Have you ever wondered if there was an optimal time of day to work out to burn more fat and calories? Turns out there actually is, but there's a slight catch. To better understand how to maximize fat burn, POPSUGAR spoke with Pratik Patel, director of performance nutrition and assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants.
Pratik explained that working out in the morning is the best time of day to burn more calories. "When you're sleeping, you're breaking down muscle glycogen and liver gylcogen, so you're potentially in this fasted state when you wake up." He said you'll continue to burn calories if you don't eat upon waking up. Because your body is in a depleted state, it may shift more toward burning fat as an energy source due to a limited carbohydrate fuel source.
While this is great news for those looking to burn fat and lose weight, Pratik told POPSUGAR that the fuel source predominately used (carbohydrates vs. fats) is dictated by the intensity of the workout. If you choose to do steady-state cardio, you'll burn higher proportions of fat in your workout, whereas more intense workouts will lead to a greater calorie burn in the 24 hours following your workout.
Most importantly, Pratik explained that regardless of when you choose to do cardio, if you're consistently eating the same amount of calories, you'll see similar changes in body composition and body mass. Fasted or fed, avoiding a hypocaloric diet, eating proper nutrition, and consistently working out will help you lose weight.