SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Need some help burning that stubborn belly fat?
Fasting before cardio (aka fasted cardio session) may help you wake up leaner.
Paul Beirne said he drinks a strong cup of black coffee before working out in the morning and that's it.
"I can't do cardio if I eat anything before I come to the gym, but I have a big breakfast afterwards."
Beirne may be on to something. A new study in the Journal of Physiology suggests exercising in the morning before breakfast, might be the fastest way to lose weight.
Researchers in Belgium followed three groups of young men for six weeks.
The first group ate just a high-fat breakfast. The second group at a carbohydrate-packed meal and then worked out. The third worked out first and then ate the same carb-filled meal.
The group who ate but didn't work out, packed on 6 pounds. The group who ate before working out gained about 3 pounds. Here's the surprise: Those who ate after their workout gained almost no weight.
"The conclusion to this seems to be that if you do not eat breakfast and you are fit, you're going to access fat as a fuel source for a workout," said Physical trainer David Harris.
Hitting the gym on an empty stomach may not be for everyone. Some fitness experts recommend eating a little something so you have the energy to get the most out of your workout.
"You should not be eating a heavy carbohydrate filled breakfast but a piece of fruit would do you good," Harris said.
Billy Lopresto says he needs some fuel in the tank to work out.
"You have to have some sort of carbohydrate in the morning. Otherwise, you'll fall apart," he said.
The study shows an added benefit for those who can hold out until after working out: their blood sugar level was lower, thus, reducing their risk of diabetes.
You can also consider supplementing with BCAA or whey protein powder before a fasted cardio session. This will help to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass loss or light headedness. There's no question that fasted cardio can be a very beneficial training aid when trying to cut body fat.