Intermittent fasting is a popular diet trend that restricts the amount of time you have to eat throughout the day. One of the most popular methods is to set a time that you’ll stop eating at night, say 10 PM, and fast until noon the next day. That equates to a 14-hour fast.
You can play with the amount of time you go without food, increasing or decreasing based on how you feel. Some people do 18 to 20-hour fasts and only leave themselves four hours to eat. The most simple strategy is to simply skip breakfast.
Morning exercisers might find intermittent fasting hard if they usually eat before or immediately after their workouts. Some people hate the feeling of exercising while hungry. Working out without food in your stomach is called fasted exercise, and there’s speculation that it helps burn more fat.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity set out to see if there’s any truth to that. They had a few groups of people. One group ate before and after their workouts. The second group ate before but not after their workout. A third group didn’t eat before or after.
The researchers found that people who didn’t eat before or after their workout consumed fewer calories each day than the other groups. However, the people who ate before and after their workouts burned more calories during the day.
In total, people who didn’t eat before or after their workout burned the most calories. That’s probably due to the fact that they had less time during the day to eat. However, they felt more hungry than the other groups who ate around the time they exercised.
In the study, the participants were told how much to eat and were given specific foods. In the real world, when you’re hungry after a workout, you might eat more and make unhealthy choices.
For that reason, it might help to eat a little before or after your workout. Eating also boosts your activity level and energy expenditure throughout the rest of the day. People who skip breakfast tend to be less active in the morning than people who eat.
Try different methods to see what works best for you. It’s possible that exercising in the morning and then waiting until lunch will help you with weight loss. However, some people can’t control their hunger and need a little something in the morning.