Can You Exercise While Intermittent Fasting
If you are curious to know whether you can workout while fasting the short answer is yes. You can exercise while following intermittent fasting.
The longer and more detailed answer is that you need to take care of various factors like your age, fitness goals, overall health, lifestyle, and nutrition to achieve the desired results.
Let us help you to understand this better with the help of an easy example.
If you are an athlete, you will want to avoid working out while fasting. This is because if you work out a lot, your body needs a lot of energy to fuel itself, which might be more difficult to achieve with intermittent fasting.
As it goes when you workout, you put a lot of stress on your physical and metabolic system. Thus, to support your workouts, it is necessary to consume the required amount of calories to fuel it properly.
The bottom line? While lighter workouts to keep you fit and toned can easily be combined with intermittent fasting, you should think twice if you are considering taking up professional fitness.
How To Gain Muscle While Intermittent Fasting
If you want to increase your muscles while fasting intermittently, you might want to combine resistance training, High-Intensity Interval Training sessions, and lifting weights. You may also want to consume foods high in good-quality protein and low in sugar and fat during the window you have for eating.
Intermittent fasting is a popular choice for losing weight. Research shows that weight loss is typical while you are intermittently fasting, and some studies show you can also maintain or build muscle. If, on the other hand, you want to lose fat without gaining muscle, check out this article.
The Best Intermittent Fasting Schedule Options
Devising a fasting plan means more than just deciding to eat fewer meals. Setting, and sticking with, an intermittent fasting schedule will help you make and keep the dietary changes that will get you on the path to burning fat. There are many different ways to commit to intermittent fasting, but here are four of the most popular ones:
Youre Fasting Should You Work Out
- You may burn more fat.
- If fasting long term, you could slow down your metabolism.
- You might not perform as well during workouts.
- You may lose muscle mass or only be able to maintain, not build, muscle.
If youre set to try IF while continuing your exercise routine, there are some things you can do to make your workout effective.
What Is The Best Time To Work Out While Intermittent Fasting
I swear by working out in the morning when youre in a fasted state. Ive gotten amazing results that way. But dont just take my word for it. Studies show it takes about 10 12 hours to burn your glycogen stores. And for your insulin level to be at its lowest point. This will cause you to burn fat rather than store it.
But when youre trying to work out in a fasted state for the first time? You might find that its too hard for you. If thats the case, dont try to beat a dead horse. Instead, do your workouts AFTER your feeding periods. Its more important to stay consistent with your workouts.
Read Also: What Are The Advantages Of Fasting
Find The Right Type Of Intermittent Fasting
The results of concomitant intermittent fasting and working out depends on the type of intermittent fasting. For example, doing low-intensity workouts is best suited when you do the 24-hours fasts.
On the other hand, you can consider high-intensity activities if you do 16-hour fasts or random meal skipping.
There are several types of intermittent fasting. These include the 5:2 fast, 12-hour fasts, 16-hour fasts, 20-hour fasts, 24-hour, random meal skipping, and fasting on alternate days. The choice of the type depends on your schedule, fitness goals, and unique individual needs.
Thus, it is recommended that you consult an expert to find the best fasting method. Have problems with understanding these methods? Take a QUIZ and get your personalized intermittent fasting plan!
Meal Plan Template #3 3 Meals A Day When Working Out In The Evening/night
Super shake .
1-2 palms of protein
0.5-2 cupped handfuls of carbohydrates
1-2 fistfuls of vegetables if you have eggs
1-2 thumbs of fat
1-2 palms of protein
0.5-2 cupped handfuls of carbohydrates
1-2 fistfuls of vegetables
1-2 thumbs of fat
2 scoops of branched-chain amino acids with 16-24 ounces of water, or 20-40 grams of whey protein. For added muscle gains, include carbohydrate protocol in Workout Nutrition section of the book.
Meal Three/Post Workout
Super shake . If you want to see more on how to make super shakes, you can check out my blog here.
You could also follow the protocols in the Workout Nutrition section in the book.
Recommended Reading: What Can I Eat During 16 8 Intermittent Fasting
Best Intermittent Fasting Workout Routine For Advanced Lifters & Serious Muscle Gain
If youre lean and have a solid base of muscle, but want a great workout routine using Intermittent Fasting to REALLY crank things up a notch, Ive got a perfect program for you.
Its designed to get you a body like Thor, Captain America, or Bruce Wayne!
Its, naturally, called the Superhero Bulking Program.
What it does: Much like all of these programs, the nutrition in Superhero Bulking is based on Intermittent Fasting to help you stay lean while packing on size and eating in a calorie surplus.
Youll lift heavy 3x per week and rotate giving extra volume to different muscle groups to really make them pop. Following this program should give you that extra 10-20% of muscle you need to really stand out.
How it works: Youll eat in a small calorie surplus here while using IF.
While in the gym, youll hit low reps for strength and dense muscle gains while also adding in high volume work to pump your muscles up a bit and give them more fullness and definition.
A post shared by Kinobody on Apr 9, 2018 at 2:55pm PDT
Check out my full review and breakdown of Superhero Bulking
Tips And Tricks About Fasting
#1) Dont freak out! Stop wondering: can I fast 15 hours instead of 16? or what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything? Relax. Your body is a complex piece of machinery and learns to adapt. Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.
If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, thats okay. If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwisefreaking chill out and dont stress over minutiae!
Dont let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to your intermittent fasting plan.
#2) Consider fasted walks in the morning. I found these to be very helpful in reducing body fat, and also gave my day a great start to clear my mind and prepare for the day.
Simply wake up and go for a mile walk. Maybe you could even start walking to Mordor?
#3) Listen to your body during your strength training workouts. If you get light headed, make sure you are consuming enough water.
If you notice a significant drop in performance, make sure you are eating enough calories during your feasting window.
And if you feel severely off, pause your workout. Give yourself permission to EASE into intermittent fasting and fasted workouts. This is especially true if you are an endurance athlete.
#4) Expect funny looks if you spend a lot of mornings with breakfast eaters.
#7) Track your results, listen to your body:
This is just one tool that can contribute to your success.
Also Check: What Do You Eat With Intermittent Fasting
How To Best Time Exercise While Intermittent Fasting
What is the best time to workout when following Intermittent fasting?
Exercising at the end of your fasting period would be ideal.
Not only will it help you pass those last hours of fasting when you are eager to get some food more comfortably, but it will also help you to maximize your weight-loss potential.
What about Intermittent Fasting and working out in the morning?
But what if working out just before breaking the fast doesnt fit your schedule? Could you workout in the morning when you still have 4-5 hours left until you can break your fasting window?
Undoubtedly, it is going to be tough to exercise on a fasted stomach and still go a few hours without any food. But believe us, its possible, and you can get used to it. Weve seen this over and over again with our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge takers who chose to combine intermittent fasting and working out in the morning.
To ensure a smooth transition into working out with this pattern, you should keep it easy for the first few weeks. Once you feel your body is getting habitual, you can push more with your workouts.
An important thing to keep in mind while combining intermittent fasting and working out is to drink a lot of water, ideally about one-half to one gallon of water. If you sweat a lot, you could also try adding an electrolyte tablet, particularly if you are combining intermittent fasting with working out in the morning, while you are still fasting.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
Most people do intermittent fasting one of three ways:
Most intermittent fasters prefer the 16-8 method because its the easiest to maintain, and staying committed is important for getting results. One study showed that in 3 to 24 weeks, intermittent fasters can lose up to 8% of their body weight and as much as 7% of their waist circumferences.
Also Check: Is Fasting Really Good For You
Things To Know About Intermittent Fasting And Working Out
Favored by those on the low carb diets like Atkins and keto, intermittent fasting is the method of eating only during certain times of day or certain days of the week and fasting for others. Whether its alternate day fasting, our preferred option of 16:8 , or something else entirely, fasting has been show to help some with weight loss, among other health benefits like stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Because exercise has its own health perks, its understandable that you would want to maintain a regular workout schedule while fasting. Here are six things you should know about safely and effectively working out while fasting.
Fasted workouts have their benefits. Working out on an empty stomach could help you lose weight because your body will rely on stored fuel, in the form of glycogen and fat rather than burning your most-recent meal.
While exercising in a fasted state, however, there is a chance your body could start breaking down muscle for fuel. Thats because high-intensity activities rely on carbohydrates for fuel. Which means running sprints or doing your regular CrossFit routine while fasting, or at the end of your fast, may decrease the benefits of your workout. You may also feel less energized to work out hard if youre new to IF.
Intermittent Meal Plan Example
For this example, well focus on the 5/2 Intermittent Fast, which consists of two fasting days per week, each allowing 25 percent of your regular caloric intake . When doing this fast, consider having an eating window from 8am to 6pm.
In addition to possibly losing addition weight, youll have more food options if you avoid pieces of bread, rice, and pasta during your fast.
When fasting with limited calories, a hidden gem is hemp seeds. My favorite brand is Manitoba Harvest. Their Hemp Hearts are delicious and provide more protein than meat.
Also Check: What Is The Best Intermittent Fasting Plan
How Can Intermittent Fasting Get You Better Results
IF makes losing fat extremely simple and enjoyable.
But IF can also improve your workout progress in some other interesting ways.
- For example, when youre new to intermittent fasting , you can sometimes experience a dramatic recomposition effect.
- Though you may be eating fewer calories overall, and in fact you may be in a calorie deficit for weight loss, because of the timing of your meals you actually have more calories available for your muscle recovery then you would on a standard diet of the same calories.
Intermittent Fasting isnt quite a magical cheat code: The most important thing in your progress is still training and overall calorie and macro consumption.
But IF definitely has some cool benefits that make it worth trying!
Now lets take a look at the 6 best intermittent fasting workout routines!
Dont Forget Your Best Friend Protein
While doing intermittent fasting and working out, it is crucial to eat enough protein. Protein helps reduce muscle loss, increases the feelings of fullness, and revs up your metabolism.
For athletes who do intermittent fasting and resistance training, the recommended daily protein intake is: Approximately 2.02.6 g per kg of body mass for an 80 kg athlete.
Remember, your daily protein need may be different. Consult an expert to find out how much protein you need in a day.
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Should I Eat 6 Small Meals A Day
There are a few main reasons why diet books recommend six small meals:
1) When you eat a meal, your body does have to burn extra calories just to process that meal. So, the theory is that if you eat all day long with small meals, your body is constantly burning extra calories and your metabolism is firing at optimal capacity, right? Well, thats not true.
Whether you eat 2000 calories spread out throughout the day, or 2000 calories in a small window, your body will burn the same number of calories processing the food .
So, the whole keep your metabolism firing at optimum capacity by always eating sounds good in principle, but reality tells a different story.
2) When you eat smaller meals, you might be less likely to overeat during your regular meals. I can definitely see some truth here, especially for people who struggle with portion control or dont know how much food they should be eating.
However, once you educate yourself and take control of your eating, some might find that eating six times a day is very prohibitive and requires a lot of effort. I know I do.
Also, because youre eating six small meals, Id argue that you probably never feel full, and you might be MORE likely to eat extra calories during each snack.
Although grounded in seemingly logical principles, the six meals a day doesnt work for the reason you think it would , and generally only works for people who struggle with portion control .
Thats why we made this:
Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Is intermittent fasting an effective way to lose weight?
Is it more effective than other regular calorie-restriction?
Fasting might offer a few unique health benefits, but most people use intermittent fasting to lose weight. In a 1999 survey, some 14% of Americans reported using fasting to lose weight.24 Since then, fasting and intermittent fasting have become increasingly popular. The number is likely higher today.
To lose weight and body fat, you must burn more calories than you eat.25 Every single diet that results in weight loss does so by creating a negative calorie balance: you eat fewer calories than you expend.
Many weight loss methods do so by changing your behavior.26 You lose weight simply by eating less, but keeping it off requires a lifestyle change. If you go back to your old habits, youll eventually regain the weight.
Intermittent fasting is such a method.
When you limit your eating to only a few hours a day, or a couple of days a week, you make it harder for yourself to overeat.
Most people trying to lose weight do not keep exact track of their caloric intake.
Lets face it, weighing everything you eat and counting calories is a hassle. Not to mention trying to track how many calories you burn.
The weight loss is still the result of a calorie deficit, of course, but intermittent fasting makes it happen without any effort from you.
Intermittent fasting offers a couple of hormonal advantages compared to regular dieting.
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What Happens In Your Body When You Fast
When you dont eat anything, your body quickly responds by adjusting hormone levels and turning on various metabolic switches to adapt to starvation. Starvation sounds like something terrible, but fasting is a form of starvation, even if its intended and beneficial. Your body doesnt know why youre not giving it any food.
Here’s An Example Of What I’d Eat In A Day During My Weight Loss Phase
- Pre-workout snack: Toasted Ezekiel bread with one tablespoon of peanut butter, a sliced banana on top, sprinkled with chia seeds and a little honey.
- Breakfast: Egg white omelette with pico, spinach, and turkey bacon or turkey sausage, with an avocado on top.
- Lunch: I’d usually pre-pack a protein smoothie or have burger and avocado.
- Dinner: I do shrimp, chicken, or steak with broccoli and avocado. Sometimes I switch out the broccoli with asparagus, sweet potatoes, or corn. But I tried to keep it easy and consistent.
- Snacks: Paleo chocolate chip cookies from my local Fresh Kitchen or some Skinny Pop popcorn.
Also Check: How Much Fasting Is Too Much