Will Fasted Cardio Burn More Fat?

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By Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D. and William J. Kraemer, Ph.D.

Q. I’ve heard I should do my cardio in the morning after an overnight fast because I’ll burn more fat during the workout. Is this true?

A. The answer is a qualified “yes.” Most people want to burn fat to achieve a toned, well-defined physical appearance. At the end of a day, if a person has burned all the fat consumed during the day, there’s no fat to be stored, so no fat weight gain takes place. Likewise, if all the calories consumed during the day are burned, there are no calories to be stored as fat, so again no fat weight gain takes place. Calories taken in during the day other than fat calories can be transformed into fat and stored as fat. So, it’s important to consider those as well as fat calories.

Several things affect the fuel to be used during exercise. Exercise intensity is perhaps the most…

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