It’s time to head back to the gym to lose that holiday weight.
For years, conventional wisdom was a healthy breakfast boosts energy, but now that philosophy is being challenged.
Paul Beirne says 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 said.
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 just ate a fatty breakfast. The second group at a carbohydrate packed meal, then worked out. The third worked out first, then ate the same carb-filled meal.
The group that ate but did not work out packed on six pounds. The group that ate before working out gained about three pounds. Here's the surprise: those who ate after their workout gained almost no weight.
Physical Trainer David Harris said, “the conclusion seems to be that if you do not eat breakfast, and you are fit, you’re going to access fat as fuel source for a workout.”
But 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.”
And the study shows an added benefit for those who can hold out until after working out: their blood sugar level was lower, reducing their risk of diabetes.