To Eat or Not to Eat Before Cardio

You may be surprised by the answers you get when you ask about doing cardio on an empty stomach…

There are two types of people doing sports:

  1. Those who eat something before working out.
  2. Those who work out on an empty stomach.

So, which one is right?

Does cardio burn more fat on an empty stomach?

In short, yes. Some research show that exercising on an empty stomach burns 20% more fat. The fuel your body burns in order to produce energy depends on many factors. Whether you ate something before your exercise or not is a big contributor. Your body tends to use the foods you ate recently first. If you haven’t eaten anything recently, your body will not be able to find its primary fuel and it will turn to its own stock, using it as the fuel it needs for the workout.

However, this also depends on your exercise program. The more simple the exercise, the more fat you burn during the exercise. For example, if you take a light-paced walk for 30 minutes at a constant speed, you will burn about 200 calories. If you do it on an empty stomach, your energy production levels will be lower, it will be easier to burn fat, and you will burn more fat.

On the other hand, if you are going to have a high performance running training, your body will burn carbohydrates rather than fat. If you do intense exercise, your body cannot use fats fast enough; it will burn some fat and some carbohydrates. You should not conclude that slow and steady training is more advantageous based on this. With slow-paced exercise, you burn fat during the training, predominantly. With intense interval training programs, you trigger your metabolism and maintain fat burning even after the training.

What if you have no energy?

Doing cardio before breakfast can certainly be useful, but if you really feel you don’t have any energy to start exercising, it is a bit pointless. There are some energy stores in your muscles and fat stores in your body for exercise. Your liver provides glucose for your body, which you don’t need or use until you run out the glycogen stores in your muscles. Depending on what you ate the day before and how intensely you exercise, your body does not need the support of your liver glycogen stores for approximately 1-1.5 hours. In other words, you do not have any obstacles to exercising on an empty stomach for up to 1 hour. If you are going to do intense training or exceed 1 hour, it is important to replenish your energy stocks (with an energy bar or gel, for example). You should never forget that post-training nutrition is the most important thing for your muscles. Doing exercise on an empty stomach prepares your body for the nutrients you will consume after the exercise. Your body absorbs proteins better and determines where they will be used. Carbohydrates and proteins reach your muscles and feed them, instead of being stored as fat.

When will it be a problem?

If your health is generally in good condition, you will not have many disadvantages when doing cardio on an empty stomach. However, those who are on a low-calorie diet may face some difficulties. The reason behind this is that there is not enough fuel available in the liver. Since they cannot regenerate glycogen storages efficiently, they may also encounter some problems in recovery between workouts. It should be underlined that this is not a serious threat to health. Your body will give you signals when you reach your limits and it is the time for you to stop. Your appetite may also be affected after the training. A study shows that runners who spend 1 hour on the treadmill without eating anything felt more hungry after training.

A matter of personal preferences

The matter of exercising on an empty stomach begins and ends in the mind. If you think that you will not have enough energy and pass out when exercising on an empty stomach and feel the need to eat something, then eat something. This is a “mind over matter” subject, as well… if you think you can do it, then you can. 

 

The Way to Success in Fitness is to Track Tour Progress

Common mistakes made when starting an exercise routine are goals that are impossible to reach, and sufficient  time to reach these goals. First, you must set a healthy and reasonable goal, and determine the time to achieve this goal.

In the beginning, we all have more than enough motivation, confidence and enthusiasm. After a week or two of exercising, the confidence and enthusiasm leave their places to boredom and weariness. With the loss of motivation, the exercise and diet routine starts to be disrupted, and another attempt of living healthier comes to the inevitable end: “Giving up”.

During the process, great challenges are waiting for you. You should know that if it was easy everyone would do it. If you really want to achieve your goals, stop expecting your body and your biological mechanisms to do impossible things.

We will set realistic goals. We will set the correct time expectations for these goals. By giving priority to your favorite exercises we will make exercise and fitness a part of your life, not a period in your life. In theis process you will proceed with patience, determination, awareness, with the professionals of the subject if possible, and most importantly, without pushing your health to the background.

On the way to your goals, doing interlude controls and tracking are the golden keys of success. Even if you see your progress with your own eyes, your success will be guaranteed if you track the quality of the changes in your body caused by exercising and diet in detail with different methods and numbers. Not everyone can have the chance of using the fat-muscle analysis tools in sports centers and private establishments, therefore, it would be wise to use the up-to-date economical alternative methods.

The urinalysis bar you will use at home, which Vivoo offers personally, will guide you to follow your progress. In the light of your results, it even makes suggestions to change your diet and works as a reminder during the day, if needed. We all need a coach for motivation in such hard times. We should benefit from the recent scientific developments and make our efforts easier.

There are different methods if you choose to base your measurements on your exercise performance. If you wish, you can do a performance test of how many times you can do the ‘burpee’ exercise in 30 seconds which makes all your body muscles work. Once you have warmed up for your workout at the beginning of every week, test how many ‘burpees’ you can do while keeping the right form and keep track of it.

You will see that your efforts are never futile, you will begin every week with more motivation and determination.

I wish you all a healthy and successful month.

 

Choose Your Character, Unleash Your Inner Athlete!

One of the main principles of a healthy life is “exercise.” Instead of doing short-term exercises for specific goals, you should make it a long-term habit which you enjoy doing. Our character influences all of our choices, therefore it affects our daily routines and our whole lifestyle. Choosing your exercises according to your characteristics will be the most beneficial step for you when developing an “exercising habit” for a healthy life.

Are “individual sports” or “team sports” better for your motivation?

The people who prefer the individual sports concept are individuals who are in intensive communication with other people during the day and are in need of hearing their inner voices and focusing on themselves. Team sports are usually preferred by individualistic people who work on computers and have minimum contact with their colleagues. They are preferred for socializing, communicating and a little bit of friendly competition.

My advice for the people who prefer individual sports would be cardiovascular exercises such as yoga, reformer pilates, exercise with a trainer, local strength exercises with a partner or solo, swimming, jogging, walking, cardio cycle. These types of exercises are individual exercises in which the person concentrates on herself/himself, and physically strengthens while he or she is relaxing.

My advice for the people who prefer team sports; group exercises (spinning, mat pilates, dance-aerobic, etc.), jogging groups, functional outdoor exercising groups, all team sports that can be played with co-workers or close friends (volleyball, basketball, football, etc.), squash, tennis, crossfit.

For your preferred method of exercise, you should first see an expert and make sure that you are healthy enough for this exercise. Planning your exercises in advance as a part of your week will give you discipline and stability. The exercise program you prepare should include weight training for muscular strength, cardiovascular exercises that support your cardiovascular system (jogging, walking, swimming, etc.), and restful exercises to relax and stretch all body muscles (yoga, stretching, pilates, etc.) equally.

Stay healthy.