How training on an empty stomach affects your fat burning

If you don’t eat all night, your blood sugar will be low in the morning. Training is said to burn more fat. But does exercising when you’re hungry actually help you burn more fat?

Not necessarily. The problem with this is that just because the body is now using more fat for fuel doesn’t mean it’s actually burning more body fat. Fat burning is more about total calorie consumption, not just the type of energy your body uses to exercise.

This is what happens when you train on an empty stomach

A study from the Strength and Conditioning Journal showed that calorie expenditure during cardio exercise is the same whether you’ve eaten or not.

In fact, study author Brad Schoenfeld points out that fasting exercise affects protein stores, reducing protein stores by up to 10.4%.1 For those trying to build muscle, that’s a big loss.

According to Schoenfeld, the general rule is: If you burn more carbohydrates during training, you will inevitably burn more fat after training and vice versa.

Finally, if you skip a meal or snack, you may not be able to train as long or as hard because you are hungry. This means you end up burning fewer calories than if you had eaten and exercised harder.

Eating before a workout benefits

Everyone should find a system that works for them. You may be able to do cardio in the morning without a meal, but with strength training you may need more energy to really challenge your muscles. There are a few benefits of eating before a workout:

  • You avoid low blood sugar levels, which can cause dizziness or nausea
  • You improve regeneration and strength gains
  • Your workout is more fun (because you don’t think about food all the time)
  • You manage to endure longer, more intensive training sessions2
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The best answer is to do what works for you. Don’t starve just because you think you’ll burn more fat. Because what counts in the end is: How much fat do you still burn if you shorten your training or reduce the intensity because you don’t have enough energy? You may need to experiment a bit before figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.

If you eat before a workout, make sure you give your body time to digest. The larger the meal, the more time it takes. With a light high-carb pre-workout snack (100-200 calories), you’ll probably be able to train after about 30-60 minutes.

  • Ideas for a pre-workout snack
  • Apple with Peanut Butter
  • Banana or any other type of fruit
  • energy bars
  • fruit smoothie
  • Greek yogurt with fruit
  • oatmeal

If you don’t do well with eating early, you can also try a sip of orange juice or a few bites of a granola bar. Even just a little bit of energy can make a difference in your workout.

Being fit is easy

Training motivated is easier than you think. The EatMoveFeel app includes everything you need to do this. A combination of full-body exercises, yoga, strength and HIIT training invigorate the body and ensure more energy and joy during training. Because training should not only be healthy, but also make us look good, give us strength and make us happy.

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