Terrified of packing on the pounds thanks to all that pigging out you’ll be doing over the holidays? Well, a group of researchers in Belgium has a solution: just exercise before breakfast. In a new study, researchers fed a group of active young men a high-fat, high-calorie diet, then had some exercise before eating breakfast, and some exercise after, with a third control group not exercising at all.
After six weeks, the non-exercisers had ballooned an average of 6 pounds each, while those who had exercised after breakfast had packed on an average of 3 pounds. But the group that exercised before breakfast gained virtually no weight. It also negated other negative effects; whereas other groups became resistant to insulin, the pre-dawn crowd was fine. By exercising before eating, the subjects “demonstrated beneficial metabolic adaptations,” the study’s senior author tells the New York Times. And those enhancements could enhance fatty acid turnover. (Read more exercise stories.)