Intermittent Fasting: Morning Workouts + Breaking Your Fast For Best Results
Is it a good idea to do morning workouts with Intermittent Fasting? Today, we're diving into Intermittent Fasting morning workouts and best practices you can follow for achieving your weight loss and wellness goals.
The Best Morning Workouts While Intermittent Fasting
Incorporating morning fasted workouts with your Intermittent Fasting routine can actually help to boost your fat loss progress. Take Kristen, for example. Kristen was able to break through her weight loss plateau and lose an additional 15 pounds by incorporating light strength training during her fasted state.
Exercising during the fasted state helps to take advantage of the naturally higher levels of growth hormone during the fast.(1) Growth hormone helps to protect muscles from breaking down while also telling the body to primarily use fat as fuel -- in other words, it helps to increase fat burning.
In fact, a review of 8 studies found that Intermittent Fasting helps to preserve muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage while using resistance training.(2)
Increasing muscle mass can also help to further your fat loss results with Intermittent Fasting. As muscle mass increases, the body can become more insulin sensitive.(3) Insulin is our storing hormone, and as we become more insulin resistant (the opposite of insulin sensitive), the body tends to become worse at burning fat as fuel. So by pairing your Intermittent Fasting routine with workouts that focus on increasing muscle mass, you can help to double down on your weight loss perks.
With this in mind, the best types of exercises to perform in the morning during the fast will be those that challenge the muscles enough to stimulate increased muscle growth. This can include:
body weight training
This isn't an exhaustive list, however it's a great place to start. An important thing to consider is making sure that whichever exercise you choose, it's one that you enjoy and can maintain.
On the flip side, you can also incorporate walking during the fast to help amplify the fat burning perks. Walking will not build muscle, however it is a lower intensity exercise that already primarily uses fat as fuel. Adding a fasted walk into your routine can help to break up the sedentary moments of the day and increase your body's utilization of fat. Pairing walking with a form of resistance training will help provide best results.
Pssst - wondering if your Intermittent Fasting schedule is best for your goals? Take my free quiz to find out YOUR perfect Intermittent Fasting schedule by clicking the button below!
How Long To Fast After A Workout
Unless you're an elite athlete incorporating multiple training sessions per day, you don't need to be as concerned with immediately refueling after a workout. As mentioned above, during the fasted state the body has elevated growth hormone levels, which is muscle protective. On top of that, exercise can cause even further increases in growth hormone levels.(4)
The most important factor is to make sure that when you do go to break your fast (whether that be 30 minutes after your workout or multiple hours later), that you eat enough protein during your eating window to make sure your muscles have the proper amount of amino acids to recover. Great sources of protein for recovery include whey protein powder, greek yogurt, eggs, animal-based proteins and plant-based protein powders.
You can calculate your protein needs for your eating window with the 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program HERE.
Electrolytes are also an essential aspect to insulin sensitivity and electrolyte balance after a workout. Checkout the details for how to use electrolytes while fasting with THIS blog post.
How To Break Your Fast After A Workout
As noted above, the most important factor when breaking your fast after a morning workout will be ensuring you get enough protein. However, studies have found that in order to maximize muscle protein synthesis (new muscle creation), you need to pair your protein with a high quality source of fat.(5)
I personally prefer to break my fast with a protein, fat and fiber rich smoothie to make sure I can get all of the nutrients my body needs post-workout. You can check out the 100+ protein, fat and fiber filled recipes with the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle HERE.
You can also test out one of my favorite protein, fat and fiber filled smoothie recipes, called the Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie, HERE.
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Keto Coffee Cheers,
Autumn Elle Nutrition