Fasted training burns more fat, right? RIGHT?!
Alright team, we need to talk about fasted training. It's the idea of exercising on an empty stomach, without any food intake prior to your workout. The thought behind this is that your body will be forced to break down and burn your stores of fuel, ideally targeting your body fat, leading to increased fat loss compared to working out in a fed state. It makes sense, right?
Unfortunately, the truth is a bit more complicated than that.
Fat Oxidation Vs. Fat Loss
This is actually a topic that’s been studied in quite some depth, and the short story is: it's there's no significant difference in body composition between groups that train fasted or fed during training. The reason being that fat loss is not the same as fat burning. While fasted training may increase fat oxidation (use of fat as fuel) during the workout, it doesn't necessarily lead to greater fat loss. What matters most is the overall calorie intake for the day.
Look At Your Entire Day
Just like with a bank account, if you withdraw $100 as two lots of $50 or ten lots of $10, it's still $100. However, if you replace that $100 later in the day, it doesn't matter what you withdrew earlier. Similarly, if you burn 100 calories during a fasted workout and later replace those calories, it doesn't matter whether you trained in a fed or fasted state. Therefore, it's important to focus on maintaining a calorie deficit throughout the day.
Additionally, studies show that while fat oxidation may increase during fasted training, it actually decreases for the rest of the day compared to fed training. Therefore, the increased fat burning during the workout is offset by the decrease in fat burning for the remainder of the day. This is why it's crucial to look at our entire day, not just one training session.
As for my personal recommendations, if you're doing a short, low-impact workout, there's no need to eat beforehand. However, for longer, more intense workouts, it's best to eat something prior to training. Eating before a workout can improve your performance, allowing you to push harder, perform for longer, and access that top gear for optimal results.
Basically, fasted training may increase fat oxidation during your workout, but it doesn't necessarily lead to greater fat loss. The most important factor in losing body fat is maintaining a calorie deficit throughout the day. If you're doing a short, low-impact workout, there's no need to eat beforehand. However, for longer, more intense workouts, it's best to eat something prior to training for optimal performance.
And, if you're still struggling to make pre training nutrition work for you, you should probably chat to us
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