Fasted cardio is one of the best methods for fat loss, and I personally do fasted cardio workouts legitimately every day.
To be honest, I cannot remember the last day I didn’t do a fasted workout in the morning!
Personally, I began to understand the benefits of fasted cardio while I was in college. Not only did I learn to love fasted training, but it helped my body stay athletic and lean even without having the best food choices around me.
Now that I am playing basketball professionally, I still love fasted workouts in the morning!
Fasted cardio is excellent for fat loss, but in my opinion, it is excellent for building muscle as well.
Want to know more about this enigmatic training strategy?
Keep reading below!
What is Fasted Cardio?
There are tons of exercises and strategies to burn fat, but my favorite is fasted cardio.
In my opinion, it is easily one of the best ways to lose weight for men or women.
Even though there are mixed opinions scientifically on the benefits of training before you eat in the morning, I strongly believe in this concept.
To be honest, I recommend it to just about everyone I talk to about training or health.
The effectiveness of this training method is greatly determined by the type of workouts you are doing, and how well you understand the goals of fasted cardio.
If you want to understand the benefits of fasted cardio, you need to understand the benefits of true fasting first.
According to Cell Metabolism,
“Upon >24 hr of fasting, humans, rodents, and other mammals enter alternative metabolic phases, which rely less on glucose and more on ketone body-like carbon sources. Both intermittent and periodic fasting result in benefits ranging from the prevention to the enhanced treatment of diseases.”
The concept of intermittent fasting plays an integral role in the effectiveness of fasted cardio, and they work together very well.
From my perspective, fasted cardio is effective because it is natural for the human body to do!
I understand most of you are probably wondering about this, since you have been waking up and directly eating breakfast your whole life.
Most of you probably remember the nutritional campaigns from elementary and middle school that taught us the benefit of the “three meals per day” diet.
Well, most of that was completely useless.
Better yet, most of what they taught us is terrible for our bodies!
The human body was not designed to continuously eat throughout the day, which is why eating meals all day long often will make people feel heavy and sluggish.
Think about it- did original humans in cave have time to sit and eat bagels and waffles each morning?
I understand that we have advanced as a civilization past that point, but the concept remains the same.
The human body operates more efficiently when it is eating less often.
Science has proven it, and you will notice it too.
A true fasted state takes over 24 hours to achieve, but we are not looking for that.
Instead, intermittent fasting will do well enough for us!
Fasted Cardio Workouts and Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is also commonly referred to as “Time-Restricted Feeding,” which are both excellent science terms for not eating as often.
Regardless of which term you prefer, the concept is still the same.
You want to eat a regular amount of calories (potentially even more), but during a small window of hours.
Instead of eating for a 12-14 hour period of the day (i.e., 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.), you will restrict your eating to an 8 hours window or less.
While your body is “fasted,” your body releases a chemical reaction called lipolysis (fatty acid and glycerol release into blood) at an improved rate.
Over time, this increases even more!
However, the human body can only function at a high level without food for so long.
We are not taking all of your food away; we are just taking it away for a certain amount of time!
For your fasted cardio workouts, we will even allow you a little bit of food and drink!
True intermittent fasting would involve eating nothing, and only drinking water.
Since you will be heading to do a workout during the time you are fasting, feel free to drink tea, coffee, and “healthy fats” from an oil
A well-known example of this is people who drink Bulletproof Coffee before fasted cardio.
This type of coffee provides excellent overall benefits but also does not spike your insulin levels.
Carbohydrates or glucose causes insulin raising effects in your body, and it is the enemy of fasted training
You can even use supplements such as caffeine and L-Carnitine in your fasted state to improve your results as well!
Personally, I prefer to drink 1 or 2 cups of tea with coconut oil and CBD oil in the morning.
Although I only began to learn about cannabidiol products a few months ago, they have been incredible for helping me through fasted cardio workouts!
Cannabidiol is a compound of the cannabis plant, and it contains incredible health benefits.
Using pure CBD oil or CBD capsules before fasted cardio can help relieve pain, and help you stay mentally energized.
In the morning, I combine this and extra coconut oil with tea such as:
Some people may prefer to drink coffee, and that is fine as well.
The caffeine from tea or coffee further stimulates lipolysis, making your fasted cardio workout even more effective!
Fasted cardio is cardio exercise that is done while your body is in a fasted state.
Benefits of Fasted State Walking
The most common form of morning fasted cardio is walking because it is simple and effective.
Personally, I prefer to do fasted strength training as well. I will talk more about that below, but many people do not enjoy fasted strength training.
Regardless, a daily walking routine is one of the best habits you can ever develop.
No matter your level of physical fitness, walking is an excellent exercise!
Walking is a low-intensity exercise that helps to improve your body’s cardiovascular fitness, maintain healthy body weight, and de-stress from the world around you.
Along with this, other benefits of walking in a fasted state include:
- Reduces Stress and Helps You Clear Your Mind
- Increase Fat Burning Potential
- Improve Your Libido
- Strengthen the Bones
- Improve Cardiovascular Health and Fitness
If you are thinking to begin a morning fasted cardio training routine, I highly suggest you start off with simple walking in the morning.
After you get used to this for a few weeks, you can add in another type of fasted training.
Morning Fasted Strength Training – Fasted State Weight Lifting Benefits
There is a debate about the merits of fasted state training, and even more so about doing weight lifting while in a “fasted” state.
Personally, I have always loved to do strength training while still in my fast.
I will even do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or anaerobic conditioning drills while fasted as well!
I’ll be honest; it wasn’t easy at first.
Like I said before, get used to doing simple fasted walking before you move on to anything more intense.
I love to do fasted strength training because I feel that I have more energy and a clearer mind during this time.
I rarely do strength training after my first meal of the day anymore, and it has worked extremely well for me!
Although I occasionally do HIIT workouts while in a fasted state, I prefer to do “powerlifting” style training.
My favorite strength training routines are German Volume Training and the “Stronglifts” 5×5 program.
One of the concerns that people have about strength training while in a fasted state is that they will either not build as much muscle, or they will lose muscle.
Since I am a basketball player and not a bodybuilder, I was never concerned about this.
Strength training before my first meal of the morning has helped me remain at a low body fat for years, while also putting on muscle consistently.
I cannot prove to you this fact with any scientific claims, but this training method has worked well for me.
Make sure you are drinking your tea with coconut oil and CBD oil before this morning strength training though, it will help a lot with having enough energy.
Over time, your body will adapt as mine has and you will be much more accustomed to training before eating in the morning.
What to Eat After Fasted Cardio?
Eating after an intense morning of fasted strength training is one of my favorite activities of all time.
Honestly, you can eat anything.
If you are starting with fasted cardio because you are looking to burn fat and lose weight, you still want to be conscious about making healthy choices.
For those people who are using fasted cardio to lose weight, I suggest you look to eat a caloric ratio of 40:40:20 between proteins, healthy dietary fats, and carbohydrates respectively.
Regardless of whether you are eating after fasted cardio or not, this is my recommended diet strategy for losing weight.
If you still have goals of building muscle, and maybe have even dabbled in fasted strength training with the hope of building muscle, you are going to need a lot of simple sugars after your weight training session.
Personally, I prefer donuts.
The key is that you want to first consume a lot of high-quality protein, such as hemp protein or eggs.
After that, you can load up on carbohydrates.
If you crave a certain sweet or “junk food,” now is the time to eat it!
Don’t save your bad foods for the middle of your day or before bed, if you eat them after your fasted strength training your body processes them much easier!
Regardless of your goals, the key nutrient during this time is protein.
Load your body up on protein, and then balance out the other macronutrients based off of your own goal.
Fasted Cardio for Fat Loss – Concluding Thoughts
If you couldn’t tell already, I love fasted cardio.
I love fasted cardio for fat loss, and I love it for building muscle as well.
I have been integrating fasted state workouts and intermittent fasting in my life for over 6 years now, and I will not look back.
I believe many other people will benefit from this training method as much as I have!
If you would like to locally target fat on specific areas of your body, one of my best tips is to combine fasted cardio with spot-reduction techniques such as coolsculpting at home.
If you have certain parts of your body which are holding more fat than others, this is an excellent way to target those areas!
There are numerous other health benefits of fasting in general, and they are amplified by proper fasted training.
If you add this in to your weekly routine, you will quickly see how beneficial fasted training is!