It is true that you need some real energy before hitting your muscles hard to lose weight. And stuffing yourself with carbohydrates before strength training or other workout is considered necessary to keep your sugar level and energy at the normal level. However, you don’t always need to take carbs every time before going for an exercise. The solution for “how to lose weight” also lies in fasted training. Yes, you read it right it’s exercising on empty stomach.
Let’s take a close look at how fasted training is different from non-fasted training in terms of losing weight.
Taking carbs before exercise is really helpful during strength training particularly for activities like certain sports and sprinting. But the issue is, now your body is going to use these carbs as a source of energy and not the damned stored fats which need to be trimmed off right away.
Therefore, if you opt exercising on empty stomach, there are more chances to burn those fats than otherwise.
What does ‘fasted’ actually mean?
There are two times in your day, one when you eat and the second when you don’t. First one is the fed state and the second one fasted state. Fed state lasts 4-6 hours after you take your meal and after that, it is fasted state. Now the trick is that during fed state, your body releases insulin to keep your blood sugar level low, fats and proteins are absorbed by the holy digestive system and glucose is broken down to provide energy to the muscles. After that during fasted state, your body releases glucagon to keep your blood sugar level normal and it breaks down fats into free cells (fatty acids) which are further be converted into energy in the form of ketone bodies. Now, at these moments you burn fats (pure fats) to gain energy. And the very moment you start eating again, you entered the fed state. And your insulin goes and inhibits the breakdown of fats and let your body burn the sugar cells instead of fatty acids and your fats burning furnace gets turned off, sadly.
Basically, the concept of exercising on empty stomach is quite understandable if you look at the general human nature. We have created thousands of years ago and there was a time when food was not as quickly accessible as it is today so our bodies are already created to survive for a longer period of time without eating. So worrying about your energy is not an issue if you are exercising on empty stomach.
Well, if we are focusing so much on exercising on empty stomach, it is not that you can’t take carbs or you can’t eat at all before going for an exercise. But when it comes to burning fats, you got to do it.
A research has shown the results to the world that (yes, I’m talking about an accepted evidence) any aerobic exercise done in the fasted state enhances the physical reliance on fats and lowers the physical reliance on carbs as a source of energy as compared to the aerobic exercise in the fed state. And it further claims that exercise on empty stomach naturally burns 20-30% more fat than exercise with the full stomach.
How to Start it?
If you’re always taking carbs and depending upon them for your exercising and training energy, it might get difficult for you to do fasted exercise in the start. But as you will move forward, your body will get used to it and you will see wonders and miracle happening. And that’s the reason experts suggest you to start exercising with the empty stomach with gentle aerobic activities with less carb intake such as walking, swimming, running etc.
Not having so many carbs in your body might make you suffer a little more initially but with time your muscles will be getting used to burning more fats using glycogen as a fuel. Makes sense?
Fasted training is such a blessing that once you get in, there is no way back. You can eat whatever whenever you want but if you stick to fasted exercise, it can really help you curb fats and lose the massive portion of mass from your body.
There are sportsmen who do fasted training to practice and to develop stamina and vigour but take carbs to enhance their performance level on the field.
Moreover, skipping food for a long time before going to exercise and that too a hard one, might cause your blood sugar to get dropped to the critical level. So in those cases, the best advice is to take carbs so that you don’t experience nausea or dizziness.
Is it that necessary to stop eating before exercise?
Certainly, not. This is the plain and straight answer. You can eat whatever you want before going to exercise such as your routine snacks, smoothies or bites. But for a real weight and long term effects, if you give fasted training a chance to chase how to lose weight curiosity, you are not going to regret it.