Monday morning, I found myself reading the blog of Annamarie Rivera (known to most of us on Instagram as @weightlosswithannamarie). She posted a wonderful blog recently called “Early Morning Workouts! Tips and Benefits!” and it’s pretty safe to say that it changed my life. (Read it here).
I’m up every morning by 4:45, and at work every morning by 6:00. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve never considered adding early workouts to my schedule. However, after reading her blog post, I was blown away. Most of the suggestions for actually getting up and going to workout, were things I found that I was already doing. (Example: Laying out my clothes the night before, prepping breakfast the night before, setting my alarm clock across the room). And then, she went into the benefits of morning workouts. My favorite was the potential to burn more fat! After I read her post, I was definitely interested.
As if by fate, another friend I met through Instagram posted that she was doing cardio early that very same morning! I immediately sent her a text asking about it. The main thing I took from our conversation was her very first text, “You will drop weight like crazy because it’s fasted cardio so you will burn basically complete fat” followed by “If you think about it you didn’t just eat so you’re not burning off your food”.
So that got me thinking. Fasted cardio? I’ve heard of people practicing religious fasting, but I never payed attention to the benefits of it. Fasted cardio is a term I’d never even heard before! I decided to google it. I searched “fasted cardio” and of the articles that came up, this one was my favorite (click here to read).
Immediately, this article confirmed that fasted cardio does, in fact, burn more stored fat than a normal cardio workout. In Annamarie’s blog, she used the figure 20%, but I’m not sure how accurate that is or where it came from. The article goes on to explain the actual science of why you burn more fat during fasted cardio. Spoiler:
1) Low insulin levels. (This means there’s less insulin in your blood and more room for the fat your body naturally stores)
2) Low blood sugar. (Think of your body like a car, and blood sugar like gas. When you wake up, your blood sugar is low. Low gas. So what does your body, or car, do? It calls on it’s friend Fat Reserve!)
3) High Growth Hormone Levels. (Your insulin hates these. They never chill in your blood at the same time. If you’ve got low insulin, you’ve got high growth hormones. These two go up and down during the day, but in the morning when your insulin is low, your growth hormone levels are high. Why is that important? Because when this Growth Hormone is chillin' in your blood, like it does every morning, it invites it’s friend the Fat Reserve to come chill with it. That’s enough to make anyone break down fat stores. But pair it with #2, low blood sugar, and you’ve got a recipe for Fat Reserve loss.)
Basically, during fasted cardio, your body is FORCED to use fat reserves. That’s super good news for anyone, like myself, whose primary goal is to burn fat! I’ve read more articles than this, but I felt like this article did the best job of explaining the science behind WHY it works the way that it does.
After much consideration, I’d decided that I’ll be adding a fasted cardio sessions every day of the week, beginning next Monday morning. After a week, I’ll let you guys know how it went for me. Do you have any fasted cardio experience? Comment or email me and lets talk about it! Until then.
I already know what happens when I give up. I want to see what will happen if I don't.