What do you think of exercising first thing in the morning? Even before breakfast? Has anyone ever suggested that?
Fasting cardio is a hot topic people swear by its results.
This isn't exactly intermittent fasting, just using your natural cycles the help keep our metabolism running high and helping you lose more weight.
Why A Short Burst of Fast Cardio?
Cardio exercises require a lot of energy, forcing our metabolism to run higher and faster than it goes on a normal basis. Forcing your body to do that without having a recent meal forces you to rely on stored fuels, namely glycogen and fats.
You don't have to starve yourself. After sleeping, you have probably anywhere from 8 to 12 hours since you last ate. That's enough time to trigger your body into reaching for the stored fats.
Plus, you don't have to worry about your stomach feeling full. Your digestive system takes a lot of energy, blood, and attention when is trying to digest food. Without having any food on your stomach, all of that energy and the tension can be put into your muscles.
Plus, you can reduce your chances of having reflux or other gastric problems by exercising without food in your stomach. Without all the food and acids churning, your stomach can remain quieter.
Why Cardio On An Empty Stomach First Thing Works For Weight Loss, But Not Muscle Building
There's a big difference between losing weight and building muscle.
When you fast before you do your cardio, your body has to pull out fuel, nutrients, protein, and fat to supply your body with enough energy and raw materials to get through the workout.
But, that means it doesn't have the necessary nutrients to build muscle.
If you're looking to build muscle, fasting cardio is not for you. Muscle builders will definitely want to have a high fat and protein meal 2 to 3 hours before your workout to have the raw materials to build muscle quickly.
Of course, if you're looking to both lose weight and build muscle, mix it up. Spend some days doing cardio first thing in the morning and other days doing strength training later in the day. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
How Should You Get Started With This?
We know this sounds really great and can help you lose weight faster. But, there are some issues you should keep in mind.
Keep it short
Do just 15 to 20 minutes of cardio before relaxing and then having something to eat. Going longer than 60 minutes could deplete your glycogen resources and make you very sick.
Keep it low intensity, with only short bursts of moderate-intensity
High-intensity workouts, those that need speed or loss of power, should not be done on an empty stomach. The body burns through too much fuel too fast to safely do without a personal trainer.
You need plenty of water to help keep your metabolism going strong.
Putting yourself on a schedule helps your body prepare and be ready for cardio. The first couple of sessions could be difficult, but it gets easier once you are used to it.
Get plenty of sleep
If you're exhausted waking up, cardio won't work for you. Getting plenty of rest will allow you to wake up properly and get moving in your workout. That means you should go to bed earlier.
Signs you should not do this workout:
- You feel awful afterward
- You get stomach cramps
- You have low blood pressure in the morning
- You have blood sugar regulation issues
- You have excessive pain, stiffness, or inflammation in the morning
Overall, if it feels good for you and you don't experience any medical side effects, working out first thing in the morning with a good, short cardio burst before eating can help you to lose weight faster. Just pay attention to your body, it will tell you if this is a workout that will benefit you.