- Skipping breakfast before hitting the gym could help you burn twice as much fat, experts say
- Waiting until after exercise to eat may also improve blood insulin responses
It is considered the most important meal of the day.
But breakfast time is equally vital for those seeking to obtain the greatest health benefits.
According to an exercise and metabolism expert, waiting until after you’ve exercised in the morning before eating some toast, yogurt or eggs leads to the greatest fat loss and healthier blood sugar levels.
Professor Javier González, from the University of Bath, studied dozens of men who ate breakfast before exercising or completed a workout on an empty stomach.
It found that those who waited to eat until after going to the gym reaped the greatest health benefits, and may even have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Most people don’t need to eat breakfast before exercising in the morning. Experts say most people will have enough energy stored from the day before.
Professor González told the ZOE Science and Nutrition podcast that many eat before exercising to increase their energy levels. this can help People exercise harder and longer, studies suggest.
However, a study by Professor González and his colleagues found that there are even more benefits to eating breakfast after exercise.
His team divided 30 men, overweight or obese, into three groups.
One group did a moderate-paced bike ride in a lab before eating, while another ate breakfast, then biked, and the third group did no exercise.
The results, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism In 2019, he found that men who exercised on an empty stomach burned about twice as much fat as the group who exercised after breakfast.
The researchers found that this effect was due to lower insulin levels during exercise when people had fasted, forcing their bodies to use more fat from adipose tissue, rather than from muscle, for fuel.
Eating after exercise has been shown to burn twice as much fat compared to those who eat before
However, Professor González noted that there were no notable differences in weight loss between the two groups.
But those who They didn’t eat before cycling also had a better blood insulin response, meaning their body produced less of the hormone to control their blood sugar levels.
“Men who performed exactly the same exercise after eating breakfast did not show this improvement in blood insulin response,” said Professor González.
This suggests they would have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, meaning that not eating before exercising dramatically improves your health.
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas and helps transport blood glucose to muscle cells, where it can be used for fuel or stored as body fat.
Having high levels of insulin prevents fat from being broken down for energy, suggesting there is a link between the fasting group’s low insulin sensitivity and increased fat burning, Professor González said.
And for those who are worried about not having enough energy to work out at the gym, Professor Gonzalez says that most people “got enough fuel from the day before” without having to fill up on breakfast.
He said: “If we eat a normal diet and get up in the morning, we will easily have enough fuel for a typical exercise session of up to an hour or even an hour and a half.”
“And it’s really only elite athletes who train for several hours a day.”
Professor Gonzalez added: “It may be helpful to do at least some exercise before breakfast and that appears to improve some of the long-term benefits, including our response to insulin and possible fat burning, which may be linked to other outcomes.” health, but not necessarily weight loss.’
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY THROUGH EXERCISE
Adults are encouraged to engage in some type of physical activity every day. Exercising just once or twice a week can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke.
Those over 18 years of age should aspire to:
- Do strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) at least two days a week. This includes carrying heavy shopping bags, doing yoga, Pilates, and lifting weights.
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Moderate activity includes brisk walking, bicycling, dancing, and playing doubles tennis. Vigorous activity includes running, swimming, and biking fast or on hills.
- Spread exercise evenly over four to five days a week or every day.
- Reduce the time spent sitting or lying down and divide long periods of inactivity with some activity.
Adults can also reach their weekly activity goal with:
- Several short sessions of very vigorous intensity activity. This includes lifting heavy weights, circuit training, and running uphill.
- A combination of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity.
Fountain; National Health Service