When matters of exercising and dieting come to the fore, there are generally two states in which people exercise; in a fed state and in a fasted state. Fasted cardio falls in the latter group the fasted state. So, what is the fasted state?
As the name implies, exercising in fasted state entails exercising whilst having not eaten prior to the session. However, when biochemical and physiological considerations are considered, the complexity of the discussion goes a notch further. For starters, there is the issue of insulin level in the blood. Additionally, there is the issue of the length of time it takes for the digested food to be absorbed and incorporated into the body. Importantly, there is the issue of how this period influences the body’s sources of energy.
To this end, you should note that after eating food, the insulin levels go up in an effort to help move the absorbed nutrients in the molecular state in the body. Additionally, the insulin in the body helps the body convert some of the excess glucose molecules to fat that can be stored in the body.
The elevated insulin levels state, better known as the fed/postprandial state lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. In this regard, any exercise done within this time period is in fact done under a fed state condition. This is important to this subject matter especially when you consider how the body utilizes energy sources to power your body.
For starters, when the insulin and food levels are high in your blood stream, the body has a physiological bias towards using the readily available nutrients to power it. In this regard, the body pauses any and all processes involved in fat burning processes (lipolysis ” breaking fat cells to fatty acids ” and fat oxidation) and instead makes use of the readily available energy sources. As you can appreciate, this results in negated amounts of fat being burned.
Over time, the body processes and absorbs the digested food, resulting in declining levels of insulin. As such, through physiological mechanisms, the body starts the process of making fat available as an energy source. Therefore, once the body finishes the nutrients absorption process, it starts to make use of stored fat instead.
At this stage, your body is under fasted state or the postprandial state. Thus, any workout done under such condition is considered fasted exercise. It thus stands to reason that exercising under this state has the potential to improve your weight loss endeavor. However, the human body is far more complex for such an assertion to work seamlessly. As such, we will further explore how best to use fasted cardio to actually help you get in shape (lose weight).
Fasted Cardio And Weight Loss
To understand how fasted cardio can help you lose weight, you need to understand matters of fat oxidation rates. While under the fasted state, your body tends to break down more your fat cells to fatty acids, in what can be considered as an energy mobilization endeavor. Consequently, this improves the chances of actually burning stored fat than you normally would.
However, for you to accrue the benefits of this kind of exercise and thus experience effective weight loss, you need to have in mind the issue of energy balance. Even though fasted cardio is more effective at burning fats than fed cardio, you cannot cheat the principle of energy balance. For you to lose weight, you need to expend more calories than you consume. Thus a foundation of using fasted cardio to lose weight you need to follow a strict and proper weight loss diet.
Additionally, you should note that the best kind of cardio exercises that will yield the greatest benefits is the High-Intensity-Interval-Training. Research has proven this sort of training to yield the better calorie burning effects than the Low-Intensity Steady-State exercises. As such, to get in shape using fasted cardio, opt for HIIT cardio such as 5 to 6 30 seconds to 40 seconds sprints rather than a one hour jog. The HIIT cardio exercises increase the number of fatty acids mobilized (and burned) and also works well in preserving your strength and muscle mass, which is important in losing weight in a healthy manner.