In the New Year, Exercise Before Breakfast to Lose Weight

lose weight for the new yearHappy New Year to all my readers. With the New Year started most everybody will be trying to develop new healthy habits. One of them is to lose weight. Now new information has been published showing us a great way to help us lose weight.

Years of overeating sweets, fats, and excess calories impair the body’s ability to process blood sugar and utilize insulin. This is called insulin resistance, and is a precursor to diabetes. When one is insulin resistant, excess sugar is stored as fat in the midsection and muscles. This is a vicious cycle. The more laden the muscles become with fat, the more insulin resistant one becomes.

In addition to supporting overall health, most people know that diet and exercise helps lower the risk of diabetes. Now, there is evidence that exercising before breakfast may limit weight gain and lessen insulin resistance—even if one overeats. [1]

Researchers in Belgium studied 28 healthy, active men for six weeks. The men were split into two groups: one was sedentary; the other active. Both groups were fed “supersize-like” diets comprised of 50% fat and 30% more calories than usual.

The active group was also broken into two, and then given identical, taxing, weekly exercise protocols. This involved running and cycling two days for 90 minutes and two days for 60 minutes. The first active group exercised after a carbohydrate-rich breakfast and continued to consume carbs, such as a sports drink, during their workout. The second active group exercised on an empty stomach.

After six weeks, the group who exercised on an empty stomach logged some impressive results, especially when compared to the active group. Here is a summary of the remarkable findings:

•    The sedentary group gained an average of six pounds, developed insulin resistance, and began storing fat within and between their muscle’s cells.
•    The men who had breakfast before exercising gained an average of three pounds, became more insulin resistant, and began storing fat in their muscles.
•    The men who exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight, showed no signs of insulin resistance, and showed increased levels of a muscle protein that encourages the body to burn fat and utilize sugar.

I am not suggesting you overeat! I share this important insight to help you lose weight and lower your risk of obesity related diseases like diabetes. It is hard to make lifestyle changes, even at the beginning of a new year. Knowing this tip, you may get the results you are after.

Note: The number of people with diabetes has skyrocketed to 23.6 million in the U.S., with 1.6 million new cases per year. A staggering 57 million have pre-diabetes. This is largely due to obesity. Unlike type-1 diabetes, which one is born with, type-2 diabetes is most often linked to lifestyle choices. [2]

1. Van Proeyen, K, et al. Training in the fasted state improves glucose tolerance during fat-rich diet, J Physiol, 2010 Nov 1;588(Pt 21):4289-302.
2. American Diabetes Association.


About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements: