Exercising On An Empty Stomach

Many people think that if they work out first thing in the morning and don’t eat first their body will burn more fat so that they lose weight faster. The idea is that this allows your body to tap into your fat stores more quickly to burn more fat during your workout.


The British Journal of Nutrition found that subjects who exercised first thing in the morning on an empty stomach did burn 20% more fat than those who had breakfast first.

Other research that says maybe it really doesn’t help, another report, found that your body burns on average, the same amount of fat whether you’re eating before or after a workout.

They also found that you are more likely to lose more muscle and experience a drop in the intensity and overall calorie burn during your workout when you do you exercise on an empty stomach.

So it would appear that science supports both ideas.

So what do you do? This is where you need to look at your own body and personal preferences.

  • If you are one of those people who wake up early, work out and you just can’t stomach eating something before the workout – If you can get through your workout with plenty of energy, without feeling dizzy or lethargic, then this might be a great idea for you.
  • However if you’re one of those people, where if you don’t eat beforehand you really start to feel lethargic, dizzy or even get a little bit nauseous, then it may not be the best idea for you.

So you when you hear about this kind of research, information and workout advice, really make sure that what you do makes sense for you and your personal needs, because as with a lot of advice even the science is very contradictory.