The Surprising Truth About Fasted Cardio

 

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Fasted cardio “can be used a method to enhance fat oxidation during low-moderate exercise, assuming the individual still gets a quality workout in and controls for calories for the remainder of the day,” says Keen, the team sports dietitian for Orlando City Soccer Club. Like intermittent fasting, the idea behind fasted cardio is that by waiting until the digestive system is no longer processing food, the body will dip into fat. Fasted cardio “can be used a method to enhance fat oxidation during low-moderate exercise, assuming the individual still gets a quality workout in. Fasted Cardio Benefit #2: It Can Be More Practical. Another great benefit of fasted cardio is that for many people it’s just more practical to do.

Getting it done first thing in the morning can not only help get your day started and boost your mood and productivity for the rest of the day. But I find that it helps with consistency as well. At the end of the day, fasted cardio is a tool to use, but only if its convenient and bodes well for your physiology. If you find that you don’t perform particularly well fasted, then don’t worry. You can still lose just as much fat, and as an added bonus, not feel insatiably hungry through your whole workout.

The truth about fasted cardio: for fat loss In 2014, a study was released from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looking at the body composition changes in fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise, and the results were very interesting. It’s been hypothesised that working out on an empty stomach accelerates fat loss. I’ve never been an early morning cardio person so this particular topic wasn’t applicable to me or my training. However, I do train clients bright and early at 5:45 am and many of them have asked me if they should eat or not before working out. Great question.

I had to do some research so that I could provide you the truth about fasted cardio. Fasted cardio might help you burn more fat throughout the day, trainer Danielle Natoni tells Health. The idea is that when you work out when you haven’t eaten recently, you are burning fat—aka.

True, the research does show that fasted cardio can increase fat utilization during exercise compared to performing cardio in the fed state. Except this only occurs at very low levels of training intensity. During moderate-to-high intensity levels, the body continues to break down significantly more fat when fasted compared to after you’ve eaten. Some research does actually show that when you do cardio fasted in the morning, you burn up to 20 percent more fat.

A recent study from the UK published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” found that when subjects were fasted during morning cardio they burned 20 percent more fat than when they had a meal beforehand.

List of related literature:

However, a study directly comparing fastedand fedstate cardio observed no difference in weight loss, fat loss, or body composition (28).

“Bodybuilding: The Complete Contest Preparation Handbook” by Peter J. Fitschen, Cliff Wilson
from Bodybuilding: The Complete Contest Preparation Handbook
by Peter J. Fitschen, Cliff Wilson
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2019

So if you limit your window of eating to eight hours a day—meaning you fast for sixteen hours—then you can maintain a fasted state, in which you can burn fat more efficiently.

“The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse: Reset Your Metabolism with 160 Tasty Whole-Food Recipes & Meal Plans” by Maria Emmerich
from The 30-Day Ketogenic Cleanse: Reset Your Metabolism with 160 Tasty Whole-Food Recipes & Meal Plans
by Maria Emmerich
Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

But for many dieters, the reason is simpler: They know one hour of intense cardio burns more calories than one hour of strength training.

“Runner's World Complete Book of Running: Everything You Need to Run for Weight Loss, Fitness, and Competition” by Amby Burfoot
from Runner’s World Complete Book of Running: Everything You Need to Run for Weight Loss, Fitness, and Competition
by Amby Burfoot
Rodale Books, 2009

Studies have repeatedly failed to find any significant difference between working out in a fasted or non-fasted state.

“Keto Diet For Dummies” by Rami Abrams, Vicky Abrams
from Keto Diet For Dummies
by Rami Abrams, Vicky Abrams
Wiley, 2019

While it’s true we want to limit our fat intake so it’s not excessive (20 percent to 30 percent of your caloric intake), nothing can compare with aerobic exercise for training your metabolism to burn fat.

“Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial” by Tony Robbins
from Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial
by Tony Robbins
Simon & Schuster, 2007

Fasted training is another simple Train Low strategy you can add to your routine.

“Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Marc Bubbs
from Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports
by Marc Bubbs
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019

diets, and training in the fasted state may all have benefits in training your muscles to burn fat, but your muscles do need time to adapt.

“The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting” by Jimmy Moore, Dr. Jason Fung
from The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting
by Jimmy Moore, Dr. Jason Fung
Victory Belt Publishing, 2016

Second, the crossover and the duration phenomena do not necessarily suggest that body fat reduction is only achieved directly during fasted, lowto moderate-intensity prolonged exercise.

“NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition” by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Bill Campbell, Marie Spano
from NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition
by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Bill Campbell, Marie Spano
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2011

Personally, I train fasted when cutting, and I have 300 milligrams30 minutes before training and another 300 milligrams a couple of hoursbefore Ido cardiolater inthe day.

“Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Shattering Plateaus, Hitting PRs, and Getting Shredded” by Michael Matthews
from Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Shattering Plateaus, Hitting PRs, and Getting Shredded
by Michael Matthews
Oculus Publishers, 2014

A 17-to-27-minute session of highintensity cardio, which mostly consists of low-intensity cooldown periods, burns more fat than 60 minutes of traditional bodybuilding cardio.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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10 comments

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  • Evening time gym kare to catholic mode pe nahi hoga body only morning me hoga iska matlab best time evening huwa fat burn karne k liye

  • What are you talking about. Of corse fasted cardio made only sense with low intensity. Most studies shows. You state is not wrong but mostly misunderstand

  • I’ve been intermittent fasting for 2 months now eating roughly 1200-1350 calories and have only lost 1kg, what am i doing wrong? Any tips

  • This guy isn’t bullshit trust me. Almost every study on fasted cardio has shown fasted or fed you burn the same amount of fat. But if your goal is to burn fat while maintaining muscle mass which unless your obese are peoples main goal. Dont do it fasted you will not loose muscle if you do it fed you could potentially loose muscle fasted. It makes no difference in fat loss overall.

  • What have the resaearchers been doing all these years instead of doing this type of basic research? Playing PacMan in the basement?

  • In your latest videon on HIIT you recommended fish and chicken (in pictures) as a healthy diet, but could you please make a video on veganism? I saw the documentary ‘What the Health’ and I am already vegan and convinced, what do you think about it?

  • Guru maan ji, this video is very useful for intermediates but beginners like me need few more information…

    I have ordered MB BCCA pro, but can see they have BCCA 6000 which has only BCCA and not Glutamine added. Should I use BCCA 6000 or Pro? And do I have to use Glutamine separately even BCCA pro has 2.5 gm of glutamine mixed.

    I am also diabetic, under control…these supplements are safe to use for diabetic people?

  • For me, I recently discovered that I cannot fast the day before, day of and day after Leg Day. So I workout fasted only 4 days a week (M-W non fasted & Th-Sun Fasted). Yes I do Legs on one day a week. Best way for me to pack on size on Legs, especially quads. Trial and error for years. I relatively eat the same amount of calories each day. The goal way to build my Legs and stay lean or get leaner.
    Thanks for the info Greg. I use all your information and implement it. Ultimately, what ever works for the individual.

  • Mike “average guys like us” O’Hearn.

    I love this guy. He’d never exclude anybody. Say what you want but I truly believe he’s got a good heart and puts himself above nobody. Except probably Heath Evans.

  • I walked 25000 steps up to (10 miles) for a week. 20 hr fast lost 5 lbs. I only cardio 2or 3 times a week. Not even hard core just the
    minimum. I hate cardio