workout on an empty stomach

Working Out On an Empty Stomach: Does It Burn Fat?

Fat-burning is often associated with an end number of contemplated theories. While some are backed by research, some are myths that need to be busted.

For instance, starving is a good option for weight loss, eating potatoes can make you fat, or skipping meals before exercise will fasten your weight loss process.

However, in today’s blog, we’re gonna focus on the theory; does working out on empty stomach burn fat?

We’ll do a fact check and see if it’s just a myth. And if it’s true, how far?

Well, this contemplation is based on the idea that if starved for the whole night, your sugar level drips off. And that it apparently escalates more fat burn during your morning workout. So, is this really true?

Should You Go For an Empty Stomach Workout?


Not really. Just because you need to strip that fat off your body doesn’t mean that you have to go empty stomach.

There is no case study to prove its worth. In fact doing the same might put you into trouble by developing certain chronic distress.

Distress because working out on an empty stomach can drastically lower your essential glycogen levels. Thereafter, you may start losing your muscles.

Now, let’s make it more simple. Starvation overnight is equal to reduced energy levels. And you know how important it is to be energy-driven when working out.

Furthermore, zero intakes of carbs or protein pre workout will not let you meet your workout time goals.

In other words, you may not be able to exercise for longer than usual. As a result, you would rather end up burning fewer calories than usual.

Hence, skipping your meal is never a good option when trying to lose weight healthily. And one needs to understand that.

So, for those who swear by it, don’t, from now onwards.

We’ve put an end to a century-old myth that says skipping meals pre-workout can accelerate the weight loss process.

Moreover, one more fact that speaks volume is running on an empty stomach does not accelerate your fat burning process at all. It can make you go lower on energy eventually making you more lethargic.

Now, why are we stressing so much about not skipping meals before a workout?

Of course, there are several reasons. Several benefits of having a light meal pre-workout.

3 Reasons Why Eating Before Exercise Is Essential

Now, by this, we don’t mean that you fill yourself to the throat and end up bloating. No, don’t ever fill every corner of your stomach lol.

Rather, practice mindful eating. Go light and healthy.

Why? Here are some proven reasons…

  • Eat before cardio as it increases muscle mass

It is best advised to NOT skip your dinner if you wanna go more on muscle mass.

Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD, a board-certified sports nutritionist and nutrition director at Trifecta supports this.

She says, “As long as you’re eating adequate protein and continuing to use your muscles, researchTrusted Source suggests that muscle mass is pretty well protected, even in an overall calorie deficit.”

Well, it’s simple too, right? If you’re continuously putting yourself into workouts, there’s no harm in consuming some protein.

On the contrary, going empty stomach for too long during a workout probably may damage more muscle.

Are you also one of those gym freaks always looking for some bulky weight lifting? If yes, then eating before exercise is equally important for you. Let’s see how…

  • Eat because heavy training require more power

Okay, along with the assumption of one more theory becoming popular is that you should eat before any heavy weight training. And this is a true theory, and no myth.

However, this particular theory is now being overpowered by the former. Hence, one needs to do a fact check by making sure to have a light meal before any heavy workout session.

David Chesworth, an ACSM certified personal trainer suggests, “In a fasted state, the physiology doesn’t typically have the optimal resources for this type of exercise.”

Thus, make sure to keep your energy sources intact before heading towards any heavy training sessions. And this can be achieved by consuming light but healthy meals pre workout.

Does fasted cardio motivate you the most? Is this your favorite exercise? If yes, then you definitely need to read something important below…

  • Eat because you don’t wanna invite ailments

Fasted cardio is great. However, they also require you to get a clean bill on health. It is because fasted cardio demands more power, strength, endurance, and stamina, all at once.

Furthermore, if you’re fragile because of starvation, it will definitely never become your game.

Most importantly, if you’re not fit enough or have blood sugar or pressure problems starvation is a big NO for you.

A light fibrous snack before fasted cardio would be the best option to prevent dizziness, increased bp and fatigue.

Additionally, it’s important to practice mindful eating. Set an eating schedule.

For instance, avoid a meal within 3/4 hours of bedtime. For instance, follow a 9 to 9 formula. If you start your meal at 9 am , make sure to put a full stop at 9 pm.

What to eat to prevent bloating, nausea or weight gain before workouts?

Well, eating doesn’t give license to bring junk to your system. Avoid high-fat foods like red meat as this can make you lethargic. Moreover, try avoiding flaxseeds or energy drinks as well.

Now, moving forward, let’s impart you with 6 essential foods you can eat before workout.

Keep reading and you have all the answers…

6 Best Foods To Eat Before Workout [Pre-Workout Nutrition]

Pre workout nutrition

Eating the right food can impart you proficient strength, anaerobic power and energy to perform better. Moreover, it can combat any probability of  dizziness, fatigue, and tiredness.

Remember, adding even a cup of nutritional bites can make a huge difference in your strength levels during a workout.

So, what should go inside the cup? Let’s find out!

Here we have enlisted some light and nutrition filled pre-workout meals that are suitable for every workout type.

To do the same, we’ve sub categorised the meals based on the time difference between your meals and workout.

  1. Foods if your workout is more than 3 hours away

  • Sandwich with whole grain bread stuffed with lean protein and salad
  • Egg omelettes or whole grain toast with avocado spread and Fruit salad
  • Brown rice, lean protein along with roasted veggies
  1. Foods if your workout starts within 2 hours

  • Protein smoothies containing protein powder, soy milk, banana and berries
  • Oats and milk
  • A cup of whole grains with a handful of banana slice and almonds as toppings
  • Whole grain bread with almond spread and fruits
  1. Foods if your workout starts in an hour or less

  • Fruit salad and greek yoghurt
  • Protein bars
  • A complete raw fruit (banana or apple)

Now, here’s a thing one should note before choosing from any of the above foods. Eat in sets. It means that you don’t have to eat everything on the list. Rather, just choose a set and go with it.

Apart from foods, there are some health supplements you can include in your pre-workout regimen.

This includes good- quality creatine, caffeine, and Branched-Chain amino acids, and Beta-Alanine.

Above all, remember staying hydrated is what gets counted the most. For instance, it sustains and furthermore enhances your performance during any type of exercise.

Also, it is avidly suggested to accompany water intake with sodium to maintain fluid balance, henceforth preventing dehydration.

Thus, the success of any workout depends on one of the factors called; the food you choose.

Choosing from the right nutrient imbued foods becomes crucial as they act as the fuels to carry out heavy workout sessions.

Covering all the topics now brings us closer to the wrapping section of this blog. Hence, let us recapitulate things we’ve covered so far in this blog.

Final Takeaways

Now, if at some point in time you feel that there is no major fact behind these points, here’s a thing you can consider…

Whether eating before workouts had anything to do with increased anaerobic, or strength or not.

One thing remains unchanged, it isn’t gonna harm your body. Moreover, think simple, how essential food is for the survival of the human body and you certainly would be getting your answer.

If you find trouble eating anything early, there’s a solution for that too. All you need to do is grab on some granola bars or sip orange juice.

Do anything healthy that boosts your energy but don’t go completely empty stomach, even if you’re completely HEALTHY.

And above all, remember losing weight isn’t about eating less, it’s about eating Right!.

Alex C. Abell

Hey, I am an innovative fitness training service provider inspiring people to create lives that are Healthy, Empowered, and Strong. He like to coach, lead, teach and work within a team that inspires action. Currently employed with the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury as a Gym Coach.

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