Intermittent fasting (IF) is all the rage.
AND I GET IT. Runners like to exercise first thing in the morning. And you're waking up early. And no one wants to wake up early to eat breakfast.
But, guys... I work with my clients to make that process WAY EASIER and explain WHICH workouts need fuel.
And I actually break that down for you when you sign up for my free pre-workout fueling guide & mini-series.
Today I wana talk about whether training fasted is helping you with your fat burning goals.
Like allll things in nutrition - it's highly specific!!! But I want to explain what's goin' on when you train fasted. When we wake up in the morning, most of our liver glycogen (stored sugar) is depleted. Because of this, when we go for that run or workout - our body burns a higher amount of fatty acids (stored fat) than when we train in the fed state.
At this point you're gettin' reallll excited. Like "OH EM GEE, I'mma burn more body fat!!! SIGN ME UP." But hold up, homie. It isn't that simple.
Not to be morbid, but yeah, if your life were to end immediately post run, then... BRAVO YOU DID IT! You burned more fat!
But lucky for us, we get to live every beautiful day of our life! And this means the rest of the day and what you consume also plays a role in whether you end that day with successful fat loss. I know this is a weird thing for an intuitive eating dietitian to talk about, but remember that I also talk a lot about sports nutrition :) :)
I've found a super common reason intermittent fasting may cause more issues for runners than solutions is because of our unique metabolism. Remember I mentioned that our liver glycogen is almost on empty when we wake up in the morning?? Wellll, our body really does NOT like that - and it's tightly regulated. When we choose to workout instead of feed our body, we are activating the 'glycogenostatic theory' where our body INCREASES our appetite because we ran on empty.
I've found a lot of athletes find that intermittent fasting is not a good long term solution for them because they experience ravenous appetite and crazy cravings during their eating window. Remember - it doesn't matter if you burned more calories from fat during your workout if you finish the day overeating.
I am a true believer that the best long term solution for health and happiness is reducing fear around food by understanding the SCIENCE and learning to LISTEN to our body.
If you're interested in learning more about fueling your performance, stopping the yo-yo diets and creating a LONG TERM personalized roadmap for nutrition... then click here and let's set up a FREE 20 minute call to discuss your goals.