Pre-workout meal or Post-workout meal? What do you prefer? Is one better than the other? Are there benefits to fasted training? Well, to be honest, it all depends on a few different factors! Probably not what you wanted to hear, but you know, I’m going to be honest with you guys!
I say it depends on a few different factors because if your goal is to gain muscle then fasted training (no food before a workout) might not be for you. If you find that training early in the morning is a no-no then again, fasted training isn’t the best idea! But if you enjoy a sunrise walk in the morning it could be perfect!
Find out what works for YOU and YOUR BODY!
It also comes down to personal preference. Some people can train on an empty stomach and it not affect them too much. Others, like me, will find they feel weak and light headed. Personally, I have to have something in my stomach to get me through. But that’s because I mainly focus on weight training. I have some clients that find if they have breakfast before a session they feel sick and overfull, others feel sick because they haven’t eaten anything. It really does come down to what works for YOU and YOUR BODY.
When you sleep your body is technically in a fasted state. Your body goes through the process of breaking down amino acids into glucose, ready for exercise. Lots of people use fasted cardio first thing in the morning in the hope that they will burn more fat. Doing a low-intensity session where you will use fat as fuel and leave glycogen stores until necessary, is better than doing a HIIT style of training, that’s if you’ve fasted. When I say low-intensity cardio I mean like a walk or cycle, not putting your body through too much stress. Your body currently has no food in it, relying on the food you ate at your last meal for energy, which may have been over 12 hours ago! Training in this way does burn fat yes, in fact, it can burn up to 20% more fat by doing fasted cardio. Staying hydrated through your workout is essential so don’t forget your water bottle!
Strength training whilst fasted can impact your performance
If you are thinking of doing a weight based training session fasted, I’d maybe think about that again. Training in a fasted state will seriously impact your performance on lifting. I’d suggest eating a high protein and caffeine breakfast, like 3 scrambled eggs and a coffee, which is a low carb/fat meal, meaning your body is still going to use the fat stores throughout your session. In order to gain muscle you will need to refuel your body, so if you are having an early morning session and getting that low carb/fat brekkie in first, try and have a carb and protein-based meal within an hour or so of finishing your session.
Fasted Cardio isn’t the answer to fat loss!
Fasted cardio isn’t the only answer! As I mentioned before, fasted training isn’t for me, it isn’t for everyone. Training in a fasted state can actually have an impact on the intensity of your session. You might find that exercise is harder and you feel fatigued quicker. You might just struggle to get out of bed an extra half an hour earlier, which I wouldn’t blame you! Fasted cardio isn’t the answer to fat loss, it just assists with fat loss. Just like lots of other things. I’ve previously spoken about HIIT (high-intensity interval training). This has been proved to burn a high amount of calories during the workout, and, even hours after you’ve finished your session, even whilst you’re watching TV! Result! Fasted cardio doesn’t quite have the same effect on the body. It usually burns a set amount of calories at a slower rate, and when you’ve finished exercising, well, that’s about it!
Doing a HIIT style session might fit into your schedule easier too! You can burn more calories in a shorter period of time, surely that’s what everyone wants, isn’t it?? If you give a HIIT session 100% for 20 minutes you are going to get lots of rewards. Fat loss, heart health, fitness improvement just to name a few. You can train the full body in less than half an hour, you just need to prioritise that time and put it aside for exercise.
TO SUM UP…
- Fasted cardio is not the ONLY way to lose fat
- Listen to your body! It comes down to personal preference if you feel you can train on an empty stomach. And…
- You have to enjoy it, if you have the time in the morning for a leisurely stroll then yes, why not?!
So let’s stop making fasted cardio and training such a stigma in the fitness industry, yes it’ll assist you to lost fat but there are SO many other ways too! You just need to get yourself moving and find something you enjoy to keep you moving!
I’m hoping that all of that made sense, if not, please comment below and throw me some questions and I’ll explain further! Also! If there’s anything, in particular, you would like me to blog about, again, just holla me!!
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