April 6th, 2021
Your workouts need to be fueled by food, but what if you’re intermittent fasting (IF)? Not to worry! To maximize fat loss and muscle gain while following an IF diet, you just need to schedule your exercise sessions strategically around periods of fasting.
Here we explore the benefits of exercising in a fasted state and offer simple tips on how to reap these benefits.
An intermittent fast is a portion within 24 hours that your body goes without food. The window begins when you consume your last bite before bed and ends the following day when you take your first bite of food.
There are several different types of intermittent fasting, but the most common is the 16:8 – when you eat for 8 hours and abstain for 16 hours, i.e., eat between 12pm and 8pm. During fast, you can drink water and unsweetened coffee or tea.
No, you will not pass out! Not only is it OK to exercise on an empty stomach, but it also increases the benefits of both exercise and fasting. Why? Because the key to maximizing fat loss and muscle gain is not just about calories and exercise, but also hormone optimization.
Studies show the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting alone, but when it’s combined with exercise, the benefits are at a whole new level. Combining exercise with fasting increases growth hormones, making you more sensitive to insulin, which is the key to staying youthful and lean.
The best time to work out while in a fasted state is upon waking or shortly after. Studies show that both exercising and eating too close to bedtime can negatively impact levels of deep and REM sleep, so it’s best to save your workout for the following day.
Your fasting/ workout schedule should be based on the type of exercise you perform. For example:
Cardio + Intermittent Fasting: Your performance will hinge on how your body has adapted to doing cardio while in a fasted state. If you’re new to fasting, expect your performance to go down for the first six months of this new schedule. We recommend that you do not extend your fast and that you eat immediately after an intense cardio workout.
Sprint Training + Intermittent Fasting: This falls under the HIIT category (high-intensity interval training) and is the most ideal form of exercise to perform while fasting. We recommend that you refrain from eating for two to three hours following a HIIT workout.
Weight-Lifting + Intermittent Fasting: Lifting weights while fasting is okay, but it is not ideal. Heavy lifting puts a lot of stress on the body which requires fuel. If you lift weights while fasting, we recommend that you eat immediately after your training session. However, we’d prefer you save your weight-lifting sessions for periods after you’ve eaten.
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Categories: Personal Training