I recently published a post on Henry Cavill’s Workout Plan for The Witcher where I talked about how he incorporated Fasted Cardio in his routine as a part of the process.
I thought it was necessary for me to shed light on the topic of Fasted Cardio as a lot of you might include it in your routine just because Henry Cavill did so. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with including Fasted Cardio in your routine but you should be doing it for the right reasons.
So, in an attempt to make things simpler for you, I’ll go over what is Fasted Cardio, The Science Behind it, and whether or not should you make it a part of your routine. Let’s get started.
What Is FASTED Cardio?
Fasted Cardio refers to the exercise that you do in a fasted state. Normally people do fasted cardio when they wake up in the morning from a 7-8 hour long sleep.
Your body is in a fasted state when the food that you’ve eaten has been absorbed by your body and there’s no digestive process that is going on in your system.
The Science Behind FASTED Cardio
The idea that fasted cardio is better for fat loss propagated in the ’90s where several studies concluded that you burn more fat when you workout on an empty stomach.
Much of this has to do with insulin. You can understand it like this – if your insulin levels are high then it’ll be difficult for your body to lose fat.
As you’re in a fasted state, your insulin levels are low, so you should be losing more fat, right?
Even though research has shown that you do burn more calories from fat from working out on an empty stomach but research has also shown that you burn more calories from carbohydrates later in the day.
So, what actually happens is, you burn the same amount of calories throughout the day whether you do fasted cardio or fed cardio. Thus, technically, Fasted or fed cardio won’t actually make or break your weight loss goals.
Another downside to fasted cardio is that while it does result in more fat burning during exercise, much of the fat isn’t the subcutaneous stuff that wiggles and jiggles when you walk. Instead, about half comes from fat stored in your muscle cells (known as intramuscular triglycerides).
And as you get leaner, it’ll tap into muscle fat stores instead of the fat that you really want to lose, which only makes the matters worse.
Benefits Of FASTED Cardio(Should You Give It A Try?)
Until now we’ve seen that difference in overall fat loss between fasted and fed cardio is almost negligible and it might not have the magical benefits that many people claim it has but there surely are certain benefits attached to it.
There’s a theory around fasted cardio and burning stubborn fat from areas like lower abs and lower back if you’re a guy and your hips, thighs, and butt if you’re a girl.
It’s worth noting that there’s no scientific evidence to back this claim and that’s why I’ll not go into it. But if you choose to include Fasted Cardio in your routine and feel the improvement then it’s working for you, there’s always a possibility.
The other thing where fasted cardio might help you with your fitness routine is that it’ll get your day going as a lot of people don’t really have an appetite when they wake up in the morning so working out on an empty stomach might help you get the blood pumping and make your day productive for the rest of the which might translate into overall better physical and mental health.
Fasted Cardio will also limit your food portions because now the window within which you’ll be having the rest of your meals will be short so it can help you prevent overeating which a lot of us can get into that ultimately hinders with fat loss.
Things You Should Take Care Of & Takeaway
There are just two things you should take care of with fasted cardio.
- Don’t go overboard. Low to moderate intensity cardio is enough for things to work. If you go really high intensity then it’ll work against you as in it’ll result in catabolism(loss of muscle mass).
- Supplement yourself with protein within 30 minutes of your cardio session. Reason being, your body is already in a catabolic state and if you extend it for too long then it’ll result in a loss of muscle mass so supplementing yourself with protein of about 10-20 grams will maintain your muscle mass and you’ll be able to burn fat while minimizing muscle loss.
Now, you’re equipped with all the pros and cons of fasted cardio. If you decide to go with it then make sure you take the necessary precautions that have been listed above and if you feel your lifestyle might not allow you to include fasted cardio in your routine then don’t push it.
Fitness will only come from sustainability and it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
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