It’s an age-old question– How can I maximize my workouts? How can I get the most from them? For decades, fitness professionals have argued over techniques and practices. One of the biggest and most common practices they’ve argued over? Fasted workouts.
Fasting: When you stop eating for a period of time by skipping a meal or more.
So does fasting help you get in shape? It depends.
Here’s what we know: when you exercise on an empty stomach (having not taken in food in the past 8 hours), you can burn up to 20% more fat during a run or lift. Depending on the length of your fast, your body may even produce an upswing in hormones.
These are good things; however, no food in your system means that the effects of your workout taper off more quickly. When you run, lift or stretch, your body doesn’t stop receiving benefits the moment you leave our gym in Mt. Laurel, the body continues working for your gain throughout the rest of the day. Because your energy can’t be replenished as easily, your body can’t give you the full benefits of your workout.
Things like high-intensity-interval-training serve to benefit your body long after you walk out of class. After an intense workout, your metabolism is raised, meaning your body looks for food to digest so that it can get some of its energy back. If there’s no food to be found, your body will break down fat to compensate but will slow down soon after.
An occasional short fast is a good thing. Skipping a meal or two, every now and then, allows your body to cleanse, develop a little more sensitivity to insulin, and increase testosterone and growth hormone levels. One or two meals shouldn’t have an effect on metabolism either as long as a normal eating schedule is resumed.
A fasted workout can benefit you, but a ‘fed’ workout may serve you better depending on what you’re looking for.
A ‘fed’ workout is best for those looking to gain muscle, increase metabolism and promote general body wellness.
A fasted workout does burn more fat than a fed one, so it’s best for fitness fanatics that are struggling with stubborn fat after a long period of maintaining a workout habit.
Of course, before you make any changes to your diet you should always consult one of the medical or dietary professionals at our gyms in Burlington County, NJ and across Southern New Jersey.