Exercise Early (and Hungry) For Faster Fat Loss

Exercise Early (and Hungry) For Faster Fat Loss


Early morning workout on the Arc Trainer

People can burn up to 20% more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, according to new research from Northumbria University,United Kingdom. 

In a study, published online in the British Journal of Nutrition, academics sought to find out whether the known benefits of exercising after an overnight fast were undermined by an increased appetite and eating more food later in the day.

Researchers, led by Dr Emma Stevenson and PhD student Javier Gonzalez, asked physically active male participants to perform a bout of treadmill exercise at 10am, either after they had eaten breakfast or in a fasted state having not eaten since the evening before.

Results showed that those who had exercised in a fasted state burned almost 20% more fat compared to those who had consumed breakfast before their workout. This means that performing exercise on an empty stomach provides the most desirable outcome for fat loss.

Javier Gonzalez, who is currently undertaking a PhD in Exercise and Metabolism, said: “In order to lose body fat we need to use more fat than we consume. Exercise increases the total amount of energy we expend and a greater proportion of this energy comes from existing fat if the exercise is performed after an overnight fast.

“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.”

The research, titled “Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males”, is published online in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Bottom line

If you aspire to attain that lean and hungry look, better get on the Arc early—and hungry!  As for me, I’ll keep having a small pre-workout snack and some coffee to keep my mojo running.  How about you?  Does your Arc performance suffer when you are hungry?  Feel free to share your thoughts and tips for fat loss and toning. Also, check out this video from the Cybex Research Institute on burning more fat.

Holly Aglialoro
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast 

Cybex is a provider and manufacturer of premium commercial fitness equipment. Content featured in the Cybex Fitness Blog is meant to inspire healthy living and wellness and should not be taken as medical advice. For medical advice please consult a doctor.