Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Burn the Most Fat: Exercise in a Fasted State!

If you're looking to burn the most fat, try exercising first thing in the morning without eating.

In grad school I did a lot of research on exercise and energy metabolism, and learned that for the most fat burn, it is best to exercise on an empty stomach. Yet another recent study out of the UK confirms this school of thought (2). This study followed 12 physically active men and found that the men burned 20% more calories from fat in a fasted state compared to when they ate breakfast. Furthermore, they did not overcompensate by eating more calories later in the day nor had an increased appetite compared to when they ate prior to exercise. One of the researchers was quoted as saying: "Our results show that exercise does not increase your appetite, hunger or food consumption later in the day and to get the most out of your session it may be optimal to perform this after an overnight fast” (1).

My recommendations:  I am hesitant to recommend exercising without eating to people who have never tried for fear they might faint. If weight loss and fat burning is your main motivation for exercising, you may want to try working out first thing in the morning. However, I advise you to bring a glucose-containing drink or piece of fruit with you in case you start to feel light headed. Some people may also find that they have no energy when working out hungry which could negate the benefit of increased fat burning. If you have less energy, your workout will be weaker, so you will end up burning fewer calories than if you had eaten (and therefore, fewer calories from fat). 

Furthermore, I never recommend exercising without eating first for diabetics or those with blood-sugar issues. For those athletes who are most concerned about getting a good workout in- as opposed to just burning calories and fat- always eat or consume something with glucose before a workout to get the most out of it. Personally, I would rather have enough energy and a good workout than be feeling hungry and tired when I'm exercising. If I'm exercising early in the morning, I am always sure to eat at least a piece of fruit like a banana beforehand (see post below on the benefits of bananas!), but usually also coffee made with a protein-containing milk (soy or cow) and a hearty meal containing carbs and protein afterwards. 

Product Shout out!: This past weekend I gave out CLICK espresso protein drink samples at our open house. For most of my clients, I do not advocate the need for protein shakes and would rather have them make their own. However, this stuff is delicious and is a quick and convenient way to get in caffeine, some carbs, and protein before an early-morning workout when time to prepare food is limited. So, if you are looking for a good pre-workout protein drink, I recommend this product. I tried the vanilla latte flavor before I did kettlebell and spinning on two different days and had an amazing workouts both times- tons of energy and felt great! Another benefit is CLICK is a milk-based protein (casein) so it can actually be heated and not chunk up like whey protein based supplements.

Note: I do not receive any monetary compensation from CLICK, and this is an actual recommendation based on my experience with the product.

1. Northumbria University. "Lose fat faster before breakfast." ScienceDaily, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.

2. Javier T. Gonzalez, Rachel C. Veasey, Penny L. S. Rumbold, Emma J. Stevenson. Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males. British Journal of Nutrition, 2013


Milliscent Morgan said...

Fats! You will have a healthy body by doing some exercise same as eating healthy foods, so better to stock a helpful foods on your pantry doors.

Emily Bandy said...

Hi, I've been trying to lose weight a few days now but im confused where or how to start. I've gained weight because of being lazy and most of my friends tease me about it. I love to eat but i also want to be physically fit and healthy, I just want to thank you for this post. you just gave me ideas on how to start my weight loss plan.

Emily Bandy
Author of best weight loss supplement for women website

Weight loss Plans for Men said...

I am so inspired to read about your post which is so unique and informative. These are really most successful weight loss techniques and I will must try your tips practically.

Jennifer Lawrance said...

Hi to everybody, here everyone is sharing such knowledge, so it’s fastidious to see this site, and I used to visit this blog daily.
garcinia cambogia extract