Intermittent fasting gets its popularity from its simplicity. You might find many people who promote it as the diet plan that requires no exercise or meal restrictions. While that is true, we cannot simply shelve and forget about exercising. After all, staying active and working out is essential for a healthy body and brain.
This brings us to an important question. How can we blend exercise and intermittent fasting?
In this post, we will answer that important question. We will also look at the benefits of working out in a fasted state.
Let’s get to it.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves alternating between eating and forgoing food consumption for specified periods of time. If you choose to fast daily, a large chunk of your day will be spent fasting. Your eating windows will range from four to eight hours. On the other hand, you can choose to fast for several non-consecutive days a week.
Blending exercise with intermittent fasting for effective results
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls the processes of burning and shedding fat. Both fasting and exercise trigger the SNS. Therefore, combining them yields powerful benefits for your health especially if you’re looking to manage your weight.
Here are three ways to fit exercise into your journey and benefits of intermittent fasting plan.
Workout during your eating window
Here, you exercise after breaking your fast. After recovering from the fasting period and gaining some energy, you can go ahead with your workout routine. Eat foods that will digest quickly. These foods will fuel your workout and help you exercise for longer. Schedule your eating window to a time when it’s convenient for you to workout.
Working out after eating will improve your endurance. Eat at least 20 minutes before working out. This will provide glycogen to fuel your exercise routine.
You can follow up your workout with a nutritious meal full of protein and complex carbs to help with post-workout nutrition.
Working out right after your eating window
This method is ideal for those who can’t squeeze a workout into their eating window. For a successful exercise routine eat a healthy and filling last meal that will build up your glycogen stores.
When working out at the beginning of your fast, you must avoid heavy lifting. Weight training and heavy lifting require you to eat protein right after the workout.
Working out in a fasted State
This method is gaining popularity in the fitness world. Some studies support exercising on an empty stomach especially to increase weight loss. With that said, experts recommend starting with light cardio exercises and building up as your body adapts. If you’re weight training it’s essential that you eat protein within 30 minutes of your workout. Taking a cup of black coffee 30 minutes before working out will give you a boost of energy. Here are some of the advantages:
- You shed more fat when you exercise on an empty stomach
- It will increase your insulin sensitivity
- It will increase your fasting metabolism which helps your body efficiently tap into your fat stores when it runs out of glucose
Whichever method you choose to follow, ensure that you drink lots of water during and after exercising. Schedule intense workouts for a time when you can eat afterward. Most importantly, listen to your body. Stop your workout if you feel light-headed or sick. Work with a fitness expert to craft the best workout routine.