When To Exercise To Burn Fat, Not Carbs

I have seen debate after debate about when is the best time to exercise to burn the most fat. So a friend of mine who’s trying to lose weight agreed to run a little test to see if she burnt more fat exercising at different times of the day…

Now I know from personal experience that doing cardio 1st thing in the morning on an empty stomach burns the most fat. More specifically, HIIT (high intensity interval training), burns the most fat. The reason for this is becuase the stomach is empty and your glycogen levels are depleted. This is the time when you body is most likely to use your fat for fuel. Shorter, high intensity workouts (less than 45mins) ensure that your body does not use too much muscle (protein stores) for fuel.

So here’s what we did. We planned a strict diet which she kept exactly the same for 8 weeks. For the first 4 weeks, she would do a total of 4 cardio training sessions per week in the evening after work. Monday’s and Thursdays she’d do HIIT spin cycling and Tuesday’s and Fridays she would run for 20mins on the treadmill, followed by 20 min on the bike at medium intensity.

We measured he bodyfat % using this measuring bodyfat % guide by Muscle&Strength.com (this is the most accurate guide).

Her bodyfat % was 33%.

After 4 weeks of training on the strict diet we’d planned her bodyfat % was down to 30%. Not bad, a 3% loss of fat in 4 weeks. Note this is pure fat loss, not muscle loss. If you read the tutorial by following the link above you’ll see how we calculated it.

OK, so her bodyfat is now 30%. Now we kept the diet EXACTLY the same (very strict, even on weekends) and also the training the same but moved the training from the evening to the morning. She wake up at 7:30, drink 750ml of water and head straight in the gym for a workout.

After 4 more weeks, her we measured her bodyfat %. It was 24.5%. A whopping 5.5% lose in 4 weeks!

So you can see by those results, that clearly for burning fat, training in the morning on an empty stomach burnt almost twice as much fat!

See, your body’s fat reserves are the absolute last resort when as a fuel source. Your body will burn carbs, protein, glycogen and even muscle tissue before it burns fat. The best way to ensure that your body burns fat is to deprive it of some of the other sources.

VERY IMPORTANT: It’s very important if you take up training like this to replace the glycogen in your muscles straight after your workout. The fastest way to do this is with simple carbohydrates. You can either drink a sports drink, or a drink containing dextrose (sugars). This is the one time that simple carbohydrates will actually assist you. Your body will not turn these sugars into fat storage becuase your muscles are deprived and the sugar will be absorbed. This way, you are making sure that you are not lose muscle mass at the same time as you’re burning fat.

Any questions just post in the comments or ask at our forum! Good luck burning the fat…

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