Should You Hit the Gym Hungry?

Here's the truth behind eating before the gym and why you can't seem to lose that belly.



Ditching food before the gym may not help you ditch your belly. Doing cardio workouts on an empty stomach won’t help you lose weight any faster than training on a full stomach, according to research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports.

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Study participants were split into two groups. Both groups ran on a treadmill for 60 minutes, three days a week. One group downed a meal-replacement shake before each workout, while the other group completed them without food. And after four weeks, both groups lost the same amount of weight.

Related: Should You Eat Before a Workout?

“There’s a belief that when you exercise on an empty stomach, your body burns fat for fuel instead of the food you’ve just ingested,” explains lead researcher Dr. Brad Schoenfeld. “But there’s no evidence to support that fasted cardio has any benefit for fat loss.”

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Since an empty stomach won’t help you burn extra body fat, and you hate working out hungry, eat before you hit the gym, he says. Just make sure you fuel up with the right food, like these 8 High-Protein Breakfasts That Aren’t All about Eggs. Or if you’re the type of person who gets sick just thinking of chowing down before a workout, skipping the grub won’t hurt you either.

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