Does working out on an empty stomach lead to greater fat burn? That's the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
At first glance, it's easy to decide that training in a fasted state, does indeed lead to more body fat being used up.
If we look at food purely as fuel (energy in and energy out, then this would definitely hold true).
The problem is, food is more than just fuel, there are many complex nutrients and their value and effect on our bodies vary tremendously. The body itself has such a complicated way of handling what we eat, and here’s how
The Human Body Is Complex.
First of all, your body doesn’t just burn fat, it also burns protein and carbs. Carbs are your body’s preferred macronutrient energy source. This is why fat is so present as a stored tissue in the first place. Your body would rather store it than burn it.
So burning fat means that you have to burn through any available carbs first.
That's because chemically speaking, carbohydrates are much easier to break down into their basic soluble units called glucose, which is quickly used to produce ATP, the body’s energy currency.
So it seems that after all, burning fat doesn’t really get ramped up on an empty stomach as one would hope. Well, we did say it’s complicated, so let's take a deeper dive, shall we?.
Hormones and Fat Loss.
When it comes to metabolic activity, the nutrients in our bodies are regulated by certain hormones. Key in this department is the hormone insulin. Insulin works by regulating glucose levels in the body as well as influencing the storage of fat.
Then you also get human growth hormone or HGH. this hormone competes with insulin, a situation known as antagonism.
HGH is responsible for tissue growth, especially with muscle tissue and also stimulates metabolism of stored fat. So when it comes to hormones, you definitely want to have more of an HGH effect going on.
This is where fasted training actually works. Because every morning, when you wake up, your HGH levels are at their daily peak, and your insulin levels are at their lowest.
Training in this state helps boost fat burning significantly. That's why many athletes and those dedicated to an active lifestyle prefer an early morning training session before breakfast or any form of food for that matter.
But when you train is one thing, how you train is another.
This article will look at ways to train (and not to train) in a fasted state for the best fat loss results.
Before we get into that, make sure to check out the Life Renu Store. There you will find some amazing health supplements, crafted for your health and wellness.
And with that, let's get straight into it.
How To Train and Not To Train on an Empty Stomach.
Pilates and Yoga
Yoga and Pilates are conditioning workouts. Which means they are great for helping improve the functional state of your body.
These are definitely great ways to optimize your biomechanical capacity and even have a mental health component, especially with yoga.
But when it comes to burning fat on an empty stomach, yoga and Pilates just don't give the metabolism enough stress to stimulate an increase in fat metabolism.
Low Intensity Steady State Cardio
Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS) or just cardio as we commonly refer to it is a great and necessary component of fitness.
It improves the health and function of the heart and helps boost your efficiency and endurance when being active.
It's just not a great way to lose weight. And the misconception that steady-paced cardio is a way to melt fat has been a stubborn one to get rid of.
You are working aerobically when you do cardio, which means your body’s metabolism isn’t being challenged. That's because there’s enough oxygen pumping through your lungs and into your heart for you not to require extra calories to be burned.
Strength or resistance training targets your skeletal muscles for a deep and direct training stimulus.
The mechanical stress is great for adaptations like increased strength, endurance, and hypertrophy, but it’s also great for fat loss. And why is that?
That's because, at high resistance loads, you aren’t just putting your body through mechanical stress, you’re also being subjected to metabolic stress, a key stimulus in fat loss.
This is because your muscles are working against extreme pressure and little oxygen, which leads to switching on of the phosphagen and anaerobic energy pathways.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a training method that’s hit the peak of trending when it comes to popular ways to train.
That's because HIIT is the best example of maximizing the fat burning effects of anaerobic training.
HIIT puts you in a prolonged fat-burning state, even after training. When you do a HIIT session, you work at maximum capacity in short bursts until near failure, then you rest just long enough to give it another max effort push!
The trick is to determine your maximum effort duration and your minimum recovery duration. The common protocol for HIIT is to have set-time intervals, which doesn’t consider the individual differences when it comes to anaerobic capacity and VO2 max.
HIIT with set time intervals is only practical in a group setting where multiple participants need to be managed.
The main takeaway from this is that while training on an empty stomach has its rewards when it comes to fat loss, it really boils down to how you actually train.
You need to train anaerobically, which means at a high intensity that stresses your metabolism throughout the duration of training.
So there you have it folks, our take on training on empty. If you have any questions you feel weren’t answered in this article, feel free to drop a line in the comments below and we’ll get right back to you.
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