Fasted cardio involves snowballing your heart rate without munching on a pre-workout meal or snack beforehand. Fasted cardio fanatics claim the practice maximizes your fat-burning potential. But, naturally, you might wonder whether working out on an empty stomach is a good (and safe!) idea or just a trend that sounds legit.
If your primary goal is to lower your body fat percentage and your go-to workout is low- to moderate- intensity cardio, fasted cardio may offer some advantages. Research does support that you’ll burn more fat when you run in the fasted state than when your body does not have circulating nutrients to use for energy. For instance, one small study found that when people ran on a treadmill in a fasted state, they burned 20 percent more fat compared to those who had eaten breakfast. When you don’t have readily available energy from food, your body has to look elsewhere to absorb energy.
Fasted cardio may be effective in getting the body to help burn stubborn fat for someone that has been working out regularly for a while. While running on empty may make you feel lethargic at first, over time, your body will adapt to be more efficient at burning fat for fuel. In fact, research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology comparing fasted individuals versus fed individuals over the course of six weeks found that, when training at the same intensity, those who consistently trained in a fasted state showed more improvement in their endurance exercise performance compared to those who noshed before training.
Well, waiting to eat until after your workout can work wonders to reduce the fat in your body.