Does exercising on an empty stomach help burn fat?


From a metabolic point of view, when we have not eaten for 6-12 hours, we are in a fasting state, such as in the early morning, when we exercise without eating, we are exercising on an empty stomach.

Its fat-burning concept is that people consume body fat as the main energy donor when exercising in the morning after fasting at night, thereby improving fat-burning efficiency and helping you achieve fat-burning. Of course, this is also the reason why many friends choose to exercise on an empty stomach.

Of course, fasting exercise doesn't just refer to aerobic exercise. Studies have shown that strength training on an empty stomach after waking up in the morning can also significantly improve fat-burning efficiency.

As mentioned above, fasting exercise (including fasting aerobic exercise and fasting strength training) can improve the efficiency of fat burning, so does it mean that we can achieve the purpose of burning fat in this way? Not necessarily, for the following reasons:

1. From the point of view of thermal balance

In order to effectively burn fat, you need to maintain a negative balance of calories, that is, let the calorie intake be less than the consumption. For fasting exercise, even if it can improve fat burning efficiency to a certain extent, that is, it helps you increase calorie consumption, but if you want to have a calorie deficit, you still need to consider your diet.

That said, if your diet isn't handled well, your daily caloric intake won't be well controlled, so even though exercise can generate considerable burn, there's no guarantee of a calorie deficit, so you won't necessarily lose weight.

Therefore, no matter what kind of fat-burning exercise you choose, and how high the exercise consumption is, there is no guarantee that you can lose weight on the premise that your daily calories are not well limited. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, even if daily consumption can be increased through exercise, diet can be controlled reasonably and effectively.

2. From the point of view of calorie consumption

Under the premise that your calorie intake is effectively controlled, the amount of calorie consumption will become a key factor affecting the effect of fat burning. Although exercise is a way to increase daily consumption, it is not the only way. In addition to exercise consumption, we also need to consider basal replacement, non-exercise consumption, and the thermic effect of food. In the process of burning fat, the consumption we have to consider is also the sum of various consumptions, not one.

Therefore, from the perspective of overall calorie consumption, whether your overall calorie consumption can be improved has little to do with the form of exercise you choose. That said, no matter how good a form of exercise is for fat burning, it must ensure that your overall daily consumption increases. Therefore, from this point of view, the significance of fasting exercise for fat burning is not obvious.

3. From the perspective of sports consumption

The amount of exercise consumed depends on three factors: exercise intensity, exercise time, and exercise frequency. Therefore, no matter what kind of exercise method is adopted, in order to achieve the ideal fat burning effect, these three elements must be considered. Compared to these three elements, the effect of a specific form of exercise on fat-burning effect is irrelevant. This is secondary, as is fasting exercise.