11 Things You Must Know About Fasted Cardio

If you’re like an average person, you probably want to shed 10 pounds or so. Lots of gym rats are busting their butts at the gym, while others are logging long weekend runs.

But fasted cardio will blow these other workouts out of the water. It’s a high-intensity workout that burns fat faster than any other workout.

Here are 11 crucial things you must know about fasted cardio.

1. What Exactly Is Fasted Cardio?

What does “fasted” mean? First I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t just mean you’re running on an empty stomach. Your stomach probably feels empty an hour or so after you finish a meal.

Your body is in a fasted state when you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. A good night’s sleep is a sufficient amount of time to get your body into a fasted state. When insulin levels are low because you haven’t eaten, your body has no choice but to burn fat. Naturally, this happens faster when you haven’t eaten for 8 hours.

 2. How Is This Different Than Fed Cardio?

Fed cardio is when you workout while your body is still processing food and your insulin levels are high. If you eat a bagel before working out, what is your body burning? The bagel.

The higher your insulin levels are when you work out the less fat you’ll burn. After you eat a bagel or anything else, it takes minimally 4-6 hours for your insulin levels to come back down. Although insulin is vital for building lean muscle tone it is important to have low insulin levels for fat burning.

Taking all this into consideration, the best time to workout is first thing in the morning. You’ve got an empty stomach and will have optimal results.

If you really want to bump up the effectiveness of your workout, give yourself 14-16 hours between eating and your workout.

3. You Need A Healthy Diet

Just as important as working out on an empty stomach and timing when you eat is making good choices when you do eat. Avoid processed foods, grains, and sugar. This isn’t rocket science.

Replace the above with lots and lots of veggies. Add in protein. Most people are getting plenty of protein. Monitor your intake. The average adult doesn’t require more than 40-70 grams of protein each day. Eat lots of high-fat foods: butter, dairy, meat, and nuts.

  4. Implement High-Intensity Training

The most efficient type of cardio to accompany fasting is high-intensity training. This will yield the best results in the shortest amount of time.

This type of cardio uses your body’s twitch muscles, which have tremendous metabolism and hormonal benefits. Simply put, you lose weight faster.

5. What Are Examples Of HIT?

Sprinting is a perfect example of high-intensity training. You run all out for a set period and then rest for a set period. Sprint for 10 seconds then rest for 20 seconds for 8-16 intervals, depending on your physical condition.

In the Peak Fitness Method, you go all out for 30 seconds, recuperate for 90 seconds, and repeat a maximum of 8 times. HIT will improve your cardiovascular health more than any other workout. It will increase your speed and endurance and burn fat. And not only will you burn fat, but you’ll do it in a lot less time than someone who is going for a 6-mile jog.

Some other examples of HIT are burpees, squat jumps, burpees, and jump rope. Jogging, swimming, and biking are examples of aerobic exercise that engage the slow twitch muscles and do not produce the same results as HIT.

When you feel like you’re heart’s going to beat out of your chest, that’s a good sign that you have crossed over from aerobic to the anaerobic zone and will experience all that we’ve hit on: increased endurance, shorter workout periods, improved cardiovascular health, and fat burning.

6. Try Fasted Walking

Walking at a brisk pace can also produce great results. I’m not talking about a walk around the block to let your dog out. Put in a good, hard 30+ minutes when you’re in a fasted state, and you will elevate your heart rate, which will help you lose weight.

Is walking going to produce the same benefits of a high-intensity workout? Probably not. But it is a low-intensity workout that will produce results.

7. Give Your Body Time to Adjust

You will probably find it may take a couple weeks to adjust to HIT fasted cardio, especially if you’re not accustomed to it. You may feel weak and unmotivated in the beginning. Stick with it. You’ll feel better as your body adjusts and gets in a groove.

8. Shred Belly Fat

HIT fasted cardio increases blood flow in the abdomen. Increased blood flow during HIT means you’re getting rid of stubborn fat in an area that many people have stubborn fat. There are many obvious benefits to low-intensity exercise, but if you’re going for a leisurely jog, the blood flow in your stomach is slowed, and you’re not shaving off that belly. If this doesn’t do the trick, consider other health problems that may be leaving you bloated and how to correct them.

9. The Dangers of Fasted Cardio

The danger of exercising in a fasted state is that while you’re burning fat you’re also burning lean muscle mass. This is why resistance training must be paired with fasted cardio. You can opt to follow-up your cardio with weight training, or weight train on a different day of the week. Either way, it is essential to get in strength training.

10. Fasted Weight Lifting

Fasted weight lifting yields greater results than fed lifting. As with fasted cardio, your body may be weak for the first couple weeks because your body is used to using those carbs as a boost. In time your body will learn to use its glycogen stores for energy when you lift, instead of depending on carbs. You won’t be able to do as many reps during heavy lifting and may lose a couple reps on smaller exercises too.

A fasted lift session will probably never feel as good as a fed one, but you will see more definition sooner.

11. Supplements

Supplements can increase the benefits of fasted cardio and eating a balanced diet. Caffeine, a natural supplement, increases energy and therefore increases the amounts of energy your body burns in a day.

Another option is B-Hydroxy B-Methylbutyrate (HMB). This slows protein breakdown in your body which prevents muscle loss. It reduces the amount of time your body needs to recover from a workout. It also increases strength.

Always consult a doctor before taking any supplement.


Once you take a stab at fasted HIT, you’ll see remarkable results from your hard work. By waking up and getting in a HIT workout, your endurance will go through the roof. You’ll finally burn the excess fat that’s been hanging on and steadily increasing. Pair this with a well-balanced diet, and there’s nothing stopping you from succeeding.

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