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A new study suggests exercising before breakfast will counter a high-calorie diet.

Researchers in Belgium had 28 healthy, young men consume a diet of 50% fat — 30% more calories than they had been previously eating. Then, they divided the men into three groups: One group didn’t exercise at all; the second group performed four, strenuous hour-long workout sessions after breakfast per week; and the third group performed exactly the same exercise routine as the second, but did so before they ate breakfast.

After six weeks, the non-exercisers gained an average of six pounds. But what was striking is that the group that worked out before breakfast gained no weight, whereas the after breakfast group put on an average of three pounds.

I’ve been working out first thing in the morning for years. I have my UltraMeal protein shake after my workout as my breakfast — working out before putting food into your stomach probably causes the body to burn fat stores. It’s OK to hydrate with water while working out. Sorry to tell all those late afternoon and nightime gym goers!

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