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When it comes to that perfect body shape/size, we all want the easiest way out. If it takes exercising on an empty stomach, then so be it! But is this really the trick?
Well, we actually need some nourishment before we exercise, because it gives us more energy, leading to more intense workouts. Health experts say that eating the right kind of food before you exercise can improve performance.
According to Destiny Connect, when you start eating a meal, your body goes into what is called the fed state. This is the state when your body is digesting and absorbing food and it usually lasts for about four to six hours. Your body will usually go into a fasted state about six hours after your last meal. In this state, it’s much easier for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are low.
The Telegraph reports that consuming carbs before exercise can increase performance in certain fields like sprinting and sports that use power movements, but it also stops the body from using stored body fat for energy, which means you are less likely to reap the reported fat burning benefits.
The theory behind exercising with an empty stomach is that when you squeeze in a morning cardio session before breakfast, your body burns fat faster.
An online publication reports that a study followed 12 active males who ran either after breakfast or while they were still fasting from the night before. The guys who hadn’t broken their fast, i.e. hadn’t had breakfast, burned up to 20 percent more body fat during the same workouts.
What’s especially interesting is that the men who skipped breakfast didn’t overeat later or try to otherwise “make up” for the early AM calories they missed out on. So, getting a head start on your workout pre-breakfast could help you lose more fat without causing you to sneak in extra calories later.
However, for every study that says burning fat happens more easily when you exercise before eating, there’s another one that says the opposite. An International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism study found that a pre-workout snack or light meal actually helps burn body fat better.
And a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found no difference in weight loss between women who ate a meal-replacement shake before exercising and those who got straight into their workouts without eating.
Therefore, working out on an empty stomach might not be the best idea for everyone.
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