Exercising Before Breakfast Burns More Fat, Study Says

Weight loss is a process that we all need to follow in life, some more and some less. In order to be more effective there are ways that can trigger more fat burning and one of them is exercising prior breakfast.

Many people have wondered what would be the best solution, to practice prior breakfast or first to have breakfast and thus obtain all the needed nutrients for the performance of the workout. This has been solved by a conducted study that revealed that people who started their workout prior breakfast lost more fat than the others who decided first to have breakfast and then exercise.

In this study participated 30 obese or overweight men divided in two groups, the first exercised prior breakfast and the second one after having their first meal. The results showed that the first group showed double the amount of weight loss than the second group. The reason for that is that when exercising without fuel (food) it forces the body to use the stored carbs, and once they are spent it uses fat cells for the needed energy.

Although the group who ate its breakfast and then started exercising did not lose significant amount of weight in the 6-week period, it still showed “profound and positive” effects on the overall health when fasting.

Researchers have confirmed that non-having breakfast before exercising made the men’s muscles more responsive to insulin thus regulating high blood sugars and that lowers the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Javier Gonzalez, an exercise physiologist and an associate professor in the department for health at the University of Bath, stated the following, quote:

“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.”

Gonzalez participated in another similar study at the University of Bath in 2017 where 10 people were involved in the analyses and the results were almost the same. As a result of the lower blood sugar levels after fasting, the men managed to burn more fat. But, in this study the participants burned more calories when they first consumed their breakfast.

There have been similar studies in the past regarding this issue like the 2010 study that involved  a group of 28 healthy, physically active men. They were divided in three groups: the first one did not follow any physical activity; the other two exercised four times a week with the only difference, one of the groups ate before exercise and the other after.

Naturally, the first group gained weight, the second one also gained weight but not to that extent as the first group, and the third one that exercised on an empty stomach and only drank water has managed to maintain the weight of its participants who lost fat, and kept their blood sugars in an optimal level.

There should be more study groups on finding the right method for losing weight, but up to now the results have showed that it is better to skip breakfast and start exercising and thus improve your overall health.

Here are some tips on exercising on an empty stomach recommended by the US Figure Skating Association. These tips will help in maintaining muscle tissue and protecting it from breaking down:

  • Always follow the 4 R’s of recovery: Rehydrate, Replenish, Repair and Reinforce.
  • The recovery is achieved by drinking plenty of water or sports drinks.
  • After your workout in about 15 to 30 minutes, consume a meal high in protein in a ratio 4:1 to carb.
  • Recommended food choices would be a banana with peanut butter, trail mix, fruit and low-fat Greek yogurt.