It’s an age old debate in the fitness and fat loss industry…
What is the best time to workout to maximize fat loss?
Early reports, there is an answer! (Maybe)
According to research from Northumbira University which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, exercising in the morning on an empty stomach (before breakfast) will burn 20% more body fat than exercising after a breakfast.
Here’s How The Study Went Down…
Twelve physically active male participants were asked to perform a treadmill exercise at 10am. Group 1 did this on an empty stomach and group 2 ate a breakfast.
Following the exercise, all the guys were given a recovery shake and then later in the day given a pasta lunch and asked to eat until comfortably full. “Their lunchtime consumption of energy and fat was assessed and calculated, taking into account the amount of energy and fat burned during the morning period.”
The first discovery was that exercise in the morning does not seem to cause an increase in calories eaten throughout the day.
The second discovery was that exercising on an empty stomach burned 20% more body fat compared to those who ate a breakfast and then exercised. That’s pretty big…
According to Javier Gonzalez who is not quite yet a PhD but participated in the study said,
“Exercise increases the total amount of energy we expend and a great proportion of this energy comes from existing fat if the exercise is performed after an overnight fast.”
What Does This Mean In The Real World – With You?
1. The Type of Exercise
I like what I’m hearing but I have to be concerned as they did not give any details about the type of treadmill workout performed.
I think this needs to be something you personally test and here’s how I’d do it.
Treadmill workouts are typically perfect for off day exercise. Using a high intensity interval workout on the treadmill, you need to only workout for 20 minutes. This is going to combine sprints and walking and the bunch.
You should be good to get this done before eating. However, listen to your body. If you want to do something like a circuit blast from Fit Women’s Weekly or Torched In 20… I don’t think that is a good idea. It’s too intense.
2. The Length of Exercise
They didn’t mention the length of exercise either. This is something to consider and it’s also why I recommend if you try this, you use HIIT treadmill workouts only a couple times a week.
3. Other Forms Of Training
I mentioned this above. I don’t think this would work if circuit style workouts like I typically do with my clients. They are too intense and on an empty stomach you’ll be pushed to the point of nausea.
I also know from experience that when I do weight training workouts (which can be metabolically active and great for burning fat when done correctly) I get light headed fast. These are something you should do after a meal to fuel up.
I think a good treadmill workout or even an intense yoga workout will be great for this. Yoga is good because the intense ones will cause you to hold positions which can be great for burning fat. Plus they are not so intense to cause any nausea or anything like that.
Burn More Fat… You Need To Find Out
Sounds pretty great to me. This is something I might create a workout around and test with my clients. The key word here is test.
You may not respond as well with this. Fat loss and being healthy is all about experimentation and finding out what works best for you. But I think for the goal of fat loss, this is a great way to hopefully increase the speed at which an inch or two will come off.
Let me know if you have any questions about this. Also make sure you sign up for my newsletter list below.