Otherwise known as ‘fasted cardio’ it is a well-known myth that hitting your early morning workout on an empty stomach is perfect for additional weight loss. Is it true? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out.
How Does It Work?
So what’s the idea? It’s actually pretty simple, just think about it. When we eat, our bodies store the carbohydrates as glucose, which is immediately turned into glycogen. Then, when we exercise our bodies burn that glycogen as an energy source for the muscles. With me so far? When the energy stores (glycogen) run low our bodies resort to burning fat as a source of energy.
In conclusion, when we eat breakfast our bodies are often topped up with enough carbs to last us till lunch time. (The likes of Weatibix, and porridge) Therefore when we exercise the fat we burn is limited. The solution? It’s simple. By delaying your morning meal by just an hour, and exercising before hand, your body will have very limited glycogen to use for energy, and will therefore resort to burning fat stores early into the workout. So, what’s the problem? Well, there’s actually some speculation to whether it actually works. Check it out:
Does It Work?
In short, yes. Fasted cardio is a very viable option when it comes to getting that edge on burning fat. However, just like anything there are criticisms. For example, New York based personal trainer Maik Widenbach says that: “Working out on an empty stomach burns more muscle, which defeats the purpose of any fat-loss diet. I also believe that working out in a fasting state is sub-optimal, since the lack of nutrients will not allow for peak performance.” With that being said, I know of many people with strong, athletic physiques that live by fasted cardio in their morning routines.
Putting its criticisms aside, fasted cardio works, and whether you think it’s for you or not, there is only one way to find out. If you’re looking to lose an extra couple pounds I highly recommend you give fasted cardio a go! What have you got to lose?