So we have all heard this on many occasions. I remember the first time I heard about this incredible new fat loss technique, the wonderful fasted cardio.
It got me curious. Does fasted cardio burn more fat?
And curiosity for me, leads to exploring which then leads me to taking action. So I did.
I decided to try this ‘fasted cardio’ and see how much fat I could lose. Now bearing in my mind, one of the highlights of my day is breakfast, it was difficult to do. Especially for the first 1-2 weeks, as I was having to literally hydrate and get out the house to do some cardio. Plus the weather in England, usually has it’s own ideas so it was always an extra obstacle I had to face before pushing myself out of the door.
To add to this new ‘regime’ I was now going to try, i I also had the slight problem that I was sitting around 7% body fat around this time. Therefore, seeing any typical fat loss results was going to be difficult.
I also hadn’t started using my fat loss scales [Buy here if you wish] to get any sort of progress calculations written down. But I the old pinch and calliper tests was still a possibility.
So the next month or, so I spent doing fasted cardio, either on the stair climber, treadmill, roads or even the occasional skipping sessions in my home made gym. It was actually quite fun. Coupled with the fact I would always look leaner in the mornings anyway it meant that I would finish looking pretty impressed with myself.
I gave it a shot…
So with the genuine attempt of trying to burn fat quicker, even though I knew thermodynamics would always be the underlying reason for any real fat loss I persisted.
So before I give you the results of this ‘mini journey’ I took myself on, you at least know I tried it. For my Instagram followers you would have seen this a long long time ago. So, my answer to the blog “does fasted cardio burn more fat?” is a resounding NO.
But you could argue, this is just 1 mans opinion over the internet who started at a low body fat % and was likely going to see very slow results. I know your thinking that, because even as I write this, I am playing devils advocate with myself.
So it’s better if I back up why this myth is wrong and why eating before or after will not speed up your fat loss results.
Scroll down to find out…
So in true cliff hanger style, just for anyone unfamiliar with the term ‘fasted cardio’ I will explain a bit about it.
This idea is that you do not consume any caloric food or drink prior to running. Your body will then only burn fat to get you through the exercise.
Using this notion therefore the same people are applying indirectly that if you eat a banana and have a protein shake for example, prior to running that your body would be burning that food during the run.
Sadly this isn’t true.
Sorry, not sorry.
You see it is very easy in the fitness industry, which isn’t properly regulated to provide unsolicited, incorrect poor advice. Everyone is an expert and believes their truths. Sadly things like this can cause people to take poor advice and not move forward.
The best thing about this is that I also often had people carrying a fair few extra lbs of timber telling me this is what I should have been doing all along and should start now!
Really? “Always be careful who is giving you advice, please”
Another quick common sense way to bust this myth, as I am sure you are now realising I am saying the title of this blog is a myth is that, people who train late at night have no chance of burning any fat.
I mean after, breakfast, lunch and possibly a few snacks how can one possibly burn all of that off, and some?
Still not believing me?
But I know this still isn’t hitting home for some people, so I’ll continue.
So let’s start by understanding further how fasted cardio actually works to give you the right information, rather than my opinion and explanation of some gym goers who constantly chat nonsense.
Now you will burn calories, in fact you will probably burn calories, shower and feel leaner than ever. Of course, you can’t forget you’re likely dehydrated from the night before and have gone into some form of exercise too. But let’s leave that there for a moment.
However, we have to understand the basics of thermodynamics here. This is a simple energy equation that looks at the that calories in = calories out. This is the major key when fat loss comes to play. For example, if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight….
But I can hear some of you now saying, it ‘burns more’ if you do it fasted on top of this, right? Okay, it’s time for the big guns.
Dr. Brad Schoenfeld in 2011, published a great piece in the Strength and Conditioning Journal actually confirming that fasted cardio is no better at creating fat loss than training after eating. What? Who is this Dr Brad you say and what does he say is the main dictator of fat loss?
Wait for it….
Energy balance, that Aren Deu just mentioned above.
Thermodynamics is your friend
Now I could bore you with the science of this even more. There are plenty of studies out there who will confirm what I said. I really need you to try and grasp the idea that we have to adhere to basic thermodynamics when fat loss is at stake. Simply not eating past 6pm or doing fasted cardio won’t alone help you achieve fat loss results.
It is the same with Intermittent fasting. Yes it can work, but if you eat more than your caloric allowance (i.e. more than you burn) in that window you will get fat. Simples.
It is also the same as those who fear eating past 6pm. If you have over eaten all day and suddenly stop at 6pm, your body won’t suddenly think “ah bless you, lets not add any fat for you”.
We have to use logic and scientific data please and start to change our heath and fitness for the better, using the correct knowledge.
If you found this useful let me know and if you have any other topics for discussion, or want to know more let me know. I’ll try my best to help but for now, the answer to “Does fasted cardio burn more fat?” is a unanimous NO.
Have an awesome day!
Oh wait, before you go…
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So at least now, next time someone asks: Does fasted cardio burn more fat? You can send them to this website where we have actual scientific knowledge and practical application.