A bit of medical research news coming from the UK contends that people who exercise before breakfast will burn 20% more fat than people who eat first and work out later. A new research study on weight loss conducted by a team from the University of Northumbria titled 'Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males', that was published online in the British Journal of Nutrition found that early risers who exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast can burn more fat than at any other time of day. Not only do they burn up to 20% more fat, but the early risers also showed no signs of consuming additional calories during the day compared to those who eat first and exercise afterwards.
The UK researchers led by Dr Emma Stevenson and PhD student Javier Gonzalez, began their study in order to determine whether the proven benefits of exercising after an overnight fast were reduced by an increased appetite and eating more food later in the day. To find out, the researchers asked twelve active adult men to perform a series of treadmill exercises at 10am, either after they had eaten breakfast or when they had not eaten since the evening before. In the unusual experiment, the participants were also given a chocolate milkshake as a “recovery drink” after their exercise stints. Lunch was monitored as well, with each participant being provided with a lunch of pasta that they were asked to eat until they felt comfortably full. Each participant’s consumption of energy and fat was then assessed and calculated to account for the amount of energy and fat they had burned during each period of morning exercise and the result was that those people who had exercised in the morning did not consume any additional calories or experience an increased appetite throughout the day to compensate for their earlier exercise activities.
The numbers showed that people who had exercised in a fasted state burned almost 20% more fat than those who had consumed breakfast before their period of exercise workouts and provided evidence that
performing exercise on an empty stomach delivers the most fat loss. Although the short-term study did not predict the longer term outcomes of these nutritional practices, it did back up the long-held concept that in order to lose body fat people need to burn more fat than they consume. The researchers concluded that exercise increases the total amount of energy people expend and a greater proportion of the energy comes from existing fat if the exercise is performed after a period of fasting.