Does a Light Workout in the Morning Help Burn More Body Fat?
A light workout in the morning can boost your mood and energy, which will help set your pace for the day. The American Council on Exercise states that people who work out in the morning tend to exercise more consistently. A light workout in the morning can help you burn fat, but you also have to consider how eating breakfast before or after a workout will affect your fat burn rate.
Creating a Fat Loss Plan
A light cardio workout uses more fat as fuel than an intense workout, according to the American Council on Exercise. However, highly intense exercise burns more calories, which results in greater fat and weight loss. Therefore, consider performing low and high intervals for optimum fat loss. One pound of fat is about 3,500 calories, so aim to lose at least 500 calories daily to drop a pound of fat a week. Harvard Health Publications states that a 185-pound person can lose about 200 calories by briskly walking at 4 miles per hour for 30 minutes. Therefore, if you brisk walk for 30 minutes each morning and create a 300-calorie deficit with your meals, you can lose a pound of fat per week.
Burn More Before Breakfast
Performing a light workout before eating breakfast can help you burn more body fat. A study published in 2010 in the “Journal of Physiology” discovered that exercising in a fasted state led to greater fat loss. The study examined healthy young men exercising for six weeks. The groups were fed a high-fat diet, and one group exercised without eating while the other consumed carbs during and before exercising. The results showed that the fasted group had the best results in burning fat and preventing weight gain.
A Fasted Morning Workout
When you exercise in a fasted state, your glycogen levels are low, making a light workout ideal. With low glycogen levels, your body cannot produce enough energy to sustain a long or intense workout, such as running. It is important to stay hydrated during your workout with a low-calorie sports drink or water, according to The Guardian. In addition, perform a light workout for about an hour to avoid muscle protein breakdown and impaired immune function.
Watch the Calories
Since a light workout doesn’t burn as much fat as a high-intensity workout, it's important to watch your calorie intake. Keep a pre-workout meal small and below 200 calories, if you decide to eat before a workout. With a high-calorie meal before a light workout, you will not burn enough calories during the workout to reduce body fat. A pre-workout meal for a light morning exercise can include a fruit smoothie, a fruit and nut-rich trail mix or a bowl of oats.
No Carb Breakfast
Another option for increasing fat loss during a morning workout is to eat a breakfast without carbs. A protein-only breakfast with a dose of moderate coffee can fuel your workout without taking in additional calories. This can consist of three egg whites and a cup of coffee without sugar. A large egg can have up to 6 grams of protein without carbs.