Fasted Workouts – Do They Really Help In Weight Loss?
How do you workout every morning? After a quick workout meal or on an empty stomach?
Logically speaking, working out on an empty stomach in the morning should help in burning more fat. This is because when you get up in the morning, your body will be in a fasted state as you have not consumed anything for 8 to 12 hours. This kind of starving is natural as you were asleep all the while at night. It does not have meal skipping involved. However, does this principle of fasted workouts help in burning your fat faster?
Fasted workouts – The Principle
The benefits of fasting before a workout can be explained by the process of fat burning/energy utilization. Our bodies depend on fuel from carbs ( which is stored as glycogen) and fat meet the energy needs of a workout. Workouts of moderate intensity derive half of the energy needs from glycogen whereas the rest come from fats. When you don’t eat for several hours or overnight, the body’s glycogen stores get depleted. Thus, the body is forced to use fat for energy and you get closer to your weight loss goal.
Are fasted workouts effective enough?
Fasting before workout can help in increasing burning of fat if you are doing a low to moderate intensity workout. According to study, when you exercise on an empty stomach, your fat burning increases by as much as 20%. This is because the insulin levels in the body increases after eating food and higher levels of insulin suppress fat metabolism. However, experts are not convinced with the findings.
Downside of fasted workouts
Fat burn and weight loss is not something that can happen instantaneously. It is a slow process occurring over hours, days and even weeks. When you do high intensity workouts or cardio, fat burning does not increase when you see the 24 hour period. Studies haves shown that the fasted workout approach can increase fat burn but it has an undesirable side effect of lowering fat burn through the course of the whole day.
This means that even though the principle of fasted workouts sounds good, you won’t get the desired results. Studies reveal that working out after a pre-workout meal containing carbs actually increases fat burn!
Fasted workouts are not ideal at all if you are looking at exercises of high intensity for muscle building or even weight loss as glycogen is essential for exercise routines. When you fast there are low levels of glycogen and this reflects as lower energy supply that leads to tiredness, loss of focus and poor coordination.
The biggest negative effect of fasted workouts is the impact on the muscles. Low glycogen levels force the body to draw energy through the glucose breakdown from the muscles. Thus, working out on an empty stomach causes loss of muscle mass. When this happens, the body starts storing more fat and this way your efforts to lose fat can be counterproductive.
Should you do fasted workouts?
The point is that you should eat regularly and not starve yourself!
Hope this post on fasted workouts has been helpful!
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