Fasted cardio is talked about time and time again in the world of fitness competitors, the aesthetically obsessed, and of course, women.
Cardio is cardio is cardio – what I mean by this is whether you burn 500 calories at 7am before breakfast, or 500 calories at 7pm after dinner, makes no real difference at all.
The reasons behind fasted cardio, however, are multiple…
If you do cardio before breakfast, your body has less food fuel to burn for energy, so it burns more body fat instead – This philosophy is completely unproven, and even the fat burning arguments for LISS and HIIT contradict each other. Doing fasted cardio because you think it burns more fat is an opinion, not a fact, and it’s totally your choice to make.
If you do cardio before breakfast, your metabolism will sky rocket for the rest of the day, meaning your calorie intake is going to have less of a negative impact on your body – Yes, training of any kind does boost your metabolism as your body is keen to replenish its energy stores and will use food to do so. Therefor, doing it before breakfast means you get another meal in the tank that’s going to go to good use. However, a spiked metabolic rate is a spiked metabolic rate, so again, it is your decision to make.
If you do cardio before breakfast, it’s then out of the way, and you can focus on the rest of your day and or weight lifting – This is the main reason I do fasted cardio. Cardio is long, it’s boring, and I’d rather get it over and done with asap.
If you do cardio before breakfast and lift weights later on, you’re giving your body more of an opportunity to build and hold onto muscle efficiently – By separating your cardio from your weight lifting, you are allowing your body to adapt to 2 very different types of training and progress separately.
Do you have to do fasted cardio to lose weight, shed fat or see better progress? No. You need to train hard and diet smart to lose weight, shed fat and see better progress.
I do it. I enjoy it. But this is not a one size fits all philosophy.