To maximize your body's ability to burn fat, perform two cardio sessions. The first one in the morning and the second after you train in the afternoon or in the evening. This technique works well because of a cool effect that occurs after you do cardio. After your cardio session your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is higher and your body will actually burn extra calories for several hours after you have finished. The calories that your body burns literally while doing nothing, will probably exceed the calories initially burned during your cardiovascular exercise.
Cardiovascular training in the morning before you eat breakfast, or carbs, is beneficial because your body's glycogen levels will be lower in the morning. This is especially true if you last ate at dinner time and have fasted for 8 to 10 hours while you slept.
Doing your cardio without eating causes your body to mobilize more bodyfat because the glycogen in your blood is unavailable, and because your blood glucose levels are also lower after an overnight fast so you will burn more fat which your body will use for energy.
After fasting overnight your insulin levels are their lowest. When you eat, especially carbohydrates, your body (or pancreas to be more specific) releases insulin, which will interfere with the mobilization of body fat. Sinse there is less insulin present in your system before you eat after 8 to 10 hour fast, more body fat will be burned when cardio is done in the morning. You should also note that this is also why many "fat burning" products contains several ingredients, which reduce or regulate the blood insulin levels.
If you are eating immediately before cardio, this can also inhibit the fat burning process because your body will first have to burn off the calories from the food you ate before it will burn the fat stored in your body. Doing your cardio in the morning, your metabolism will stay raised for a period after the cardio training is finished.
Doing you cardio in the morning will also give you better circulation throughout the day and give you an energy boost. Training early can also regulate your appetite thoughout the day which will help in controlling cravings and binging later on. Adding an afternoon cardio session will elevate your metabolism for a second time for another period of a few hours. Again, your body will be burning extra calories while doing no extra work. This is similar to the calories that will be burned by extra lean muscle you develop. Once you add the muscle you burn more calories without doing any additional exercise. These are those little tricks that most people don't know about; and all without the help of taking diet pills or fat burners.
Written by Jeff Behar
Fitness Focus, Saskatoon's No Contract Gym