As I’ve learned, you burn most fat when working out first thing in the morning before a meal. I usually work out in the afternoon at 3:30 or evening at 8:15.

Because I obviously have already eaten (but even with a good diet) will this lower my chances of getting leaner and developing lean muscle? Is the fact that I’m not working out first thing in the morning slowing down my potential progress?



Hey Ashley. How are you?

Ok so I’m guessing you’re basing your concern on the fact that when people work out in the morning in a fasted state, a greater percentage of calories burned comes from fat. Right?

Let me explain this. The reason why you burn more fat when exercising in a fasted state is simple – you’re in a very low blood sugar state which promotes fat use for fuel during exercise. But do bear in mind you never burn all the fat and even in a fasted state your muscles will rely on some muscle glycogen for fuel. In truth I prefer working out on an empty stomach as I just feel better and have more sustainable energy. But I do know some individuals that must eat first thing in the morning and can’t workout in a fasted state. It’s definitely a personal choice.

You ask if working out later after eating is slowing your progress and your level of weight or fat loss – I’d have to say no. You CAN get leaner, lose weight and become healthier with exercise later in the day. In fact most people don’t exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach – I’m one of the few who does. But there are advantages to this type of training. It’s actually a widely used bodybuilding trick to schedule cardio in on an empty stomach when getting ready for a show. It’s a tactic used as a last final push to get rid of stubborn body fat. Many people will try cycling this type of fasted cardio for two or three weeks at a time to get past a plateau. If you’re short on time you can still try it. I’d suggest getting up just twenty minutes earlier in the morning and going for a jog, running the stairs in your house, doing jumping jacks or any form of calisthenics. You don’t have to be in the gym to get this done.

Now let me also discuss your food choices. As you know I’m a big Paleo fan and as such, I’m in low blood sugar all day. I eat mostly veggies, lean meats, nuts and seeds with just a little fruit. So whenever I choose to exercise, be it morning, afternoon or night, I’m burning fat for fuel! The key to weight loss is WHAT you eat first and foremost. If your diet is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates you too will be in a low blood sugar state and should have no issues with reaching your goal with later workouts. To explain a bit more, when you eat a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars, for one you’re giving your body great sources of fuel that prevent if from wanting and needing to burn fat for fuel, and two, as a consequence the energy system you’re running off of is primarily that of blood sugar. Do you see how that works? The idea is to give your body carbohydrates high in fiber, with complexity that digest slowly and give you sustained energy over the course of a day. As opposed to sugary, starchy, high processed foods that quickly raise blood sugar and take you right out of your fat burning zone.

So no Ashley, you’re not slowing down your progress at all. Try my suggestion of getting up early a few days a week and continue with your exercise plan. Stay away from sugars, high carbohydrate meals, refined foods like pasta and rice (all white products actually) and eat lean meats with a lot of vegetables. I’m sure if you stay focused, consistent and dedicated to the plan you’ll succeed.

Let me know how it goes and if any of you out there would like to book a more in-depth consultation with me – just drop me a line via the How To Book button in the sidebar.

And if you have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!


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