Does Exercising On An Empty Stomach Help Burn More Fat? Find Out Here

Exercising on an empty stomach may help you burn more fat, but it may not necessarily make you feel healthy. Here's what celebrity fitness expert Kayla Itsines has to say about it.

Does Exercising On An Empty Stomach Help Burn More Fat? Find Out Here

You might burn more fat if you exercise on an empty stomach


  • Fasted cardio may help you burn more fat
  • Some people might feel low on energy by exercising on empty stomach
  • A light pre-workout meal is the healthier way to go

If you are someone who works out in the morning, it is quite likely that you are doing it on an empty stomach. Lack of time is the most common reason for people not opting for eating anything before workout. This stands true for some people who workout in the evening as well. Celebrity fitness expert Kayla Itsines recently took to Instagram to share a blog where she talks about working out in an empty stomach, and how it affects your body. According to Kayla, to eat or not to eat before a workout depends on what suits your body.

Exercising on an empty stomach: Does it work?

Fasted cardio, or doing your cardio on an empty stomach is a common phenomenon. But does it necessarily help you lose weight faster? Kayla explains in her blog, "The idea stems from the fact that glycogen, a stored carbohydrate, is often depleted in the morning. So after a night without eating, your body could potentially burn a greater percentage of fat working out on an empty stomach as your store of carbohydrates (your body's preferred energy source) is not easily available."

Also read: Here's How Your Workout Structure Can Affect Your Post-Exercise Mood

This however, may not be as good for your health as the body is at risk of losing a lot of glycogen. After a point of time, you may begin to lose muscle. This situation is most likely to happen in extreme cases. Many people eat their last meal a few hours before sleep and don't get a full 8 hours of sleep. Thus, workout on an empty stomach may not necessarily use all the glycogen and you can burn more fat.


A pre-workout snack like nuts can keep you energised
Photo Credit: iStock

However, maintaining a balance is the key when it comes to fitness. Just like working out after eating a heavy meal is not a pleasant feeling, workout out on an empty stomach is no better. You are likely to feel sick in both the scenarios and hence exercising after eating a light meal may be the best thing to do. Your body is not preoccupied with digesting huge amounts of food and is capable to deliver oxygen to your muscles and burn fat.

Also read: Proteins Or Carbs: Which Is The Best Fuel For Exercise?

"Now, I'm not saying that everyone should train on an empty stomach and I am also not saying that you should eat a huge meal before exercise either. One way is not significantly better or worse than the other,," writes Kayla.

According to Kayla, there is no significant difference between working out on an empty stomach and working out after eating a light meal. In case the former makes you feel low on energy and sick, it is better to listen to your body and eat something that makes you feel energised and keeps you going throughout your workout.

A fruit and/or some nuts make for good pre-workout snacks. Here are a few more options that you can bank on.

Also read: Is Walking An Exercise? Celeb Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar Has The Perfect Reply!

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.