Exercising is about fun, mental health and overall well-being – never just weight loss.
But, if dropping a few pounds to get to a healthy weight is one of your goals, then you might want to start setting an early alarm.
A new study by the University of Bath, has found that working out in the morning before having breakfast burns more fat than if you eat before you hit the gym.
Researchers took a small sample of 30 obese or overweight men and they found that those who exercised before breakfast burned twice the fat as men who ate breakfast before they worked out.
The logic of it is pretty simple; exercising with no fuel forces the body to turn to carbs that are already stored in the body, and when those are gone, it turns to the fat cells.
Additionally, not eating breakfast made the men’s muscles more responsive to insulin, which controls high blood sugars – so it also reduced the risk for diabetes and heart disease.
‘The group who exercised before breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin, which is all the more remarkable given that both exercise groups lost a similar amount of weight and both gained a similar amount of fitness,’ said exercise physiologist Javier Gonzalez, an associate professor in the department for health at the University of Bath.
‘The only difference was the timing of the food intake.’
So if your looking to burn some fat, it might be worth trying to exercise on an empty stomach – but make sure you have a balanced breakfast waiting for you when you finish.
Your body will need to take on carbs and protein in order to help your muscles recover. Eating a good meal after working out is vital for your long-term progress.
It’s also really important to make sure you’re well hydrated before exercising in the morning, and if you do choose to exercise without breakfast, opt for something a little more gentle.
Anything too high-intensity could leave you feeling dizzy and unwell, which won’t make for a great workout.
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