There are many exercise myths that exist that are not only untrue, but can actually be harmful. One such myth is that you will burn more fat if you work out on an empty stomach. The theory is that if you have nothing in your stomach to burn off while exercising, your body will instead burn stored fat. However, this is not what actually ends up happening, but instead your body will actually burn muscle, which is counterproductive. Also, by not giving your body the fuel it needs, you will likely suffer from less energy making your workout less effective at burning calories.
Our bodies are machines that need fuel to do anything, especially something as physically taxing and that expends as many calories as exercise. To deny yourself of food and make it work on empty is going to create exhaustion that can sometimes deter people from working out in the long run. The key is to make your body as optimal as possible, and this can’t happen when you’re not giving your body what it needs.
The key is not to deny yourself of food, but to give your body the right kinds of nutrients. If your goal is weight loss and general health then eating small portions quite often is a really good way to rev up your metabolism. If you work out on an empty stomach you will be setting yourself up not only for exhaustion but for potential binging later on after exercising. Good foods to eat before exercise include good carbohydrates, such as a banana or brown rice, because carbohydrates create a quick energy surge in our body as they are quickly digested.
People will do some unhealthy and sometimes damaging things in order to get their bodies to where they want them. But health is a long term goal, something that you need patience to achieve. Your body is your best guide in telling you what it needs, and eating before working out is a great way to maximize your work outs and maintaining the health that is the ultimate goal.