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Fasting 101 – Part 8 – Fasted Workouts


I have been weight training in a fasted state on and off for over a year, and consecutively for the past six months. For me, it has been a great success, but it wasn’t always easy. In Oct 2018, when I first started back weight training, it was difficult to work out in a fasted state. I recall knowing exactly when I couldn’t go on as I became dizzy or lightheaded. On days when I was in a longer fast, I couldn’t lift as heavy or as long as I could if I’d eaten the night before, which can be expected. Over time, it got to where it was quite easy. Today, if I try to break my fast with even a simple protein shake, I feel SO heavy during my workout session. There are no pre-workout shakes for me. Just 64oz of water and a shot of apple cider vinegar.

Working out in a fasted state is working out without breaking your fast (AKA breakfast or break-fast). You have not awakened your insulin hormone and have no carbs, proteins, or any other forms of energy. You have drunk only water, tea, tisan, or black coffee (or any other liquid that doesn’t raise your insulin level and breaks your fast). Some may call it working out in a starved state, the word starved has such a negative connotation to it, let’s just stick to calling it fasted (or continued digestive rested state).

Fasted workouts are not for everyone, but for those who want to try it, you can start slow. You must understand that the body has become accustomed to working out with a full tank of energy. Suddenly stopping will shock your systems, but you can certainly get to it over time.

Tips for getting started.

  1. Fix your thoughts. We have been ‘conditioned’ to have something pre-workout. Simply change your mind. Most people don’t have to have it. You can change that for yourself.
  2. You can have more than just water. Black coffee, tea, or any other no-calorie, no-sugar drink can be consumed.
  3. Break your fast when you want to. Again, we have been ‘conditioned’ to eat post-workout. When you are in a fasted state, you can ride the HGH wave flowing through your body. With this hormone present, even your post-workout can be skipped without fear of muscle loss.
  4. Eat as many meals as you want. The thing about fasting is there are periods when you aren’t fasting. Once you break your fast, you can have one large meal or several meals during your eating window. It has been touted that the body can’t absorb so many nutrients at one time. That’s correct. It can’t. But guess what? It doesn’t have to because it won’t digest all of the food at one time either. It will digest over time, and nutrients will be absorbed over time as well. Problem solved!

Being in a fasted state has many benefits. Two of them are:

  1. Insulin sensitivity is improved. When we eat, the hormone insulin is released to help the body absorb nutrients. The hormone also takes the sugars out of what you eat and drink and sends it to some organs and muscles to be used as energy at some point. When you have too much sugar or have it too frequently, the body can become resistant to the effects insulin has on it. This then makes it harder for the body to lose body fat. Eating less frequently causes the body to releaseinsulin less frequently and the body then becomes sensitive to insulin. This state makes it easier to lose fat and improve blood flow to the muscles.
  2. Increased HGH levels. HGH (human growth hormone) helps the body make new muscle tissue, burn fat, and improve bone quality and function. Fasting for 24 hours can increase your HGH levels by up to 2000%. Hence, having this awesome hormone in the body during a workout is a great benefit.

It’s not hard to change a routine. You start small and before you know it, you have a new routine. Being fasted while working out helps your body lose more fat, and possibly (if you are training and eating properly) gain more muscle. Sure your body will kick up about it, but it will also adjust. Trust me. I know.


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