Today I want to introduce you to my best friend Fasted Cardio. We all know that there are no shortcuts to a tighter fitter bod right?
To lose weight, get in shape, tone up, or improve your athletic performance you have to focus and be disciplined, burn more calories than you take in and voila you will lose weight.
If you want to get stronger you lift weights, do body weight workouts, circuit train, take a barre class, etc. you get the point.
However there are some areas your body(well at least my body that seem slower to respond to exercise and diet than other parts, stomach, thighs, ass) and that just really ticks me off because when you put in all of this hard work and effort and time and you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you would like, it’s like WTF else do I need to do?
Well in walks your new BFF Fasted Cardio!
What is Fasted Cardio?
Most people think that fasted cardio just means breaking a sweat on an empty stomach, and while that is partially true, but not all cardio on an empty stomach qualifies as fasted cardio.
Fasted cardio is cardio done in a fasted state.
To understand what exactly a fasted state is we need to talk about how your body processes food after you eat
After you eat a meal your body digests and works to break down the food into various molecules like amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids.
The small intestine then absorbs these nutrients into the blood stream where they are met by the hormone insulin and insulin’s job is to move these nutrients into your body’s cells for use
When your body is processing the food you’ve eaten, you’re in a “fed” state and when you’re in a fed state, insulin levels are higher than normal. Once your body has completed the job, it enters a “fasted” state.
When you’re body is in a fasted state, your insulin levels are at a very low level.
That’s why when thinking about cardio you need to view it as whether or not your body is in a fed or fasted state as opposed to whether or not your stomach is full or empty.
So fasted cardio is cardio that is done when your body has finished processing whatever food you have eaten and your body’s insulin levels are low again.
**these facts are originally from Mike at Legion Athletes
Fasted cardio is truly amazing at helping you to target stubborn fat that is slower to respond and since I started walking at 3 miles an hour on an incline of 3 or 4 for about thirty minutes to an hour five times a week I have seen my body tighten up in the best way possible!
The idea of doing fasted cardio first thing is the morning is in the hope that your body will use its fat stores for energy so you are burning fat rather than glucose when you start moving.
I like to drink a shot of espresso about twenty minutes before I do morning fasted cardio.
Not only does it give me some awesome energy to power through my fasted cardio but according this source
“caffeine will help to boost the levels of catecholamines in the body, which then stimulates fat burning enzymes to make fatty acids more available to be burned off” (can you say win?)
You can read more about why caffeine is the best pre workout around in my blog post here
I also recommend sipping on BCAA’s during your fasted cardio session which will help you tap into fat cells even further and also prevent you form losing lean muscle mass.
My favorite BCAA Brand is 1Up Nutrition for Women because it contains Collagen in it which helps your skin stay young and beautiful!
How Frequently Should You Do Fasted Cardio and For How Long?
Personally I like to do fasted cardio 5 times a week in the morning before I get my day started for anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
I integrate both HIIT cardio or high intensity interval training alternating between sprinting and walking on the treadmill every few minutes, to LISS or Low Intensity Steady State cardio which is a form of cardio where you aren’t working up a crazy sweat but you keep your intensity consistent throughout the entire workout.
If I’m doing HIIT cardio I will only do it for about 30 minutes because it is much more intense and therefore exhausting and you need less of it to see results, but if I just feel like taking it easy I walk at a steady pace for about 45 minutes on the treadmill.
It really depends on how much time I have and my mood.
So ideally if you can integrate it into your workout routine 3 to 5 days a week you will definitely start to see results and if you can have a little bit of caffeine(and I just mean just straight up coffee no cream or sugar or crappacinos!) even better!
Get out there and get in fasted cardio before you eat breakfast and you will be putting yourself in a great position to burn more stubborn fat and lose more weight, but ultimately remember that abs and hot bods are MADE IN THE KITCHEN!
So if your diet is not on point you will not see solid results, so make sure that your diet is on point and your body will be too!
How I Lost Weight Using Fasted Cardio
Also if you guys are interested into how I used fasted cardio to lose stubborn belling fat, I will do an entire post on it!
I basically followed the guidelines set forth in my good friend’s 8 week shred program and within about 10 weeks my body dropped a lot of the stubborn fat it had been holding onto.
I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about it! I don’t really buy into a lot of exercise programs but my fiance lost 15 pounds using it and I lose about 20. So it is definitely worth checking out!
Here is my before and after the 8 weeks