For something that should be simple, working out doesn’t always feel that way. There’s choosing the best fat-burning workout. There’s that pesky question of whether exercise or diet is key for weight loss. And now there’s a new one to throw into the mix: whether working out on an empty stomach will help you lose weight faster.
There’s evidence that exercising when your carbohydrate levels are low, like when you’re on an empty stomach, actually helps improve performance during “normal” workouts.The idea behind “train low, compete high” is that working out in a glycogen-low state helps your body become more efficient at burning fat so at times when carb levels are high, the body is primed and raring to go.
When we eat, our bodies release insulin to absorb all the nutrients in the foods we’re enjoying. But when we’re eating too many carbohydrates and sugar, our bodies become resistant to insulin — it’s unable to do its job as well.
All that insulin builds up and can bring about a range of chronic illnesses, like diabetes. One of the many health benefits of fasting, however, is reducing that sensitivity to insulin. Without constant food, insulin isn’t created as often, so our bodies don’t become immune to the hormone.
What is crucial is that you stay hydrated before, during and after your workout. Drinking enough water will keep energy levels up. Because thirst is also mistaken for hunger, drinking enough H2O can also keep pounds at bay.
More importantly than whether you eat before a workout is what you’re having afterward. A mix of protein and healthy carbs will help your muscles recover. Drinking a post-workout recovery shake or eating eggs with veggies in the first 45 minutes after exercise while your blood is circulating well is ideal.
M.Chandrashekher Reddy (Shekher)
Director and Master Trainer – Fitlink Australia