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Myth Busters: Is Exercising on an Empty Stomach Burning More Fat?

Busted! Exercising on an empty stomach will not speed up fat burn. You should eat a small snack two hours prior to exercise.

Keep it simple: a small bowl of oatmeal with silvered almonds or a piece of wheat bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Your body needs a combination of healthy carbohydrates and protein to fuel itself before it transitions to burn fat. Otherwise, if you regularly workout on an empty stomach, you will begin to lose muscle. Your body taps into “survival mode,” pushing protein away from muscle.

You will lack energy on an empty stomach, affecting the intensity of your workout. Another important factor: determine the time of day that works best for you to exercise. If you are not a morning person then exercise later in the day­­. You don’t want to feel sluggish during your workout.

Remember: eat a snack at least 90 minutes prior to your workout. Your body needs time to digest your food. But if you are still hungry, minutes before you exercise, drink a fruit juice with a scoop of whey protein. This will provide an energy boost and satiate hunger.

Drink a protein shake within 20-minutes after you complete your workout to refuel your muscles. If you want to lose weight, mix one scoop of protein powder with 8oz. of water. If you want to gain muscle mass, mix one scoop of protein powder with 8oz. of 2% milk.

Avoid post-snacks from the vending machine; instead carry an apple or almonds in your gym bag. Always drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body, 8oz. per day.

Mental Note: Your body will be a fat-burning machine on an empty stomach.

By Mayra Najera

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