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How to Use Fasted Cardio for Fat Loss

Reality vs myth.

Do you know how to use fasted cardio for fat loss? Is that even achievable? Keep scrolling to find out.

When it comes to fitness, myths and misconceptions often weave their way into popular belief, shaping the way individuals approach their workout routines. One idea that has garnered attention is the idea that engaging in cardio on an empty stomach, commonly known as fasted cardio, is a superior method for burning fat. The allure of this concept lies in the belief that it triggers heightened fat utilisation, promoting more effective weight loss.

However, it’s crucial to explore the science governing fat metabolism and understand the intricate interplay between exercise, calorie balance, and the body’s response to different workout conditions.

The idea hinges on the assumption that fasted cardio induces a more efficient fat-burning process during the workout itself. Yet, beneath the surface, the complexities of the body’s energy dynamics come into play, challenging the notion that fasted cardio is a one-size-fits-all solution for those seeking to shed unwanted pounds.

This begs the question: Does fasted cardio truly hold the key to unlocking accelerated fat loss, or is it merely a piece in the complex puzzle of achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition? That is what Nick Cheadle decided to talk about in depth recently.

Nick Cheadle is a nutrition, health and fitness coach who likes to help people achieve their better physique and improve their confidence. He has a website in which he shares workouts tips and a YouTube channel as well.

Cardio vs Weights: Which is Better for Fat Loss?

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In the subsequent sections of this article, we will delve deeper into the intricacies of fat metabolism, the laws of thermodynamics governing energy balance, and explore why the best time for cardio might not necessarily be a fasted state.

By dispelling myths and shedding light on the scientific underpinnings, we aim to guide individuals towards a more informed and effective approach to their fitness journey—one that is grounded in evidence, sustainability, and a genuine understanding of the body’s response to different exercise conditions.

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How to Use Fasted Cardio for Fat Loss

Understanding Fat Burning vs. Fat Loss:

The notion that fasted cardio burns more fat holds some truth, but it’s essential to differentiate between burning fat during a workout and achieving overall fat loss. The body is a complex system, constantly burning and storing fat, even during sleep. The net fat balance, the difference between fat stored and fat burned, determines your body’s fat composition. To tip the scale in favor of fat loss, one must either consume fewer calories than they burn or burn more calories than they consume.

The Fasted Cardio Dilemma:

When you engage in fasted cardio, you may indeed burn more fat during the workout. However, this doesn’t guarantee a significant impact on overall fat loss. Research, such as the 2014 study by Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld involving 21 participants, found no substantial difference in body composition between those performing fasted or fed cardio over four weeks. The study encompassed various metrics, including body mass, BMI, body fat percentage, waist circumference, fat mass, and fat-free mass.

Related: Do You Have to do Cardio for Fat Loss?

The Law of Thermodynamics Prevails:

The core principle underlying fat loss remains rooted in the laws of thermodynamics. While fasted cardio might boost fat burning during the workout, the body tends to compensate by burning less fat later on. There is no magical workaround to circumvent these fundamental principles governing energy balance.

The Best Time for Cardio:

Ultimately, the most effective time for cardio is when it aligns with your schedule and preferences. Consistency and adherence to a routine play a pivotal role in achieving fitness goals. Additionally, many individuals find that consuming a pre-cardio meal enhances their exercise output, thanks to the energy boost it provides.

Source: Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

Why You Cannot Outrun a Bad Diet

So, while the pull of engaging in cardio on an empty stomach persists, the evidence suggests that the reality is more complex than the myth may imply.

As we reflect on the principles governing fat metabolism, it becomes evident that the act of burning fat during a single workout session does not necessarily translate into substantial long-term fat loss. The body’s intricate mechanisms, governed by the laws of thermodynamics, dictate that compensatory adjustments occur—whether it be burning less fat post-workout or modifying metabolic processes.

The empirical study conducted by Alan Aragon and Brad Schoenfeld, which found no significant differences in body composition between those undertaking fasted or fed cardio, serves as a crucial anchor in dispelling the notion that fasted cardio is a magic bullet for weight loss. This study underscores the importance of a holistic approach to fitness—one that considers factors beyond the timing of cardio, such as overall calorie balance, nutritional intake, and individual preferences.

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The takeaway is clear: there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the timing of cardio. The best time is the time that aligns with an individual’s schedule, preferences, and lifestyle. Consistency and adherence to a routine play pivotal roles in achieving fitness goals, and the notion that fasted cardio is inherently superior may lead to unnecessary restrictions and potential discomfort.

All in all, the key lies in adopting an approach that is both evidence-based and sustainable. Whether one chooses fasted cardio or opts for a pre-workout meal, the most crucial factor is finding a strategy that aligns with personal enjoyment and long-term commitment. The path to fitness is diverse, and acknowledging this diversity empowers individuals to make informed choices that contribute to their overall well-being.

As we bid farewell to the myth of fasted cardio as a panacea for fat loss, let us embrace a comprehensive understanding of fitness—one that integrates scientific knowledge, individual preferences, and a commitment to long-term health. The journey to a healthier and more active lifestyle is a personal one, and by shedding light on the intricacies of exercise science, we aim to empower individuals to navigate this journey with wisdom and confidence.

Watch the video below for all the info you need about how to use fasted cardio for fat loss.

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