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Sunday, January 8, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 8 Do Cardio on Empty Stomach

Photo by jweingardt12 on Flickr
If you want to see your body start changing in a hurry -- and let's face it, who doesn't? -- start doing cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, a very effective method of burning fat.

When we exercise our bodies use carbohydrates, fat or protein for fuel. Carbohydrates and fat are most common, and our bodies only use protein for fuel under certain circumstances.

When we consume carbohydrates immediately before a workout, our bodies will use the glucose derived from those carbs as fuel since it is the most readily-available energy source. If carb-based glucose isn't present, the body will next turn to fat for energy. So, if you refrain from eating before your workout, your body is forced to pull from its fat reserves for fuel.

Additionally, high-intensity cardio has been shown to burn fat more effectively than low-intensity cardio, according to research referenced in "Advanced Sports Nutrition" by Dan Benardot.

And though many people are unable to exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for very long without feeling nauseated or extremely fatigued, the good news is that one doesn't need to spend a considerable amount of time doing this for it to be effective.

Start small, do as much as you can. Try a light warm-up, maybe march in place. And then start your day off with an activity such as jumping jacks. Then build up over time -- it can be very effective.

Resource:
Benardot, D., Advanced Sports Nutrition, 2006

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