If you’re having trouble getting rid of resistant body fat, fasted workouts may be the solution. It helps target fat cells, making them more likely to be burned during exercise.
Here’s how to burn more fat with fasted workouts.
Fasted Workout Theory
Fasted workouts are the cornerstone of an intermittent fasting regimen, and requires you to exercise first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten breakfast. Studies have shown an increase in fat burned by as much as 20%.
The results are so beneficial, it’s no longer limited to intermittent fasting and is now incorporated into multiple diet plans.
So how does it work, right?
Your body is constantly trying to manage fuel and resources. That’s why you store excess body fat, and why you lose it. Ideally, your body has a preference towards carbohydrates. It’s the preferred source of energy and fuel.
While you’re sleeping, however, your body tries to conserve carbohydrates in your system (energy) and begins to mobilize fat cells for use as fuel.
When you wake in the morning your fat cells are primed for mobilization and ready to be used as fuel. When you do cardio exercise first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to directly burn fat cells instead of carbs you may have in your system.
If you were to eat before exercise, you would likely have a more preferred fuel source readily available and limit the fat cells burned.
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How To Do It
It really is as simple as it sounds. Just do some type of cardio exercise before you eat breakfast and you’re likely to burn more fat cells than usual.
Here’s some supplements that are beneficial to fasted workouts:
Eventually, during a fasted workout you’ll reach a point where your body begins to cannibalize muscle tissue instead of fat, if there’s a lack of fuel available. This is obviously not good. Taking BCAAs 15-20 minutes prior to your workout can help slow this process.
Taking a 100-200 mg caffeine tablet can give you a little boost of energy you may be lacking because you haven’t eaten. If you’re a coffee drinker go easy on any carb heavy creamer you put in your morning coffee.
Yohimbine is an extract proven to help mobilize stubborn fat cells and make them more likely to be burned during workouts. These are the areas on your body that refuse to go away, and are the very last fat cells to be burned. Yohimbine makes these resistant fat cells more “burnable”. Yohimbine is insulin sensitive and is best used on an empty stomach, making it a logical fasted workout companion.
The Downside Of Fasted Workouts
There’s no such thing as a perfect workout, and fasted workouts do have some downsides that will make it a non-starter for many workout warriors.
Not Ideal For Muscle Building
Fasted workouts are ideal for burning fat cells, but not as beneficial if your goal is to build new muscle tissue. Exercising on an empty stomach makes fat cells more likely to be burned, but your body will also burn through amino acids as it searches for fuel. This makes the muscle building process quite challenging.
By far the biggest drawback with fasted workouts will be lack of energy. Some people have trouble finding the motivation after rolling out of bed, others feel unsatisfied with low energy workouts.
You can’t quite push yourself as hard without carbs in your system, and you’ll reach fatigue faster than usual. Low energy can be overcome with a good pre-workout drink and some supplements, but it takes some trial and error to find what works best for you.
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