Is Fasted Cardio good for Fat loss?


Have you heard about fasted cardio? The raging trend for fat loss. The mere thought of waking up early, and dragging our butts to spin studio or gym without eating breakfast, is enough to make us want to stay in beds and eat poached eggs.

However, there are many people, including celebrities who swear by early morning fasted cardio. People believe fasted workouts are better for health and help burn more fat.

Let’s learn about fasted cardio in detail:

What Is Fasted Cardio?

Fasted cardio is performed when the digestive system is not processing food any longer. 

In simple words, fasted cardio exercise is done on an empty stomach without eating for six or more hours and without any pre-workout meal. The body enters in a fasting state after 6 hours.

People who follow intermittent fasting fix schedule to facilitate fasted training, because they restrict calories intake for a short period in a day.

 Warning: nutritionists do not recommend intermittent fasting at all.

It is proven scientifically that fasted cardio is better for fat loss compared to doing cardio after a pre-workout meal. But how? Let’s find out.

women following fasted cardio routine for fat loss

How Fasted Cardio Works?

The way fasted cardio benefits weight loss is very simple. 

When you work out on an empty stomach, the body source energy from fat rather than carbohydrates. This means you will burn more fat instead of glucose.

This has a scientific solution. When you ingest food, the digestive system breaks down complex food into glucose, which is then absorbed by cells. 

The mitochondria present in cells then convert the glucose into energy. This energy is used while doing workouts.

When your body does not get glucose, glycogen is used to get energy. But when the glycogen is not available body uses stored fat to get energy by breaking down into free fatty acids. 

When we fast overnight, there is no stored glucose, and the glycogen levels also deplete. Our body then uses stored fat to fuel the cardio sessions in a fasted state.

Isn’t it interesting? Fasted cardio alter the way our genes behave. It is the best way of burning fat and reducing the overall fat percentage.

Now let’s take a look at the science-based benefits of fasted cardio.

women practicing fasted cardio to reap its benefits

Science-Backed Fasted Cardio Benefits

Reduced Calorie Intake And more Fat burn

Fasted cardio helps reduce calorie intake. 

A study published in “the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.” showed that people who did not eat anything before 60 minutes of run consumed fewer calories later in the day compared to people who had breakfast before their cardio session. Fasted cardio also increases the fat oxidation rate, which leads to more negative energy balance compared to fed stomach cardio.

In one more study, American scientists found that resistance training in a fasted state metabolizes fat instead of carbohydrates. This is an indication that fasted cardio, when done correctly, is great for bodyweight management.

Improves Glucose Tolerance In A High-Fat Diet

Keto diet is a famous high fat diet, which is known to be very effective in weight loss. 

A study done on people aged 18-25 years for six weeks concluded that endurance training four days a week in a fasted state helps improve the body’s glucose tolerance and sensitivity to Matsuda insulin.

This means that people did not experience a spike in glucose levels in the blood compared to people who did fed cardio. Fasted cardio improves insulin sensitivity, which uptakes glucose from the blood.

Improves Fat Oxidation In Women

A Meaning that women will continue burning fat the whole day even after the fasted cardio session ends.

The HIIT (high-intensity interval training) also works in the same way and burns more calories compared to endurance training. People who have heart or knee problems can perform fasted cardio and push their body in a fat-burning mode for the entire day.

Reduces Body Fat Percentage

Scientists researched the impact of cardio at the tie of Ramadan fasting in people. It was found that people who did fasted-aerobic exercise decreased their body fat percentage by 6.2%.

Fasted cardio is an excellent way of burning fat. It not only reduces hunger pangs and overall body fat percentage but also improves glucose intolerance for a high-fat diet.

Here we have put down a complete fasted cardio workout routine.

Cons Of Fasted Cardio

  • you may feel nauseous if you are not used to work out on an empty stomach
  • If you are suffering from hypoglycemia, then blood sugar levels in your body may drop significantly.
  • Fasted cardio, can cause muscle loss, if not combined with strength training and HIIT on other days, along with a healthy high-protein diet.

Fasted Cardio Workout Routine:

Here is routine, which is a mix of HIIT and endurance training for best results.

  • Warm-up – 10 minutes
  • High knees – 3 sets 20 reps
  • Rope jumps – 3 sets 50 reps
  • Jump squats – 3 sets 12 reps

Rest – 30 seconds

  • Russian twists – 3 sets 30 reps
  • Leg up crunches – 3 sets 20 reps
  • Side jackknife – 3 sets 20 reps

Take 45 seconds rest.

man doing Burpees for fasted cardio regime
  • TRX pull-ups – 3 sets 12 reps
  • TRX Knee tucks – 3 sets 12 reps
  • TRX abduction – 3 sets 12 reps

Take Rest for 60 seconds.

  • Skater lunges – 3 sets 15 reps
  • Burpees – 2 sets ten reps
  • Ball slam – 3 sets 12 reps

Take Rest for 60 seconds.

  • Mountain climbers – 3 sets 15 reps
  • Planks – 2 sets of hold for 60 seconds 
  • Alternate plank dips – 2 sets ten reps

Take Rest for 30 seconds.

  • Cooldown stretches – 5 mins.

When you finish this routine, you will not only sweat but also experience the ‘feel-good’ hormone magic, and it is going to make your feel terrific.

Benefits of Fasted HIIT Cardio 

HIIT prevents muscle loss from the body and helps in building lean muscle mass. It will take your workout to the next level and keep you agile and active.

Some other benefits of HIIT cardio:

  • It boosts insulin sensitivity
  • It controls your hunger pangs after the workout
  • It increases growth hormone levels that help in fat loss 
  • It increases catecholamine, which is a fat-burning chemical
  • It increases the metabolic rate of the body for the next 24 hours 

How To Do Fasted Cardio

There are two different methods of doing fasted cardio:

  • Exercising early in the morning before pre-workout meals
  • Exercising late in the evening after at least 6 hours of having lunch

Tip: fasted cardio alone will not yield good results. You should follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to get rid of that stubborn fat from your things, arms, back, chin, and waist.

Intermittent Fasting And Fasted Cardio

Can you follow intermittent fasting and fasted cardio together? Of course! You can.

Intermittent fasting also has its share of benefits for health. You can break the intermittent fasting cycle after 20-30 minutes of HIIT and endurance exercise.

Replenish your body energy with an excellent protein-loaded meal or shake. 

Pro tip: add healthy fats and high-fiber foods and snacks for fat loss.

Final Words By Abestfashion

Fasted cardio is an effective way of fat loss. Following the right diet and exercise routine. You will start building lean muscle and feel more energetic and active.

As you just read that fasted cardio has both pros and cons. The decision comes down to personal goals and preferences. 

If you are someone who loves to workout in the morning and not eats breakfast before a sweat session, then this is something you should try.

If you want to do intermittent fasting, then make sure to eat a healthy meal after your workout.

Consult with your doctor before starting with a fasted cardio to reap the benefits.