Study: effective weight loss through exercise before breakfast

Exercising before breakfast doubles your fat burning

The timing of when people eat and exercise has a big impact on fat burning. If we do sports before breakfast, the fat burning is doubled compared to people who ate breakfast before doing sports.

A recent study by the University of Bath and the University of Birmingham found that exercise before breakfast contributed to significantly higher fat loss. The results of the study were published in the journal Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Study included only men

Thirty men who were considered obese or overweight participated in the six-week study. In the study, the subjects were divided into two intervention groups (who ate breakfast before / after training) and a control group (which made no lifestyle changes). The results of the study show that people who exercised before breakfast burned twice as much fat as the group who exercised after breakfast. Changing the timing of when people eat and exercise could dramatically improve fat loss in many people.

Why was fat loss increased?

The researchers found that increased fat loss is mainly due to lower insulin levels during exercise when people fasted overnight. This means that they can use more of the fat from their fat tissue and the fat in their muscles as fuel. This improved fat burning did not result in differences in weight loss over a six-week period, but had a profound impact on the health of participants, as their bodies responded better to insulin, controlled blood sugar levels, and reduced the risk of diabetes and heart disease .

Researchers focused on the effects on the fat stores in the muscles

Because the timing of meals in relation to exercise can change the effectiveness of exercise, the researchers focused on the effects on fat stores in the muscles of people who worked out before or after eating and the effects that they did on the insulin response and on the diet.

Overall health improved through exercise before breakfast

"Our results suggest that changing the time you eat when you exercise can make profound and positive changes in your overall health," said University of Bath study author Javier Gonzalez in a press release . “We found that the men in the study who trained before breakfast burned twice as much fat as the group who trained afterwards. The important thing is that while this did not affect weight loss, it did dramatically improve overall health, ”added the doctor.

Effects of pre-breakfast exercise on our muscles

Although both training groups lost a similar amount of weight, the group that trained before breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin. During the six-week study, the researchers found that the muscles in the pre-breakfast group responded better to insulin than in the post-breakfast group, despite identical workouts and adjusted food intake. The muscles of those who exercised before breakfast also showed a greater increase in key proteins, especially those involved in the transport of glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Increase health benefits of exercise by working out before breakfast - new research, University of Bath (query: 18.10.2019), University of Bath

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