Working out in the morning is a fantastic way to energize your body, improve your state of mind and it’s also a great way to establish a routine. However, when you exercise on an empty stomach—meaning at least six hours of no food—you can get all these benefits along with a more intense fat burn.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, those who worked out pre-breakfast burned twice the amount of fat than those who exercised after a meal.
When you exercise with no caloric fuel, the body turns to stored carbs and then to fat as a source of energy, therefore working off that waistline quicker than if you had eaten beforehand. The best workout for a fasted body? Aerobic exercises like low-intensity cardio (walking at a medium pace, cycling, elliptical and swimming).
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As Cosmopolitan notes, it is advisable to follow some extra, important steps if you’re planning on working out on an empty stomach: eat a high carb and high protein meal after a fasted workout and don’t work out on an empty stomach too often. On the days where you really want to amp up the energy at the gym, it’s suggested that you have a fueled meal beforehand.
A surprise to no one, Jennifer Lopez is a major fasted cardio enthusiast and by the looks of her toned body, we trust everything she does. Both she and fiancé, Alex Rodriguez, take part in this routine, a recommendation Rodriguez says came from their trainer, Dodd.
It’s important to note that fasted cardio may not be for you. Before you try this at full force, have something light like a banana and see how you feel. If you make it to the next step and are feeling dizzy or nauseous at all during your fasted workout, you might be better off sticking with a snack beforehand. Just remember: keep things light, drink a lot of water and look forward to that hefty meal afterwards.
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