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Exercise to burn fat instead of calories?

lisawinning4losinglisawinning4losing Member Posts: 732 Member Member Posts: 732 Member
I read somewhere that if you're overweight it's good to exercise in the morning before you eat or just have a light breakfast first so that your body will burn fat stores for energy instead of calories. This morning I woke up, ate a medium sized apple, then did a workout. About 15 minutes of squats and lunges, and 30 minutes of Hip Hop Abs. For reference, I'm 5'4 and 177 lbs, and I just started working out today. I worked up a pretty good sweat but it felt good! I'm somewhat out of shape, obviously, but not totally out of shape. I still have some strength and a little endurance. So anyway, I feel pretty good now and plan on eating a good lunch now that I've worked up an appetite. I was wondering if this is a good way to go about things. Thanks. (I also drank a lot of water before and during the workout.)
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Replies

  • CherimooseCherimoose Member Posts: 5,206 Member Member Posts: 5,206 Member
    I read somewhere that if you're overweight it's good to exercise in the morning before you eat or just have a light breakfast first so that your body will burn fat stores for energy instead of calories.

    That is an old myth.

    Any other questions?
  • kgeyserkgeyser Member Posts: 22,513 Member Member Posts: 22,513 Member
    It doesn't matter what time of day you work out, or what you eat or don't eat before a workout, the results are exactly the same. Sorry. But if morning workouts work for you, there's no reason to stop doing them.
  • lisawinning4losinglisawinning4losing Member Posts: 732 Member Member Posts: 732 Member
    Well, if it's a myth that sucks because I was really hoping it would work. Lol.

    I also read somewhere that the best time to eat carbs is before or after a workout so you'll burn them off more efficiently. Another myth?
  • editorgrrleditorgrrl Member Posts: 7,063 Member Member Posts: 7,063 Member
  • Llamapants86Llamapants86 Member Posts: 1,221 Member Member Posts: 1,221 Member
    Do what works for you. I hate working out first thing in the morning, it just doesn't do it for me.

    And you burn calories either way, if you have fasted (eg over night) then you get the calories from energies stores in your body (like fat) and then you eat and use calories for day to day living on the food calories. If you eat then work out the calories for your work out come from food and are no longer there so that you burn energy stores for day to day living. In the end the equation is the same.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Member Posts: 8,917 Member Member Posts: 8,917 Member
    Well, if it's a myth that sucks because I was really hoping it would work. Lol.

    I also read somewhere that the best time to eat carbs is before or after a workout so you'll burn them off more efficiently. Another myth?
    Yep.
    There's 2 major things you have to think about when trying to lose fat.
    1) Eating less calories than your body needs will cause weight loss. You'll lose fat and muscle because your body needs the energy to work, so it uses up its storages.
    2) To minimize the amount of muscle loss, eat a lot of protein and do weight lifting
  • sweetgardenangelsweetgardenangel Member Posts: 4 Member Posts: 4
    Hi,
    Thanks for that tip. But I can't lift bec of a "bad back." Would the small 2 pound weights count, or doubling up on the 2 pound weights?
  • Natmarie73Natmarie73 Member Posts: 287 Member Member Posts: 287 Member
    I was reading about this just yesterday but damned if I can find that article again :( My personal trainer certainly advocates it though and I trust his credentials pretty highly seeing as he coaches high level state track and field athletes. He recommends an hour of cardio first thing in the morning prior to eating breakfast for quicker fat loss, his premise being that after not eating all night your muscles do not have a lot of glycogen stores to use as fuel which forces your body to burn stored fat as fuel instead. You will still be burning calories, but they will come from stored fat instead of whatever you have just eaten.

    Another article I read said that in order to burn fat the duration of the excersise should be longer than 30 minutes and your heart rate should only get to 70 - 80% of your Max HR in order to burn fat most efficiently.

    http://www.umich.edu/~medfit/resistancetraining/timingiseverything101705.html

    I have to get up at 4:00 as it is to get to work on time so getting up any earlier than that to do an hour of cardio is not going to happen but I do try to do my cardio workout first thing when I'm on R&R because a) I like to run before it gets too hot and sunny, and b) I can't run with food in my stomach anyway. If I can't do mornings I do it in the evenings before dinner.

    Whatever gets you off the couch and is sustainable to your lifestyle is better than doing nothing and yes the results will be the same no matter what time you workout but you might lose fat quicker in the mornings maybe. No harm in trying it out if it fits your schedule.
  • meshashesha2012meshashesha2012 Member, Premium Posts: 8,344 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,344 Member
    what is a "bad back" .
  • lisawinning4losinglisawinning4losing Member Posts: 732 Member Member Posts: 732 Member
    I was reading about this just yesterday but damned if I can find that article again :( My personal trainer certainly advocates it though and I trust his credentials pretty highly seeing as he coaches high level state track and field athletes. He recommends an hour of cardio first thing in the morning prior to eating breakfast for quicker fat loss, his premise being that after not eating all night your muscles do not have a lot of glycogen stores to use as fuel which forces your body to burn stored fat as fuel instead. You will still be burning calories, but they will come from stored fat instead of whatever you have just eaten.

    Another article I read said that in order to burn fat the duration of the excersise should be longer than 30 minutes and your heart rate should only get to 70 - 80% of your Max HR in order to burn fat most efficiently.

    http://www.umich.edu/~medfit/resistancetraining/timingiseverything101705.html

    I have to get up at 4:00 as it is to get to work on time so getting up any earlier than that to do an hour of cardio is not going to happen but I do try to do my cardio workout first thing when I'm on R&R because a) I like to run before it gets too hot and sunny, and b) I can't run with food in my stomach anyway. If I can't do mornings I do it in the evenings before dinner.

    Whatever gets you off the couch and is sustainable to your lifestyle is better than doing nothing and yes the results will be the same no matter what time you workout but you might lose fat quicker in the mornings maybe. No harm in trying it out if it fits your schedule.

    Thanks. I'm also of the opinion that there's no harm in trying and since it fits into my schedule I might as well do it!
  • stevencloserstevencloser Member Posts: 8,917 Member Member Posts: 8,917 Member
    Your body always burns calories just to function. That's why eating at a deficit makes you lose weight. Exercising raises that deficit.
    For better understanding, imagine your body is a bank account.
    Every day money gets transferred off it to pay for your bills throughout the day. That's the calories your body burns.
    Also throughout the day you deposit money to pay the bills. If you deposit less money than you have to pay, you have to use your savings to pay off the bills for the day. So you end up with less money after the day than you started with. That's weight loss.

    Now, if you buy a nice car early in the morning (exercise), it will still cost you the same amount of money as buying it in the evening does, and the money you used to buy it for comes back through the deposits you make in the day (eating).
    So no matter if you deposit first, then buy something, or buy it first then deposit the money, the end result will be the same.
  • CherimooseCherimoose Member Posts: 5,206 Member Member Posts: 5,206 Member
    My personal trainer certainly advocates it though and I trust his credentials pretty highly seeing as he coaches high level state track and field athletes. He recommends an hour of cardio first thing in the morning prior to eating breakfast for quicker fat loss, his premise being that after not eating all night your muscles do not have a lot of glycogen stores to use as fuel which forces your body to burn stored fat as fuel instead.

    Sounds good in theory, but the studies disagree. A summary of the studies is here:

    http://pulsthjalfun.is/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/doescardio.pdf
    Another article I read said that in order to burn fat the duration of the excersise should be longer than 30 minutes and your heart rate should only get to 70 - 80% of your Max HR in order to burn fat most efficiently.
    http://www.umich.edu/~medfit/resistancetraining/timingiseverything101705.html

    Again, lots of good-sounding textbook theories at that link, but the studies disagree. Short exercise sessions are equal or better than long sessions:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11601564
    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/102/6/2158
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8963358

    I personally avoid long workout sessions in a fasted state, because - according to the textbook theories - it burns muscle as fuel, though a process called gluconeogenesis. I haven't found any studies on how much muscle is burned though.

    Anyway, there are no tricks or shortcuts to weight loss. Gotta eat less and/or move more.
  • fitandfortyishfitandfortyish Member Posts: 200 Member Member Posts: 200 Member
    It doesn't matter what time of day you work out, or what you eat or don't eat before a workout, the results are exactly the same. Sorry. But if morning workouts work for you, there's no reason to stop doing them.

    There is some credible studies out there (lean gains, eat-stop-eat, Rusty Moore) who claim working out "fasted" -- min 4 hours since you last ate that seem to show better fat burning when doing HIIT...If anyone is interested in giving it a try to see if it works for you.
  • thefitnightowlthefitnightowl Member, Premium Posts: 32 Member Member, Premium Posts: 32 Member
    It doesn't matter what time of day you work out, or what you eat or don't eat before a workout, the results are exactly the same. Sorry. But if morning workouts work for you, there's no reason to stop doing them.


    This is not true. Actually, when you work out before you eat in the morning, in a fasted state they call it, your body will burn FAT more efficiently because just like the girl in the top post said, your muscles will use the workouts to deplete any energy left in your muscles. I have done this for years and it significantly makes a different in my tummy area, where most fat is stored.
    Feel free to add me anyone!
    -Shannon
  • thefitnightowlthefitnightowl Member, Premium Posts: 32 Member Member, Premium Posts: 32 Member
    It doesn't matter what time of day you work out, or what you eat or don't eat before a workout, the results are exactly the same. Sorry. But if morning workouts work for you, there's no reason to stop doing them.

    There is some credible studies out there (lean gains, eat-stop-eat, Rusty Moore) who claim working out "fasted" -- min 4 hours since you last ate that seem to show better fat burning when doing HIIT...If anyone is interested in giving it a try to see if it works for you.

    I completely agree with this post. Ive seen significant results from fasted morning workouts! Thanks for this!
  • thefitnightowlthefitnightowl Member, Premium Posts: 32 Member Member, Premium Posts: 32 Member
    My personal trainer certainly advocates it though and I trust his credentials pretty highly seeing as he coaches high level state track and field athletes. He recommends an hour of cardio first thing in the morning prior to eating breakfast for quicker fat loss, his premise being that after not eating all night your muscles do not have a lot of glycogen stores to use as fuel which forces your body to burn stored fat as fuel instead.

    Sounds good in theory, but the studies disagree. A summary of the studies is here:

    http://pulsthjalfun.is/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/doescardio.pdf
    Another article I read said that in order to burn fat the duration of the excersise should be longer than 30 minutes and your heart rate should only get to 70 - 80% of your Max HR in order to burn fat most efficiently.
    http://www.umich.edu/~medfit/resistancetraining/timingiseverything101705.html

    Again, lots of good-sounding textbook theories at that link, but the studies disagree. Short exercise sessions are equal or better than long sessions:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11601564
    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/102/6/2158
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8963358

    I personally avoid long workout sessions in a fasted state, because - according to the textbook theories - it burns muscle as fuel, though a process called gluconeogenesis. I haven't found any studies on how much muscle is burned though.

    Anyway, there are no tricks or shortcuts to weight loss. Gotta eat less and/or move more.

    I also completely agree with this. A fast 20-30 minute HIIT (where you max out your heart rate 3 or 4 times in the session) will do WONDERS for your body fat %....trust me girl..... I used to be 240 pounds. I have my fair share of experience! Im super pumped you learned about this morning cardio!!
  • fitandfortyishfitandfortyish Member Posts: 200 Member Member Posts: 200 Member
    It doesn't matter what time of day you work out, or what you eat or don't eat before a workout, the results are exactly the same. Sorry. But if morning workouts work for you, there's no reason to stop doing them.

    There is some credible studies out there (lean gains, eat-stop-eat, Rusty Moore) who claim working out "fasted" -- min 4 hours since you last ate that seem to show better fat burning when doing HIIT...If anyone is interested in giving it a try to see if it works for you.

    I completely agree with this post. Ive seen significant results from fasted morning workouts! Thanks for this!

    Me too---I dropped quite a bit of fat and no muscle so yes, i'm a huge fan, but also know it's not for everyone
  • indianarunner76indianarunner76 Member Posts: 108 Member Member Posts: 108 Member
    From personal experience, the last four months I have done cardio first thing in morning on empty stomach and it worked out well for me. I have lost a total of 57 pounds. I did my strength training 3-4 times per week in afternoon to help maintain lean muscle mass. Definitely worth a shot. Only failure is not to try.
  • SunbrookeSunbrooke Member Posts: 632 Member Member Posts: 632 Member
    I workout early in the mornings. I usually have a small smoothie and the go workout about a half hour later. I notice that if I work out on a fairly empty stomach, I can push harder on cardio and drink more water during my workout. Also, I like having a routine in the morning and i feel good the rest of the day knowing that i worked out. Ever notice many people like eating the exact same thing for breakfast, but not other meals? Everyone is different, but mornings are just good for routines.
  • lisawinning4losinglisawinning4losing Member Posts: 732 Member Member Posts: 732 Member
    Thanks everyone for your input! I know that it's probably all the same in the long run, but after reviewing all the information, I think I'll just continue doing what I did today--only eat a piece of fruit or very light breakfast before my workout--in hopes that it will help to burn extra fat. The theory makes sense to me, but either way it couldn't hurt. :wink:
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