As if motivating to exercise first thing in the morning weren’t difficult enough, a new study indicates that morning cardio is most effective when done while really hungry.
According to the National Post, researchers from the University of Northumbria studied the effects of an empty stomach on exercise, and found that people who exercise on an empty stomach can burn 20 percent more body fat than those exercising after breakfast.
The scientists asked active men to run on a treadmill at moderate intensity. Some of the test subjects exercised on empty stomachs, while the rest ate breakfast before the run.
According to the study, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the guys who ran on an empty stomach had a smaller appetite during the day and burned up to 20 percent more body fat than the guys who had eaten breakfast.
“In order to lose body fat we need to use more fat than we consume. Exercise increases the total amount of energy we expend and a greater proportion of this energy comes from existing fat if the exercise is performed after an overnight fast,” explained Ph.D. student Javier Gonzalez.