For todays post I will be introducing a new series to my blog; The Myth Buster series!
Where I will go through and dispel some of the most common myths to plague the fitness community!
First topic in the series; If you want to burn fat, you have to do fasted cardio in the morning!
The quick answer is yes…and no…. but there are other variables to take into account.
Lets go through them!
CARDIO IS KING
When we hear the phrase if you want to burn fat, you have to do fasted cardio, we need to understand what that actually means.
The statement implies that if you do cardio any other time except for fasted in the morning, you’re not burning fat, you’re not losing weight, basically you’re wasting your time.
A common misconception is that cardio burns fat. It does not. It burns calories and being in a caloric deficit is how you “burn” fat.
It doesn’t matter if you do cardio in the morning fasted, post-workout or any other time of the day, as long as you do that cardio you will be expending energy that will be putting your calories in a caloric deficit, that will in turn cause you to burn fat.
IS IT TRUE?
One study comparing 6 weeks of fasted or carbohydrate preload training failed to note any significant differences in fat mass or body mass in physically active males given a standardized diet.
The truth is there’s actually very little difference between cardio in the fed or fasted state. The difference comes from what you have consumed/drank that day in line with your maintenance calories (the amount of calories you consume daily to stay at your current weight).
So if you’ve consumed more then your body needs any given day, you will put on weight. If you consume less then your maintenance calories that day, you will lose weight. It’s as simple as that!
Regardless of whether you perform cardio, what really matters, then, is you. Some people feel lighter and energized when they do cardio on an empty stomach, while others feel light-headed and sluggish.
Your diet loses you weight, not cardio, so take that into account when the scales don’t add up.
Do what works best for you and what you can fit around your schedule. If you want to find out about some forms of cardio, read my HIIT vs LISS article.
1. Van Proeyen K, et al. Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state . J Appl Physiol. (2011)