One simple fasting strategy I have been utilizing since the 90’s is training on an empty stomach. What type of training? To be specific, I’ve been incorporating cardio (cardiovascular or aerobic) exercise on an empty stomach into my fat loss regimen for more than two decades.
Back In the late 80’s to early 90’s i recall reading an article, probably a few, that stated by doing cardio first thing In the morning on an empty stomach you would maximize the fat burning effect. There are a few valid reason behind this methodology.
- When you wake up in the morning your body is essentially in a fasted state, since you’ve been sleeping all night and haven’t eaten.
- Because you haven’t eaten all night your blood sugar levels are typically lower.
- The glycogen stores In the muscles (essentially storred sugars) are also depleted.
These points are key, because without elevated blood sugar and glycogen levels your body is forced to look for an alternate source of fuel for it’s energy needs. So what source does it turn to? It turns to FAT. It has also been said that this protocol elevates the metabolism, which allows your body to burn more fat throughout the day.
For those reasons, when I began my preparation for my first bodybuilding contest I started doing cardio first thing In the morning on an empty stomach, practcally daily. If you’ve had an opportunity to read my 1996 Journal, The Best Kept Secrets to Weight Loss, Fitness & Building Muscle, which is now available on Amazon, you may have observed how frequently I incorporated these morning cardio session into my pre-contest program.
I also utilized the same strategy In 2003 & 2004 to reduce body fat, as well as on an ongoing basis over the years to most effectively burn fat.
As a young Bodybuilder in my 20’s, like many people in their 20’s, I was not much of a morning person. For that reason, in addition to thinking I’d be weak if I didn’t eat anything before lifting weights, I typically did my weight training in the afternoon or evening. Which meant I essentially had to workout twice a day, cardio in the morning, and weight training in the afernoon or evening.
However, I eventually evolved into a morning person. This was largely due to the benefits of the cardio on an empty stomach strategy. So, rather than doing cardio in the morning, and going to gym later in the afternoon to get the weight training session in, it beame much more time efficient to just lift weights right after the cardio workout in the morning.
It did not take long before realizing that the myth of losing strength due to training on an empty stomach was exactly that, a myth. My strength continued to increase over time, and still does till this day, at age 43.
Though I trained (cardio & weight training) for a number of years first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I have more recently began experimenting with intermittent fasting. With the intermittent fasting regimen I will typically fast all day by skipping breakfast and lunch, train in the evening, and have my first meal (dinner) in the evening after my workout.
In principle, I get all the same benefits of training first thing in the morning and then some, due to the prolonged fasted state. If you’ve never tried training on an empty stomach, whether it’s just a cardio or weight training session give it a shot. The results may surprise you!