Get Up and Move: Train Fasted!

“There is some evidence that working out on a completely empty stomach prompts the body to burn more fat and potentially stave off weight gain, compared to exercising at other times”, according to a piece in the NY Times yesterday. Incorporating fasted training into your daily regime not only helps to expedite weight loss, it improves mental focus and steadier energy levels throughout the day compared to starting the day out with a dose of sugar…even if that sugar is coming from a natural source, like a ripe, spotty banana. Often when I broach the topic with new clients, I get a response indicative of a bit of fear. But then, once clarified, it turns out most people train fasted without even knowing it. All fasted training means is to work out on an empty stomach. So, if you’ve ever gotten out of bed and headed straight out the door for a run, you’ve done it. There’s a lot of talk about fasting and more specifically, intermittent fasting in the Paleosphere. Intermittent fasting (IF) is an “term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting and may be seen as a form of dietary restriction”, per Wikipedia. You can absolutely do one without the other- train fasted without incorporating IF; it all depends on what your goals and health history are. Neither are requisite behaviors in Paleo living; in my opinion this goes beyond Paleo to simple, common sense: we all want to be at a lean body weight and who doesn’t want better energy levels and heightened mental acuity? The brief article in the Times described a recent study conducted in which three groups were given different protocol: one did no exercise, one exercised after eating breakfast and the third, before eating. Not surprisingly, the latter lost weight, retained healthy insulin levels and burned more calories all day long. In very basic terms, if you get up and start moving without having supplied your body with a dose of sugar, it’s simply got to get its energy from somewhere else and that somewhere else happens to be stored fat. If you continue to rely on using fat all day long, by following a True Paleo regime, rather than functioning on carbohydrate infusions, blood sugar spikes and subsequent insulin reactions, you’ll create the idyllic scenario whereby you’re burning fat, getting closer to your goal weight and having that sharpness of thought that’ll improve your productivity at work, too. For more, be sure to check out Pocket Paleo Workout where I include some tips and ideas on what to eat after the fasted session. Click here to read the full article in the Times.