After speaking about my new program (which includes fasted cardio) during “Team Training” this week, many of the girls have been asking me about it. What is fasted cardio? Who benefits from this in their fitness program? What are the pros and cons? So this inspired me to write about my opinion on this topic and how/why I am doing fasted cardio as part of my cutting phase.
WHAT IS FASTED CARDIO & WHY DO IT?
Fasted cardio or fasted training is training without eating or taking any supplements beforehand. Training on an empty stomach (say after 10 or so hours/ or overnight) our blood sugar levels are low, our glycogen (stored muscle sugar) is depleted and our insulin and cortisol levels are low. When training, our body burns sugar first, but if we are fasted and sugar is not available, it will burn fat (keytone bodies) and use fat as energy as opposed to muscle, sugar or supplements.
- Training in a fasted state uses fats as fuel and has been proven to target your stubborn fat areas such as hips and legs!
- It allows you stay insulin sensitive and burn fat right up until you replace and replinsh your insulin levels by eating carbs. For me at the moment, my diet is high fat/low carb until lunchtime (around 1pm) so therefore I am burning fat from training (around 7am) until lunchtime.
- Your metabolic rate stays high which is epic for fat loss… allow it sounds amazing- this comes with a down side-hence why I wasnt doing it while trying to gain muscle!
- You must be eating well and know about timing of meals nad nutrition intake. Your timing of meals and training too is altered when training in a fasted state.
- As I mentioned earlier, yes fasted cardio does aid in fat loss BUT is has to match you personaly goals. Are you training for fat loss? energy? muscle gain? etc … BECAUSE…
- The biggest problem of fasting cardio, especially if combined with fast paced exercises such as sprinting, is potential loss of muscle mass too! Hence, why I wasn’t doing this type of training during Phase 1 and 2, when my main goal was to gain muscle
However, there are few tips and tricks that may help you:
1. Do moderate intensity cardio. Work within your fat burning zone or steady state zone which should help retain muscle and burn fat
2. Fuel your body post workout (breakfast) with protein and healthy fats and get your carb intake from green vegetables to ensure you continue the fat burning process for as long as possible.
3. Do what works for you! Keep a workout diary and record how your feel, energy levels etc to see how you can maximise your results to suit your individual goals.