New research says that fasted exercise might help you use more stored fat.
You’ve probably heard fitness friends mention running in the morning before breakfast and doing “fasted cardio” to help with fat burning, but were skeptical about whether this worked for fat loss.
New research published in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology & Metabolism looked at how 10 healthy, overweight males used stored fat during exercise when they walked for 60 minutes at a brisk pace. The subjects fasted for 10 or more hours before, or, consumed a high-calorie, high-carb meal about two hours before exercising.
When the study subjects were in a fasted state, their stored fat was used to fuel metabolism during exercise, according to the fat tissue samples collected an hour after exercising.
So will doing “fasted cardio” help you lose more weight? Maybe. It’s more complicated than it seems, says study author, Professor Dylan Thompson, Department of Health, University of Bath.
“If we use more fat then this means that we are drawing on our stored fat and using it to fuel exercise,” he says. This is what many people want to achieve. But, he says, the picture is complicated by the fact that the calories burned by the study subjects after both instances were similar, so when you’re exercising on an empty stomach, you’re likely to be using stored fat and less carbohydrates. Since carbohydrate stores in the body are limited, it’s probably a good thing to …use our stored fat instead, says Thompson.
“[Using those fat stores] may put less pressure on the drive we often have to eat and replace carbohydrate stores after exercise—but we don’t know this for certain, it’s just speculation,” says Thompson.
It would require a long-term training study to be able to make the statement that “fasted training is better for long-term weight loss,” he says. “In the long run, it’s overall energy balance that will dictate the amount of overall weight loss,” says Thompson.
But, if fat loss is what you’re looking for, exercising while in a fasted state might help you reach your goals according to this small study. So, why not give it a try for a few days and see how it affects your LEVL device measurements. This might be an option for you if your goal is fat loss.