Should You Exercise on a Full Stomach or Not? What Is the Best Way to Lose Weight?


Working out is something that looks relatively simple, however things can get really complicated once you consider all the factors that influence your ability to lose or gain weight.

There are so many different types of fat burning exercises out there and there are variations of variations. Then there is the whole battle about whether diet or exercise should take precedence.

Another thing to consider is whether or not to exercise on a full stomach. Some people can’t go without eating beforehand, while others swear they see more benefits on an empty stomach. So what is the best way to go about losing those pounds?

Why Working out on an Empty Stomach Makes Sense

The idea behind working out on an empty stomach is one that revolves around working out early in the morning before you consume your first meal. This is because of the way in which our body stores and uses a type of energy called glycogen.

Our body stores a limited amount of glycogen in our liver and muscle cells throughout the day, which gets depleted, and then replenished as the day goes on and we eat more meals. At night however when we are at rest and aren’t eating for an extended period of time, our glycogen stores get especially low.

When these stores get low our body switches energy sources from glycogen to fat, which is key when it comes to weight loss. This idea is the same behind working out early on an empty stomach, as we should burn more fat in the process.

What Are the Benefits of Working out on an Empty Stomach?

Burn Fat Faster and Burn More Fat Overall

Studies have shown that people who do cardio on an empty stomach including elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike, etc. burn exponentially more body fat than those who eat beforehand. The best part about this is that the vast majority of these participants weren’t craving for food afterwards either, further solidifying how effective this technique is.

Increases Performance Down the Line

One of the greatest things about the human body is the ability to adapt and change based on the circumstances. When you work out on low glycogen stores, you body has to adapt by switching to fat stores when the glycogen runs out.

Working out with less available energy in the form of glycogen allows the body to become more efficient in performing these tasks as well, even though they have less to work with. This means that when your body does have an adequate amount of energy, your performance levels will skyrocket.

Can Help You Lose More Weight

The idea of not eating breakfast while working out ties into another concept, where the time in which you are “allowed” to eat is restricted. This technique revolves around eating only within a certain time frame, usually in between 12pm and 8pm for those who work your average 9-5 schedule.

What this does is further restricts your body’s access to calories over that longer period of time, helping your body to become even more efficient in its functioning. This will get your body on a definitive schedule as far as when exactly you will eat.

This technique has shown to be effective in fat loss, in that during the off hours where food isn’t consumed, the body just melts off fat!

A Delicate Balance Is Required

While working out on an empty stomach can be an effective way to lose weight, there are some things you should consider beforehand. The first thing being the tradeoff between how much you are going to get out of your workout versus how much food you eat.

Working out with less energy available is going to decrease your ability to some extent, which is something to keep in mind. You want to reduce your caloric intake so that you are still getting those fat burning benefits, but not to the point where your gains are affected.

Another thing that might sound obvious but many people try to do anyway, is to not try this technique on days where you plan on working on endurance. You absolutely have to eat if you are going to do anything long distance or that is going to consume a lot of time.

If you do decide to use this technique, remember that hydration is even more important because you aren’t getting any additional water from the foods you are eating.

These are things you definitely want to be aware of before trying to work out on an empty stomach.