts of my time), but I have always found that a short jog or swim in the morning before eating anything at all really helps to jump-start my metabolism for the rest of the day. You will maybe find that afterward, you are not even hungry, but try to eat a little something, ok?
Then I like to do a late afternoon or evening workout as much time as I can fit in after dinner. Anyway, in the very least, I recommend the morning work-out route, because it will really help to get you going. You will notice more energy and you will feel warmer all day (it's the metabolism!) as well as being less hungry.
[This message has been edited by LilBear21 (edited 06-06-2001).]