Let's think logically about the best times to perform cardiovascular exercise for fat burning purposes.
Take a guess?
Do you think you'll maximize fat loss by performing aerobic exercise in the morning?
How about the afternoon? What about at night, before a weight lifting workout, after a weight lifting workout, on off days, or some other time?
You want your body to use fat as fuel during cardio, correct?
Burning fat directly from your body is your main goal.
To Burn Maximum Amounts of Fat During Cardio You Need To:
This means you want your carbohydrate energy stores to be depleted when you start your cardio session.
By having depleted energy stores, you are burning body fat as the source of energy from the very beginning of the cardio session and not carbohydrates.
You burn more fat throughout the entire session by beginning with depleted energy stores.
You also want insulin to be at a minimal level when performing cardio for maximum fat loss. Insulin is released when you eat. This means you don't want to do cardio directly after eating.
So, What Times During the Day Does That Leave as the Best Options?
Cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the absolute best time for burning the maximum amount of fat.
Your carbohydrate stores will be depleted and you haven't eaten for at least 8 hours or more so your insulin levels will be minimized.
From the very beginning of a morning cardio session, you will be burning fat.
You'll burn more fat in less time.
What's the second best time to perform cardio? Can you take a guess? What's another time that your energy stores are going to be depleted?
When you lift weights, you deplete your energy stores. Performing cardio directly after a weight lifting workout allows you to burn fat from the beginning of the session. Your heart rate will already be elevated from the weight lifting session, so you don't even have to work very hard to reach your target heart rate zone.
This leads to more fat burned in a shorter amount of time.
Burn Fat More Efficiently
Performing cardio in the morning and after you workout for shorter durations will burn fat more efficiently.
You've got to take advantage of these times if your goal is maximum fat loss.
If you want to maximize muscle building, cardio will always be kept to a minimum.
Morning cardio sessions (3 per week) for shorter durations (approximately 30 minutes) can help you keep fat gain to a minimum when building muscle.
If you're focusing on fat loss, make sure you use the best fat burning times discussed on this page to maximize your fat loss.
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