Between doing sports on an empty stomach or eating energy food for exercise, athletes are still undecided. However, many people think that physical activity on an empty stomach is more effective at losing weight and disposing of a few extra pounds. True or false? Answers Dr. Stefania Setti, Nutritionist of Humanitas Gavazzeni.
“True. Although there are not yet definitive results, new research seems to show that doing physical activity on an empty stomach is effective for losing weight – explains the expert. According to a study by the University of Bath (UK), exercise after an abundant carbohydrate-rich breakfast, such as biscuits, rusks, bread or cereals, would not have the same effect on fat tissue as fasting physical activity. This difference is most likely due to the fact that, after a rich breakfast, the energy needed for physical effort is derived from newly introduced carbohydrates, while the fat reserves are not affected. If, on the other hand, physical effort takes place on an empty stomach, the necessary energy will be taken from the fat and excess reserves, thanks also to the more favorable hormonal picture characterized by low levels of insulin, a condition that favors lipolysis. Therefore, to lose weight or to keep fit, it seems that fasting physical activity, practiced regularly, is the most appropriate, while always taking into account the individual’s state of health, duration and intensity of physical activity that you intend to perform. For example, children and diabetics should always eat a light snack, consisting of a fruit, breadsticks or whole crackers, a yogurt, or dried fruit, before engaging in physical activity”.