Does doing your cardio workout on an empty stomach somehow magically burn more calories?
Busted! Fuel up and have the energy to have a quality workout!
You can't drive a car without gas, so why expect something different from your body? The trouble with this theory is that the large muscles that power you through your cardio exercise rely heavily on a combination of carbs and fats for energy. When you run or bike on an empty stomach, your body will turn to the carb and fat fragments in your bloodstream and muscle stores, not to the fat in your fat cells to energize your workout, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University. This strategy could completely backfire, she adds, as you may become hyperglycemic and low on hydration, which can cause you to cut back on the intensity or stop before you've put in the 40 to 50 minutes research has shown is necessary for your body to burn fat.
Skip the pre-gym fast and show up ready rock (and torch major calories) by fueling up about 90 minutes before your workout. Olson suggests something light and easy to digest, such as a small piece of fruit and half a cup of low-fat yogurt sprinkled with a couple of tablespoons of granola. Wash it down with one or two full glasses of water.
This is a related myth that is keeping a lot of people who exercise from achieving their fitness goals:
If you do enough cardio, you can eat whatever you want.
We wish! Not only do most of us (and the machines we work out on) overestimate how many calories we burn during our workouts, we underestimate how many calories we’re eating too.
Exercise alone just isn’t effective enough to burn fat, says Bret Contreras, a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “A recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately five pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training alone,” he says. That’s an awful lot of work for very minimal results, so don't forget the "calories in" side of the equation and follow a healthy diet that delivers the calories you need to eat to lose weight.
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- if you follow a nutrition plan that supports your workouts you can expect results 80% faster.
H/T: Shape Magazine
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