Fasted Workouts and Fasted Cardio vs EPOC – For Fat Loss

January 30, 2009

There are two schools of thought when it comes to losing body fat. The first approach is to focus on utilizing as much fat as possible during your workout, by going into your workout in a fasted state.

The other approach is to not worry about fasting and focus on intensity to burn more calories around the clock after the workout is finished (EPOC). Let’s talk about the benefits of both, as well as something significant that rarely gets mentioned.

mountain lion hunting
[When an animal is in a fasted state, something interesting happens to give that animal an energy boost. This boost of energy gives the animal the ability to reach peak performance even when it hasn’t consumed a calorie for long periods of time. We will talk about how and why this is significant later in the post.]

The Argument For Working Out in a Fasted State

Anyone who has read my blog for any period of time, knows I recommend to do your workouts in a fasted state. The problem with eating before working out is that you are simply burning food energy vs body fat for energy. Plus…eating releases insulin, which interferes with your body’s ability to burn body fat. Basically, eating before your workout gets in the way of burning body fat during your workout.

The Argument Against Working Out in a Fasted State

It seems like “a no brainer” to workout in a fasted state…but it isn’t that simple! Intense training has been shown to increase the calories burned long after to workout is over. In fact, it is possible to burn an extra couple hundred calories after an intense workout. Those who argue against working out in a fasted state, claim that you will not have enough energy to have an intense workout. This seems logical on the surface, but the body is smarter than that…

sympathetic nervous system SNS

[An exciting picture of neurons! Actually, it is a pretty cool picture of the nervous system. Who would have thought that was possible?]

Your Sympathetic Nervous System = Energy in A Fasted State

For the longest time, I didn’t understand why I had more energy after fasting. I have my most productive hardcore workouts after fasting for 5-18 hours.

If I ate anything in that 4-5 hour window before training, the workouts just weren’t as intense. Ori Hofmekler explained where this “hidden” energy source came from…the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS).

Why Does The SNS Kick In When in A Fasted State?

Ori explains it best…

“When fasting, a primal survival mechanism known as the fight-or-flight reaction to stress is triggered, maximizing your body’s capacity for generating energy, being alert, resisting fatigue and resisting stress. The survival mode is primarily controlled by a part of the autonomic nervous system known as the sympathetic nervous system, or SNS. When it’s in gear, the body is in its most energy-producing phase, and that’s when the most energy comes from fat burning.”

This makes sense, because as hunters and gatherers our ancestors needed to be at our peak performance when hungry in order to catch the next meal (kind of like the mountain lion pictured above).


Eating Before Working Out Interrupts This Surge of Energy

Ori explains how the Parasympathetic Nervous System slows you down after a meal. Note: In the article I’m quoting he is talking about morning meals and not eating before your morning workout…

“If you do eat a breakfast of, say, bagel, cereal, egg and bacon, you’ll most likely shut down this energy-producing system. The SNS and its fight-or-flight mechanism will be substantially suppressed, and your morning meal will trigger an antagonistic part of the autonomic nervous system known as the para sympathetic nervous system, or PSNS. The PSNS will make you sleepy, slow and less resistant to fatigue and stress. Instead of spending energy and burning fat, your body will be more geared toward storing energy and gaining fat.”

Ori, recommends mainly eating at night after your physical activities are done for the day. He claims that food makes your body relax and prepares the body for sleep.

You Can Have an Intense Workout While Fasting

As I stated earlier, I have a better workout in a fasted state. Not only do I have more energy, I don’t burp up a meal when doing an intense interval or circuit. So, my argument is that working out while fasting allows the body to burn more calories during AND after your workout.

Note: Just like the rest of my site, there are no “absolutes” here. There are a lot of approaches to get lean, this approach just makes sense to me (and it flat out works). The majority of you have already read my approach to cardio, but if you haven’t…here is a little mini-course I threw together: Low Body Fat Cardio

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike OD - IF Life January 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Good stuff Rusty. I’d say the only time I don’t workout fasted (or recommend it) is when I do more just strength training as I don’t care about burning fat at that point (esp for leaner people just wanting to put on some muscle)….on other days with more intervals, metcon (in the CF world) or slow-go stuff (lifestyle cardio as I like to call it like trail running, hiking or mountain biking) is better fasted…..not too mention my pre-workout coffee (espresso really) for my rocket fuel to get that CNS firing! Love it! (oh yeah…the burps are awful….been there, never going back.)

Adam Steer - Better Is Better January 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Hey Rusty,

Another good one!

Isn’t that fasted SNS activation a rush…? I’ve found that my most productive fasted training is in the “moderate intensity” range, which for me is any kind of resistance or strength training. I judge intensity using a Rate of Perceived Effort scale (as espoused by Circular Strength Training). A moderate session for me is in the 5-7 range on a scale of 1-10.

I save my high intensity days (8-10 out of 10) for non-fasting days when I can get the most out of them. These are also the days when I’ll indulge in higher carb foods like nuts and lentils. Usually these sessions will revolve around some form of metabolic conditioning like this one.

Thanks for the post.

Cheers,
Adam

David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts January 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I think it makes sense to workout in a fasted state, even though it might be hard from a psychological point of view. From an evolutionary perspective, when you work out in this state, your body WANTS to give you energy so that you can catch food. In nature, if you’re a lion and you’re hungry and you want to catch a gazelle, you’re body HAS to give you extra energy to do it. You can use this principle in your own workouts, I suspect. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

– Dave

Jonathan January 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Great info thx… xD I’ve been reading alot in this website for quite a time and all the information have helped me to lose 10kg in a month… I’ve gone from 92 to 82kg xD i gotta keep working out till i can sustain the 6-8 % fat percent… Can’ wait to reach my goal!!! xD HUGE THX!!! xD I’m spreading the word about the website to my friends xD

But one question though… how would you recommend to apply the warrior diet if I workout at 6am? Shall i first wait until 7-8 pm to eat? or shall i begin to take protien shakes after my workout so my muscles can get some nutritions or energy?

I can only walk the walk but never talk the talk xD so hope you can help me on this one xD

Mikki January 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Hi there, great post, I have just two question related to this, you said in a past article that you eat a protein shake in the morning, then a protein shake and an apple at noon, and then a big meal at night, how long you take between each one, and what would you consider a “bid meal at night”.

Mikki January 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm

“big meal” im sorry

Andrew January 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Good post Rusty!

I have been starting to try out this intermittent fasting the past few weeks and i have already dropped a few lbs. I much rather go into a workout not having eaten because I can definitely work better on an empty stomach. When I have anything in there it just slows me down, especially when I’m on the treadmill, I get the burps real bad. I have noticed too since I have been fasting more often that I don’t get as hungry through out the day and I can make it much longer without eating without feeling that starving pain in my stomach. Fasting is definitely the way to go!

Andrew

Yavor January 31, 2009 at 4:57 am

Good stuff from Rusty and Ori 🙂

Brad Pilon explains the same thing in Eat Stop Eat – he talks about the body releasing the fight or flight hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine (also referred to as adrenaline and noradrenaline) with fasting.

Yavor

AJ January 31, 2009 at 5:02 am

I have no problems what so ever with strength training and doing HIIT in a fasted state.
I follow the eat stop eat-lifestyle, and when I’m about 20 hours into the fast I go the gym (2 times a week).

First I do some deadlifts and shoulder presses as heavy as I can. (I don’t feel any lack of energy during the strength part of the workout. I always try to beat my PR, and fasting hasn’t been slowing this development down). After a short break (3-5 min), I enter the treadmill. My usual HIIT session consist of 8 intervals, where I sprint for 45 seconds at a 15-16 mph tempo. Between intervals I walk at a 4 mph pace for about a minute and a half.

For me this is a very intense session, and I don’t mind doing it in a fasted state. I don’t know the science behind it. But I can feel how my body reacts or don’t react! Like I said, I have no problems working out fasted!

Lihan January 31, 2009 at 5:55 am

Hey rusty
I think u should write an article on push ups.by the way,do u agree(as many sites say) dat u can achieve a well defined chest and triceps by doing push ups only(with variations lyk close grip,wide grit,feet elevated,varying speed)?i hv jst started working out n mostly rely on push ups n HIIT with jump rope n some dumbell curls for bi and tri.my diet is ok n i have abt 10 pounds of fat to lose but none of the parts of ma body are defined.so wat do u think can i achieve a defined upper body by doing push ups with variations n jump rope(3x a week)?thx.

Lihan January 31, 2009 at 6:12 am

By the way, dats not fair rusty,im gettin addicted 2 ur blog!!!i hv 2 pay a visit on dis site every night b4 i sleep orelse i feel lyk i m missin sumthing.mayb its d effect of pics u hv put on in this site .lol.i luv d way u explain man.hats off.

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips January 31, 2009 at 10:41 am

I usually have a small bowl of oatmeal and fruit plus a cup of coffee before a morning workout. This isn’t necessarily because I’m hungry but just because I need something to warm me up. I might try the fasted morning workouts when it gets a little bit warmer up here 🙂

Caleb - Double Your Gains January 31, 2009 at 11:25 am

Rusty!

Love this post man, here’s why:

— The burps! I used to ALWAYS get those when I tried to eat 4-6 times per day — it’s funny people recommending you eat that much ALSO recommend like 2 hours to let your food digest (eat two hours before a workout) but on a tight eating schedule like that — you never get in even two hours of digestion before you’re eating again!

I personally train in a fasted state every time a la Ori’s recommendations. Another point he makes in his maximum muscle, minimum fat book is that

“catabolic activities (muscle tearing down activities) are the stimulus for anabolic activities (muscle building)”

So when you think about it — working out intensely in a fasted state is the most effective way to get that “catabolic” response where your body looks at your next meal as

“time to fuel up the good stuff (muscles) and NOT fat because I’m going to need those fat stores for energy the next time I work out because this crazy bastard only eats once a day!”

Of course — that’s how my body talks about eating — I dunno about you guys 🙂

Later
Caleb

joe January 31, 2009 at 11:37 am

Rusty…
Been exersizing on an empty stomache for 4 years now. I’m living proof it works and believe in it whole heartedly. W/O every AM alternating weights and HIIT and went from 23% body fat and now maintaining between 12 and 14%. But, this article now has me thinking. If the fasted body is adapted to “maximizing your body’s capacity for generating energy, being alert, resisting fatigue and resisting stress” , this is great for catching food ie the cougar picture,and loosing weight; however, it seems a losing proposition in the long run.. You cant continually lose weight by burning more than you take in. Eventually starvation will occur. Perhaps the fact that in the animal kingdom and early man once a meal was obtained, they gorged themselves. ie lions, dogs etc. They don’t know when the next meal will come around. Counter acted any starvation or catabolic responses in the body. Kinda like the one “cheat” day technigue alot of people utilize. There seems to be something else inplay here. Alot of studies show that leaner people out live the fatter ones. Ever see a fat person in their 90’s? I haven’t. Similarly predators are are typically lean and have longer lives than prey animals.

Very interesting piece. All in all I guess we really don’t have to understand what is going on as long as it works. This is just another piece of the weight loss puzzle. Good job and keep em coming

RockStar January 31, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I’ve read Ori’s book so I know what he’s talking about but his theories aren’t completely sound. Here’s the problem, the SNS. fight-or-flight response is NOT designed to run for 5 times a week for over an hour at a time. The SNS taps into all the body’s energy reserves…that’s why you get that tush of energy. This energy isn’t some mistical force. It comes from the glucose stored in muscle tissue, adipose tissue (fat), and protein from muscle tissue. So you are breaking down both fat and muscle at an astonishing rate if you fast for like 10 hours. Lots of cortisol is released during this time which contributes to. The SNS was designed to be used as an EMERGENCY fight-or-flight response incase our ancestors had to run away from a tiger, or fight off some animal or lift some huge boulder to save his/her life. Because of all the breakdown that occurs and all the adrenaline that’s released in your system, it’s actually much better for you to stay in the “parasympathetic” mode.

But let’s get away from all the theory and look at real world results. Based on what I’ve seen, most people who are very lean tend to front load their calories and eat large breakfasts while tapering down as the day moves on….

….just an observation

BurritoKid January 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Hey Rust. You talk about eating something quick absorbing if you’re going to eat anything a few hours before working out. any example?

Usually ill have some chicken and veggies for lunch and workout a few hours later. veggies have fiber which wouldnt be a quick absorbing meal?

Zack P January 31, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I’ve noticed exactly this same effect. From noon Thursday until noon Friday I fasted and Thursday I killed it in the gym. Supersets with rope jumping between and personal longest HIIT session on the treadmill. I also had the energy to pump out another set of curls at 10 pounds heavier than I had ever done (per another great Rusty suggestion). Yesterday after my fast ended, I worked out about 2-3 hours later and wasn’t as into it. I still finished the routine with no problem, but I doubt I could have gotten in some more HIIT cardio. Lunch had made me groggy. Thanks for posting the physiological aspects of how/why this works. My girlfriend’s a med student, so whenever I tell her about your advice, I explain it in scientific terms and she’s impressed!

Helder January 31, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Hi Rusty, hot topic this one, as you know though i agree with some points about fasted workouts, like using fat for energy instead of carbs, i’m mainly against fasted workouts.

It’s not because one can’t have very intense workouts, i believe one can have very intense workouts in a fasted state, unless you have problems with blood pressure or sugar levels, if someone has that kind of problems, fasted workouts should be out for health reasons.

Health reasons aside, here’s the why i’m not a fan of fasted workouts, like you said Rusty our SNS reacts against stress, and one of the things that happens when your stressed, and yes fasted workouts create stress, is the release of cortisol in your body, and one of the side effects of cortisol is the reduction of lean muscle mass, and your body holding on to fat.

Like i said this a very hot topic, what’s your view on this Rusty? It’s excellent that you bring controversial ideas for discussion, it’s one of the best ways for all to learn and share, nice going

Melanie January 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Hi there, I LOVE this site – so full of info. I think I remember a long time ago that there was a link to body fat calipers you thought were good. I want to buy a non-digital one for around $20 and if you know one that seems accurate, please let me know the name.

I am about to begin working out and want something to track just to feel like I am making progress. Since I am skinny (but NOT toned) weight won’t help and the tape measure thing isn’t very interesting either…
Thanks so much!

Daisy January 31, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Hi Rusty, great topic! I appreciate you writing this because I was beginning to fall weak to eating again…well eating throughout the day. I have the greatest motivation and will power when shaping up for a vacation or Vegas…but as soon as the trip is over I slowly stop going to the gym and fasting. I’m still health food conscious and never let myself gain more than 5lbs from where I was at when I was working out…so the minute get to 125 I start to workout again or cut back on food. Anyway, I have no vacations to look forward too but I find myself getting back into this lifestyle ’cause I don’t want to give up on having the body of my dreams. I know it’s so close but I don’t push myself for fear of my heart condition getting in the way. Anyway, thanks for the support, I really enjoy this site and it truly lifts me when I’m feeling depressed about not being able to indulge in what I love so much…cookies and Irish Latte’s. LOL.

Todd January 31, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Hey Rusty,
Ive followed your site for almost a year now and have had GREAT success then i got lazy for a month and pretty much have to start all over again. But i agree with the fasting before working out routine and ive found it gets easier each day! The only question i have is when you say you eat your carbs after a workout when your muscles are “starved” what types of carbs are you eating and how much? Also being that i live in the dorms and have limited choices for meals and im trying to lose around 5-7lbs am i better off eating meals based around fattier meats or maybe healthier carbs?

brandon January 31, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Hey rusty great post it makes sense but im wondering what would happen if someone like me got on this eating regiment.I am a pretty seroius runner.i am 5″9 158lbs and have 4% body fat.

Yash February 1, 2009 at 12:28 am

Hey Rusty,
Great post. I know people like doing HIIT and working outi n the morning specifically for this reason, since you have been fasting for ~10 hours. This is a great way to lose weight but I don’t think I’d try a lifting session fasted, at least not heavy. I feel like I wuoldn’t get my full effort in. Just this afternoon I went to the gym after breakfast, and a little hung over, and there was a huge effect on my workout. Cardio and lower weight exercises would likely be less problematic though. What’s your take on that? Have you ever tried lifting heavy in the morning? I used to and then I switched to the evening and got noticably stronger in my lifts. Any tips for getting that full potential even in the morning?

Helder, I liked your “flip side of the coin” comment. It seems like for the most part for most people, the benefit probably outweighs the con. Also, the idea of muscle catalysis being such a big deal is something perpetuated by musclehead mags, at least to the extent of my experiences. Of the health sources that I trust, not very many of them caution too hard on muscle loss, or at the ver least acknowledge that it’s negligible.

Yash February 1, 2009 at 12:32 am

I was fishing around online some more and I came acroos this about cortisol. Learned something new.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Your-Workout-Time-and-Cortisol&id=1877176

Michael February 1, 2009 at 1:15 am

Rusty,

I love your site. But I think you are missing the major argument, the whole reason I work out in a fasted state. You kind of touched on it. Insulin.

Insulin is antagonistic to testtasterone and HGH. Fasting alone increases HGH. Working out fasted improves dramatically the hormonal response.

I think Rob Faigen wrote once in his book “Natural Hormone Enhancement”, think of working out as training your hormone response.

For more, see Arthur De Vany’s great website.

Keep it up. I love you articles.

Matt February 1, 2009 at 8:20 am

Hey bro,
What about lifting in a fasted state when you are trying to add muscle?

Jeff February 1, 2009 at 8:30 am

I have the same question as Jonathan. I workout early morning, between 4:30 and 5:30 am, then it’s getting ready and off to work by 6:45 am. I usually don’t even have time to fix breakfastor lunch to take with me. Sometimes I grab something at lunch but I HATE eating out. I’m usually home by 6 pm and we have dinner. Is that okay to go that long without eating after a workout?

Great site! You have totally changed my approach to fitness and nutrition

Kevin February 1, 2009 at 8:38 am

Rusty-

I Eat Dinner at around 6 or 6:30 at night, and work out at 6:30 a.m.. would you reccomend doing my work out in the morning on a 12 hour fast 4-5 Days a week? I Do Weight training for 40 min. and HIIT and/or SS cardio after for 25 min. , would I have the energy to do that every Day?

Dominic February 1, 2009 at 8:48 am

Hey Rusty, usually I agree with your posts, but in this case personal experience makes me sceptical. I’ve recently started doing a lot of rowing, and we do two or three indoor rowing sessions a week as part of our training (which, by the way, are the most intense and painful form of exercise I have ever done in my life).

As we are all continuously fighting for our seat in the boat we have to give as close to 100% as possible every erg. It’s impossible to eat more than two or three hours before without throwing up, and we always do the ergs in the evening about 7ish. However, I find that if I haven’t eat anything since lunch, then I fatigue much more quickly, and my performance suffers, which goes against what you have been saying here.

Do you know of any scientific research which has been done in this area which backs up these claims?

Son of Grok February 1, 2009 at 7:17 pm

I have never really worked out fasted. I would like to try it but my schedule doesn’t really allow for it. I really only have time to workout when I get home from work and that would represent a pretty darn long fast before my workout every other day. Any advice? I usually fast until 2 or 3 pm (16-18 hours) and then workout when I get home at around 4:30-5pm. I suppose I could try to fast until then but I go to bed at 9pm every night so that would represent a 20 hour fast on workout days :-/

The SoG

admin February 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Mike,

My pre-workout drink is 2 large cups of green tea or a medium cup of black coffee. Basic, but effective.

Adam,

It is funny how we are all slightly different…that is why I value the comments so much. Some people will find that they do HIIT best in a fasted state…others prefer lifting in a fasted state. I could probably strength train after a meal, but I like to do my HIIT right after lifting…so I need to fast. To be honest, I push my body hard during HIIT and I’m positive I would have a tough time doing this with food in my system. I’m pretty sure it would come back up a bit. Plus, I swear I feel noticably leaner after just a few days of doing HIIT in a fasted state.

Dave,

It certainly isn’t the only way to go, but it works incredibly well for many who try it. People who are having a tough time losing the last bit of stubborn body fat will notice the best results.

Jonathan,

If you do a morning workout, I wouldn’t wait until evening to eat. I would recommend the approach that Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat recommends…basically eating Warrior Style 2 times per week, and eating like normal the rest of the week. So just do that night time one-meal-per-day approach on the days you aren’t training (2 times per week).

Mikki,

I have used the 2 shakes and 1 meal approach to get really lean in the past, but it isn’t the way I eat most of the time anymore. Scott Kustes of ModernForager.com rand Mark Sisson of MarksDailyApple.com really opened my eyes to the benefits of eating whole foods -vs- supplements.

If you do want to do the 2 shakes and one meal method…then here is how I did it. Drink a shake when you wakeup (around 6AM-7AM) then drink another for lunch (11AM). Workout around 5:00pm…eat a meal around 7:00. When I was doing this to prepare for a trip I would eat a small meal for dinner…typically a salad with chopped up chicken and vinegar. This is a pretty hardcore diet, but you will drop fat like crazy using this approach.

Andrew,

Fasting done properly works extremely well. Obvioulsy it isn’t something that people should overdue, but if done strategically it works wonders. One thing you will notice after a while is that your body will become better at digesting food. I believe it has something to do with letting your body “empty out” every now and then. I don’t think we were meant to have a never ending backup of food in our intestines.

Yavor,

Eat Stop Eat is outstanding. Brad does a brilliant job in this book. Ori is the first person that really brought Intermittent Fasting to masses, but Brad’s book is a more realistic and flexible approach to getting lean with this type of diet.

AJ,

That is good to hear…I’m like you, I can do everything without a drop in performance in a fasted state.

Lihan,

Thanks for the positive feedback. Yeah…I stay up late writing this stuff, so I miss sleep as well. As far as pushups go, I have a really good article about increasing pectoral definition with explosive pushups. Go to the upper right hand corner of my site and put “pushups” into the search box, it will bring up every article I have on pushups. The one I mentioned should come up first.

Tom,

I’m with you on the cup of coffee! It will do the trick without the food. Save the oatmeal for after your workout and you will probably be better off. Give it a shot and see what you think.

Caleb,

It is funny how no one ever talks about burps…”My name is Rusty and I get the burps”…I can’t eat anywhere within a 4 hour window if I plan on doing any type of interval work (HIIT or Turbulence Training Bodyweight Circuits).

Joe,

I recommend to workout in a fasted state, but still make sure to get the calories you need each day. It is all about the timing of the meals. No need to starve yourself. Plus some days it makes sense to eat more meals and more calories. I have days where I eat low

RockStar,

There are certainly quite a few approaches to reach the same goal. The more traditional approach is to eat a larger meal in the morning, a lunch that is smaller than the breakfast, and eat the smallest at night and eat nothing for several hours before bed. The way I like to time it is to eat the biggest meal after working out, because that is when the body can absorb the most amount of nutrients and it is less likely to get stored as body fat. So if someone works out in the morning, then this tapered off approach would be perfect. If that same person works out after work, then I would suggest the bigger meal at night (but still medium to low carb if they have a lot of weight to lose).

Burritokid,

I was thinking more along the lines of a protein shake. The body can digest that and it won’t slow you down like solid food.

Zack,

Big lunches just make me want to nap. I understand why they take mid-day siestas in parts of Europe. I experience the exact same thing you described. That is cool your girlfriend is a med student…I get kind of squeemish with blood…I couldn’t do it.

Helder,

The corisol element is more complex than it first appears. Ori has a great answer for this…

“Investigators in the school of sport and exercise science, University of Birmingham, Edgbastion, England found that ingestion of carbs before exercise adversely elevated plasma cortisol levels. Interestingly enough, there was a significant reduction in post exercise cortisol when carbs were NOT ingested before exercise. Furthermore, there was a faster shift from carb to fat fueling during exercise, when a pre-exercise meal was not applied.

As for protein, what failed to reach mainstream nutrition knowledge is the already established fact that protein rich foods raise cortisol levels if applied incorrectly. Studies at the University of Lubeck, in Germany, found that oral administration of fast releasing protein foods such as hydrolyzed (pre-digested) proteins, have an even more profound cortisol elevating effect, compared to whole protein foods.

Note that chronic elevated cortisol has been associated with muscle wasting and fat gain (in particular abdominal fat.)

In summary, pre-exercise meals may rob the brain and muscle of energy (due to digestion). Eliminating the digestion effect of pre-exercise meals may only make things worse. Eating meals made from fast releasing proteins and carbs, before exercise, can cause a profound cortisol elevating effect during and after exercise. This may severely compromise ones ability to build muscle and burn fat.”

He also states how the HGH level increase from fasting offsets any negative effects from cortisol when fasting.

Melanie,

Type Accumeasure into Google…this is a great brand.

Daisy,

You can have cookies now and then (you have to live). Just eat well 80-90% of the time and indulge every now and then.

Todd,

I think it is good to eat a low grain/moderate carb diet based around vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy. The meal after you workout is the exception, you want to go low-fat protein and medium to high carbs. The fat slows down the absorption of nutrients, which is good most of the time but not after your workout (you want to your body to get fueled up quickly after your workout). An example for a dorm dweller…non fat milk and chocolate milk powder (Nestle Quick)…if you are stuck at losing body fat then just do the non-fat milk. If you get to another sticking point, then skip this post workout meal or do it every other time. It works well.

brandon,

There are some athletes that this would not apply to. Marathon runners, long distance swimmers, etc. Exercising over a couple of hours creates a different condition in the body. Any steady and tough prolonged training that requires a very high level of fuel wouldn’t fit this eating model.

Yash,

I don’t enjoy training in the early morning…especially now I’m almost 40. My joints and muscles operate much better after being awake for a few hours. Also…decent article…if my work didn’t get in the way, I would love to workout at around 10AM. Right now I get in at 5:30, but don’t go to bed until 12:30AM…so I still have plenty of time between bed and when my workout ends.

Michael,

Major oversight on my part. I have written about HGH a bit on my site and forgot to include it in this post. Great point! What is funny is that I haven’t written a post directly about HGH on this site yet. I have done guest posts on it, and articles on article sites, but for some reason I haven’t addressed it directly on my main site. I’ll add it to my to-do list.

Matt,

You will still lift in a fasted state but get a little more aggressive with meals after the workout…a bigger post workout shake, followed by a larger meal an hour later. Obviously you don’t want to go crazy, because then you will add a bunch of excess fat.

Jeff,

I would recommend some low fat yogurt and a bit of fruit. Just enough to replenish your muscles a bit without slowing you down.

Kevin,

That will work well. I would advise eating the majority of your daily carbs after your workout if you want to get really lean. Don’t be obsessed about this, but eat lighter carbs at night if your workout is in the morning when it is practical.

Dominic,

Some athletic events require a higher source of energy and these rules wouldn’t necessarily apply. Things like rowing, Tour de France, Olympic swimming, etc…are a whole different ball-game. It sounds like you found a good balance of eating for performance for your sport…I would stick with your current eating schedule.

SoG,

You have different circumstances, so this wouldn’t workout for you every day. If I was in your position, I would pick 1 or maybe 2 workouts per week and do the prolonged fast. It might just give you that extra push to get a tiny bit leaner…although I know you are already lean.

A hot topic going here!

Rusty

Son of Grok February 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Thanks Rusty. I have been thinking about it since posting. I invariably always have at leat 1 weekend workout. I think that I will continue with status quo the rest of the week but take advantage of doing that one workout on the weekends fasted! We shall see how that works for me.

The SoG

Yavor February 2, 2009 at 5:41 am

Hey Rusty, you are right, Brad’s contribution is making intermittent fasting accessible. And thanks to you I found out about it last summer.

I’ve known about the warrior diet for many years, but it always seemed to crazy to implement.

Eat Stop Eat on the other hand is much more easy to implement.

Yavor

Christine February 2, 2009 at 8:56 am

Rusty,
Great article – just when I was getting less and less motivated to wake up to do my HIIT! So, you don’t work out till 5:30pm, and work out fasted? Do you eat anything before 12pm? or are you still doing Warrior style dieting? I still haven’t gotten Eat Stop Eat b/c it’s kind of expensive, but I think i will have to start doing 2 full days of fasting. That’s the main point of the book right? I’ve gained holiday weight that is not coming off very easily this year. I’m getting too old I guess. Haha.
Ok, thanks again for the motivation!
Christine

Helder February 2, 2009 at 9:35 am

I didn’t know that study Rusty, like i said with controversial and complex subjects we’re always learning more and more. I guess this is the time i’m going to give a good try to exercise fasting.

Very good info here like always

Thanks Rusty

Jonathan February 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

Thx alot xD Now im going to reach my goal for sure xD
This site is to good to be true!!! xD PEACE!!!

Rambodoc February 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Rusty:
I, too, workout fasted based on my common sense logic that you laied out in this post. However, I have read experts say the reverse as you surely have, too. The point I want to know is which of these schools has any evidence one way or the other? I also wonder what to do on fasting days, as I break my fast in the evening, and workout at 6 AM. What about the post workout meal then?

Jon February 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm

rusty, i respect your point of view cuz youre entitled to it, but i dont think exercising on an empty stomach is the way to go. i even asked brad pilon about this and he says you need glucose to lift and perform intense cardio. eating some very light before an intense workout is not gonna hurt you at all. animals fast cuz they have no choice, but to. they dont know when their next meal is coming. that whole not eating before cardio cuz it burns more fat thing is a myth rusty.
Don’t Wake and Work Out: Eat a Bit First
Tue, 11/20/2007 – 9:30am by FitSugar 24 Comments – 7,488 Views
——————————————————————————–

With everyone concerned about eating extra calories over the holidays, I am here to tell you that you should eat … before you exercise first thing in the morning. It seems that many folks think that if they work out on an empty stomach, their bodies will target fat. Unfortunately, that is just not true, and this persistent myth can actually set you back if you are trying to lose weight.

After fasting all night, since you don’t eat while you sleep, your glycogen (or carb) stores are low. Glycogen is the fuel the body generally burns first for energy. If your glycogen levels are low and your body is in motion, your body decides to hold on to your fat. The body is essentially paranoid and thinks a famine might be coming, so it holds on to the fat as emergency reserve and targets muscle instead. This is not good, since you are working out to lose fat, not lean muscle. You want to keep lean muscle, because it will boost your metabolism.

The good news is that you just need to eat just a small amount to let the body know that fuel is on its way and you are not entering a famine. Just a simple snack that contains 100 to 200 calories will do. Me? I eat a banana and a small handful of nuts before a run, or I eat yogurt before a weight training session.

Frank February 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Interesting stuff, and I agree. Some people have been thrown into these situations, lost in caves etc. and their problem solving skills had increased after starving for a few days and they were able to stay alert and aware for much longer than most people would have thought. I have to ask though, do you think that the fight or flight response may be shut down by any small amount eaten beforehand? Some sources recommend eating something to kick your energy up like an apple, or a nutri grain an hr before your workout. I will try this approach again for a few weeks though… see how I feel. makes you wonder what our ancestors were capable of.

Frank

Fitness-siren February 2, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Hi Rusty, while I’ve had experience with ESE, I haven’t been brave enough to fast before a workout. But, I do my HIIT on Saturday in a fasted state and I feel as “light as air.” I feel like I can just go on forever.

On the other hand, I fast in a different way for my more intense strength training – HIIT session combinations. I eat about 2 hours before but mostly protein. In other words, very little carbohydrates for my pre-workout meal. So, in a way, I am carb-fasted 🙂

Thanks for a great post!

James February 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Jon,

Sorry, but you’re comment about the body burning muscle from an overnight fast is incorrect. During rest (fasting), fat is primarily metabolized at the very low intensity. Maybe live glycogen will begin to get depleted (although this takes over 16-hours from fasting), muscle glycogen will be minimally reduced..

James February 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I meant LIVER glycogen depletion, not LIVE glycogen depletion.

Kevin February 3, 2009 at 9:15 am

Thank you for the advice rusty, What , in your opinion would be some examples of carbs i should be eating an hour after i workout, and how much??

Jenny February 3, 2009 at 11:26 am

I went to the gym today with only having eaten a small handful of nuts and fruit about 3h before, popped 2 caffeine pills (cant drink coffee to save my life) and then did the suggested workout I found under the Low Fat Body Cardio link and I feel great!!
I came home and had some nice fast carbs (grapes) and then went on to another Rusty recommended thing a salad with grilled chicken for lunch! =)
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this Rusty! You have changed how I look at so many things and soon I will look absolutely fantastic and hot, I will make you proud and then refer anyone who asks how I did it here =) I’m finally getting there!

The Spaniard February 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Rusty, sorry but I have to argue the response you gave to Zack regarding mid day siestas in some parts of Europe. The only place in Europe where siestas are famous is in my country, Spain, and in a way, it is a myth. Unfortunately, my country has weird hours when it comes to work. 1) Offices open from 8a or 9a till 8p, with a two hour lunch in between. Nobody takes a siesta here because you can’t go home. It’s just that we don’t eat in half an hour..we enjoy our meals without getting fat. 2) Stores can open from 9a to 1p and then from 4p to 8p (4 hours break in between) or from 10a to 2p and then from 4p to 8p. Now there are two reasons for this. During lunch nobody is going to buy anything, so you just close and enjoy your lunch. Also, small business owners in big cities have a hard time with taxes, which means you cannot hire people to help you in your store. Solution? You close those two hours instead of having to pay someone to keep the store opened when you know people are having lunch. But I can tell you that basically no one is taking a siesta, unless you are retired. In the States the also have this idea about us because of Mexico and the tendency americans have to mistake Spain with Mexico. By the way, when are you going to stop spending your vacations in Mexico (especialy in Cancun where you find the same bars you have in the States) and decide to visit Spain? You would love it there.

Son of Grok February 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Spaniard,
I can answer that one for you. mexico is closer and costs less to go to. I would love to go to spain but it is SO much more expensive.

The SoG

eric February 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm

hey rusty,
what would you recommend me? i have lost a rather big amounts of muscle due to not performing enough resistance training while fasting. (i know it IS an important part of ESE to workout). now i make a commitment to work out at least two times a week.

The Spaniard February 5, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Son of Grok
It is more expensive, but if you plan your trip ahead of time and do your homework right, it can be less expensive. I know that for Rusty getting a ticket all the way from California has to be a pain in the ass, but you have to figure out when is the best time to go. Once in Spain, it’s not that expensive. You don’t need a car to move around and if you want to save good money all you have to do is get the train pass and you can go anywhere in Spain. Just one thing. People have the tendency to just visit Barcelona. It is a great city, but if you really want to enjoy the trip, you have to visit Madrid, the south (Sevilla or Granada) and very especialy San Sebastian. It is the most beautiful city in Spain, the food is to die for (Tapas and Pintxos were invented here) and if you like surfing it is one of the two places to go with Zarautz (just around the corner).

Jimmy February 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm

hi i’m male 5’8 149 pound i was wondering if you guys have any ideas of how i can lose the fat below my belly button.

Brian Dickey a.k.a. The low carb junkie February 9, 2009 at 3:16 am

Great article, I’ve dropped weight for years by doing my cardio on an empty stomach. It just always seemed to make sense to me. Not to mention the whole burping your food up while workout. But usually I eat something lite right before I hit the weights both methods seem to work well for me. Thanks again and nervous system pic is cool.

Ted February 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I read in Men’s Health that eating carbs after 6/7:00 p.m. makes them turn into fat. If I’m fasting during the day as you recommend, then why don’t the carbs I eat at night on carb days turn into fat? Or do they? I’m getting more defined pretty rapidly, but I’m wondering if there’s a better way to distribute my carb calories on my carb days?

Note: I do HIIT 4x per week, steady state 2x per day for 30 minutes, and I lift weights 5x per week. I alternate 2 days high protein/fat and 1 day high protein/carbs.

Also, are there times of the day when different types of carbs are better than others?

Also (sorry for so many questions) I heard that if I drink my post-lifting protein shake along with gatorade or fruit juice, the protein gets to the muscles faster and builds them faster. (I am trying to gain a LITTLE muscle–5 lbs or so. I’m 6’2″, 184 lbs, 12% bodyfat.

Thanks Rusty!
Your blog is a great resource and so much easier to follow than any of the other sources. I personally only enjoy eating if I get to eat as much as I want (which is a lot) and eating 6 small meals per day is absolutely miserable for me. I used to get hungry during the day…but I realize now that that was because I ate breakfast! My body doesn’t need that. I have a few veggies, nuts and fruits throughout the day if i get REALLY hungry, but usually there’s no issue. I feast at night! Lost 4 lbs in 2 weeks. 🙂
Keep writing!

CaRtz February 22, 2009 at 2:37 am

Hi Rusty/Everyone,

I’m trying to follow the fasted state approach before hitting the gym but there are times where I burp while doing cardio. Why is that? Is it because I sometimes eat a cookie before working out? =)

Thanks in advance to whoever can answer.

-Roy

admin February 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Ted,

There are simple carb strategies that work well…mainly this…eat the majority of your daily carbs 1-2 hours after your workout and go low carb the rest of the day (this is when you are tying to get extra lean). I wouldn’t drink gatorade or go out of your way to add in any extra carbs with your protein. Just drink the normal amount of carbs that the shake has.

Roy,

Yep…it is that cookie that you are eating. If I burb while doing cardio, it is a sure sign that I have food lingering in my stomach and I ate too close to workout time.

Rusty

CaRtz February 24, 2009 at 12:53 am

so that’s why! =)

Last question on this topic, Rusty: I don’t need to lose weight since I’m already thin (thanks to your guidance and all that cardio last year), do I still need to go to the gym on an empty stomache or am I allowed to eat 2-3 hours before? I did some back-reading in this site and I’ve learned that I can drink a protein shake before working out, is that the only thing I can take in?

I just don’t want to be too thin and look like an anorexic. Lol.

Thanks again for all your help!

CaRtz

Dennis February 25, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Dr. Ronald Klatz’ book, Growing Young with HGH, presents three graphs (p. 230) showing the relationships among blood glucose, plasma insulin, and plasma HGH. This is of particular interest to me because I am old enough to be very low in HGH and yet not accepting Mother Nature’s prescription for my age-related demise. I believe this information is of value to readers here, regardless of age. The research the Klatz cites was published in 1963. It describes a three stage feast-fast cycle with every meal. In the first stage, within the first hour after eating, blood sugar rises and insulin is released, which encourages the storage of excess carbs and fat. After the second hour (stage 2), GH is released and the levels of insulin and blood sugar start to fall. At this stage, GH acts to build up muscle protein, which is enhanced by insulin. In stage 3, more than 4 hours after eating (i.e., the fasting stage), GH levels remain high as insulin almost disappears. Stage 3 is when GH acts solely to mobilize the body’s fat stores for burning as fuel.
Fast forward to the present. An epub ahead of print, in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, shows the effects of fasting on several performance categories in cyclists. To quote some of the main results, “The cyclists’ PWR (power to weight ratio) and body composition improved significantly, and their overall weight, fat weight, and body fat percentage decreased. Lean mass was maintained.” Furthermore, “Caloric restriction (up to 40% for 3 weeks) and exercising after fasting overnight can improve a cyclist’s PWR without compromising endurance cycling performance.”
I think this is pretty cool stuff that lends scientific credence to Rusty’s approach. These are just a couple of the items that I wanted to call to your attention. There is a LOT more to learn from scientific research on this subject. Indeed, a PubMed search today came up with 2,722 research references on “exercise AND fasting.” Whew!

admin February 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Cartz,

I still think you should go in fasted if it doesn’t bother you too much, just increase you caloric intake a bit the rest of the time to insure you aren’t too skinny.

Dennis,

Comments like yours are the “true gold” in this site! I love it when people add in great content into the comment section. I can’t encourage this enough. I am going to dig in to your site, because I can tell you really dig in to the subject.

Great Comments!

Rusty

Emma March 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Wow, its so good to finally see someone writing about this! This is what I have been following, but I always felt kind of guilty, like I was doing something wrong whenever I exercised in a fasted state. Society drills in our heads that we need to eat before we exercise, but I always felt that my workouts were much more intense and enjoyable in a fasted state, and now I know why! Thanks for writing about this! I also had a question about pure brown rice protein powder. Is it a good protein source? I am vegan, so I am looking for something that can give me protein without giving me any carbs or fat. I am allergic to soy, so I can’t have any soy-based stuff.

Thanks for any help you can give me regarding this!

Johny April 1, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Will this fasting technique work with a swimming workout?

Boss Lady May 27, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Can I fast for 3 days and workout at the same time?

Rafi Bar-Lev September 27, 2009 at 7:52 am

Rusty,

Do you think the fasted state “boost” you’re talking about here is because when in a fasted state, our bodies are programmed to give that extra boost so we can acquire food for ourselves? That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I thought about why we would have energy despite fasting.

Great post!

-Rafi

alex silva November 4, 2009 at 8:28 pm

First, I’m not against fasting (if done correctly) since I do it (on controlled “environment”, in the morning and low intensity/not more than 2hrs). But a lot of what it is said here in favor of feasting is not accurate. Very careful with fast training. If your goal is to loose fat, that could work but remember one of the biggest truths in fitness/nutrition: the fat burns in the carb’s pyre, i.e. if you don’t have enough carb’s your body won’t have energy to lipolysis (turn fat into nrg). Also, if you don’t eat, your l-carnitine levels are low and fat won’t be carried into the cells to be turned into nrg (you can always take l-carnitine as suplement).
When you work out fasting, after 30 or 45 minutes (depending on the individual and/or the workout) your muscular glycogen ends and your body will use fat (on low intensity workout, aerobic) but also protein as an nrg source, i.e. will start a catabolic process. You can see the dilema/irony here: you build up some muscles but others are being destroyed to feed them…
you can work out fasting but not for a long period/high intensity or your output will decrease and acidosis will occur, leading to cramps and other (more) serious fx. A single fasting workout can’t produce two results (fat burn and lean muscle gain). Talk with someone credited, even better if it’s someone working with athletes. If you feel sick eating before workout, take 1 or 2 pcs of fruit one hour before – no burp or throwing guaranteed

nicole January 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Hey rusty,
so more to clarify than anything. i instruct back to back spin classes from 5-7pm on a wed night.
that day on waking i do 1,000 skips, then 1/2hr pilates before eating half a cup of oatmeal with 1 scoop protein powder (1/3 serve-30 cals) if i then go 5 hours and eat a 180cal protein bar or 85g tin tuna and some baby greens for lunch will i be ok to be up the front of 40people whilst doing so much high intensity cardio without crashing and burning? typical diet at the moment never goes over 1000 cals so i don’t have that many stores so will prob be reasonably depleted of glycogen.mentally i can do it tho so is the slight calorie decrease in performance worth it for the pay off of cardio in a fasting state?
thanks so very much!
Nic

jason May 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I have to agree on the intense workouts that can be performed in a fasted state. The way I have my IF set up, I’m fasted for 15-16 hours(aside from a pre workout shake) before I workout. My energy levels are surprisingly high. Although the promise of carb goodness right around the corner is definite motivation.

Chris June 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

hi i am a personal martial artist/trainer/nutritionist standing at 6’2″ 180 lbs, 7% bodyfat, so you can picture that i am lean and packin muscle >=] i am a strong believer of this, i have gone days fasting and still do strength training to a high intensity, and have seen amazing results from this. I get such an energy boost that i dont need as much sleep as before. 4 months back I was 215, with a little extra muscle but my body fat was 23% thats when i decided to lose some weight…after jogging like a marathon runner and lifting and eating wisely, i only went down to 205lbs…for some reason i was stuck at 200 to 205lbs and couldnt drop anymore weight! I got so dissapointed I went back up to 212lbs…that’s when my nutritionist co worker advised I should fast! It was the best thing I could have done…my abs and even my serratus anterior muscles are cut up! I am shocked because I would work so hard to see those mucles show and never seen them until i fasted! Its clear to me that this method clears the body of toxins and bodily pollution so the stomach shrinks allowing me to see endless definition on my core and even chests!
here is a link of a video of how i like to train while fasting!
One hand pushups and even finger pushups!
I feel so light on my feet and hands!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25FqtRnp4Q8

Rob January 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Rusty,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on using BCAAs pre-workout after going through a 10-20 hours fast?

Ryan lilliard June 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Say if i try in a fasted state everyday 5 times a week, on the 5th day i usually do abs, could i maybe do abs and say a 20minute cycle on the bike, or would that lead to muscle breakdown due to not eating for say 12hours?

Thanks in advance

Niko - noeXcusefitness December 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

I agree with the principle, my only issue is my lifestyle dictates that I train at about 8:00pm each night, so I can’t train in a fasted state (otherwise I would never eat at all). As an alternative I am trialling carb back loading, where basically I only eat about 30grams of carbs during the day. I only consume carbs after my training session (in large amounts). I am trialling this process to see how it affects my insulin levels and in turn my ability to gain muscle whilst loosing fat. I will let you know how it goes.

Chastina July 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

Greetings Mr. Moore,

I am so happy I found your blog. I have been criticized all my life for eating the way I do (I only eat when I am hungry and I hardly ever need food before workouts) and, even though I have always been very fit, some have even said I have an eating disorder…5’9 and 155lb, I do not have an eating disorder.

I find it a little funny that friends and gym patrons will ask me about my eating habits (stating that they are lost and confused about nutrition) but as soon as I start to go over how I eat they become instantly dismissive, and some even flip from inquisitive listener to disapproving nutrition experts; “No wonder you are so thin, you are starving yourself!”

I recently started training again and I love my gym but the trainers there are…well, they do not have the same views. I work with a trainer (and even though I explained my way of life and eating, he still pressed that I should stick to his plan) and the eating regiment he put me on was making me sick, as well as made me incredibly lethargic during my workouts (not to mention it felt like I had a rock in my stomach), and worst of all I gained 10lbs in the three months of training. I sat down with my trainer and we agreed that I was getting stronger (can easily pull a sled with 500lbs on it) but I was not slimming down, I was bulking up.

I have been trainer free for 5 weeks now and I dropped the 10lbs, my energy is sky high, and my skin is glowing. My boyfriend told me that I was being too patient with the trainers and should have dropped them right away…should have listened to him.

I like my gym and I really do love my the employees there (great people) and because they are great people communicating that my style of fitness is different but not wrong is easily accepted by them…if only because of the speedy change they have witnessed first-hand.

It is refreshing to read that there are others like me and to see how fit they look as well. Thank you for posting such an interesting blog on a subject most choose to ignore or dismiss. I also love all the responses, great questions.

Chastina

stacy August 6, 2012 at 3:45 am

In theory I love the idea of working out in a fasted state/first thing in the morning. However, in practice I’ve found my performance is terrible, I get dizzy, see stars, and generally have a horrible workout.

If I exercise around sunset, I’m terrific.

My question is if it’s been 5-6 hours since you’ve eaten, is that still a ‘fasted state,’ or must it be a full 12 or so?

I am only going by anecdotal evidence, but I find men in general have a much easier time with surviving hunger. Most women I know need to eat frequently.

Jason August 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Stacy, how much are you eating during your window the day before? If you do not consume enough healthy calories your body will most definitely shut down mid workout. Also, what are you eating during your window? (window being the time between fasting where you consume your food for the day.) Also, how much water are you taking in daily? I have not heard of anyone having the same issues you describe.
If your already at a healthy body weight.

To awnser your question, from my research I am finding most people describe thier “fasting time” as anywhere from 8-24 hours pre workout. 5-6 hours is most likely not enough time, try timing your fasting time so that you can sleep during the majority of it. Remember water is ok during your fasting, a big gulp will curb any hunger pains temporarily before bed. In some extreme cases I will also chew gum to help.

Jason August 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Rusty,

Thank you so much for this post. As someone with a very busy schedule (new baby, 2 jobs, student) eating HEALTHY snacks every 2-3 hours is nearly impossible. I really like the idea of IF and started it yesterday after a few hours of research. I found this blog post to be the most effective and to the point for information.

I stopped eating last night at around 9pm, and woke up today and left for a long hike and bike at around 10:30. I must say, I was shocked at the results. I felt as though I had endless stamina and energy. I did not feel sick or hungry at all. And for some reason even found myself rarely reaching for my water bottle. It blew me away. I really like the idea of this approach and plan on sticking with it for the next 4 weeks to see how it turns out. I just have a few questions for you, I will try to keep them short and to the point. My goal is to shed this horrible spare tire ive been carrying for the last 8 years. I have lost a total of 65 poounds, but cant seem to shake off this stored fat. Im hoping IF will help.

Is it ok to plan my daily eating around IF? if so, should I take one day a week where I attempt to eat regularly?

Is a small amount of caffiene ok pre workout? I find that it makes a world of difference for me in my morning workout, as I am not a regular caffiene user.

And finally, what is the deal with these “sugar substitutes” are any of them “healthy” in the sense that they dont trigger insulin response the same as normal sugar?

Thank you for your time, I look forward to reading more of your posts! keep it up!

Jason August 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Thank you Mark Sisson, found the awnser to my question regarding artificial sweeteners.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artificial-sweeteners-insulin/#axzz24h2h4KVi

Fitness Wayne | Paleo and Strength Training November 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

I have been paying more attention to this lately because I have been doing a lot of fasting to get lean. I have noticed a decrease in performance when I fast but I think it might be a mental barrier holding me back.

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