Intermittent Fasting is an excellent tool to ramp up fat burning results and help you achieve your weight loss goals. But what about exercise? Can you workout in the morning with Intermittent Fasting? Is the best time to exercise before or after eating? Today, I'm breaking down everything you need to know about Intermittent Fasting and working out in the morning to achieve your weight loss goals!
Benefits of a Morning Workout With Intermittent Fasting
Some of the perks of Intermittent Fasting include a reduction in insulin secretion (our storing hormone) which helps to trigger fat burning mechanisms in the body.(1) But another amazing benefit of working out in a fasted state is that the fat burning process called lipolysis is already in full swing!
In fact, one study compared an 8 hour eating group (Intermittent Fasting) vs. a non-Intermittent Fasting group of resistance trained men. Both groups consumed the exact same number of calories, fat, protein and carbs. Both groups also followed the exact same resistance training program for 8 weeks. The only difference was when each of the two groups ate their meals.
The results found that the Intermittent Fasting group had GREATER fat loss while still MAINTAINING the same muscle mass and maximal strength as the non-fasted group!(2)
Another study concluded:(3)
IF, in the form of TRF (time restricted feeding), did not attenuate RT (resistance training) adaptations in resistance-trained females.
This means that you can achieve greater fat loss while still reaping the benefits of your strength training routine by adjusting the timing of your workout to your morning fasted state!
What Are The Best Morning Workouts With Intermittent Fasting?
If you are a beginner to Intermittent Fasting, especially if you're used to eating every few hours or eating a higher carbohydrate diet (45% carbohydrates or greater), then it's best to start off with lower intensity exercises for the first few weeks of Intermittent Fasting.
With Intermittent Fasting, your body starts to "re-learn" how to efficiently use fat as fuel rather than consistently rely on a steady stream of glucose from food. This switch to an efficient fat burning state can take a few days to a few weeks, depending on your previous meal history. During this time, it's important to focus on lower intensity exercises such as walking, cycling, hiking, light strength training and yoga. High intensity interval training (aka HIIT) relies on explosive power and can be slowly reincorporated back into your schedule once your body becomes better at using fat as fuel and you notice a significant increase in energy levels in the morning (usually around 3 days-2 weeks).
If you have been using Intermittent Fasting for a while and you're eating meals focusesd on enough high quality sources of protein, fat and fiber (like in the Complete Intermittent Fasting Program recipes and meal plan), then you can typically incorporate your usual strength training and cardio exercise routine.