If a 9 to 5 job makes finding time to exercise difficult for you or your employees, don’t despair. Squeezing in an early morning workout might just be the best way to prevent weight gain – particularly during the high-stress holiday season.
A recent study by Belgian researchers put three groups to the test: How much weight would otherwise healthy individuals gain over a 6-week period? All participants ate a high fat, high calorie diet, mimicking holiday eating habits. Group 1 engaged in no formal exercise for the entirety of the study. Group 2 ate a carb-heavy breakfast before a strenuous morning workout. Group 3 exercised first thing in the morning then chowed down on the same high-carb meal as Group 2 after their workout. Unsurprisingly, the group that didn’t exercise gained about 6 pounds over the course of the six-week study. The pre-workout breakfasters gained about 3 pounds overall, but shockingly, the group that exercised before eating did not gain a significant amount of weight. The study’s authors suggest that exercising in a fasted state coaxes the body to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel during vigorous exercise instead of relying mainly on carbohydrates.
Exercising in this ideal fasting state is usually only possible before breakfast. So, encourage your employees to stay healthy and trim year-round with pre-workday workouts. Remember: healthy, active employees take fewer sick days and report greater job satisfaction than their heavier counterparts, which makes for a more productive and economical work environment.