Health and Fat Loss Benefits With Fasted Training Hop on the olâ€™ internetz at any time to search for fat loss advice, and you will find a brewing controversy about fasted training. For those of you with short attention spans, yes, there are benefits to doing some training in a fasted state. Human studies show that training when fasted can increase insulin sensitivity (which is a good thing), facilitate post-exercise dephosphorylation of eEF2 (another good thing), and improve glucose tolerance (good also) (1-3). These are good for health, fat loss, and performance. How Often Should I Do Fasted Training? Some people then believe that every session they do has to be fasted--wrong. For clients who are looking for fat loss, I typically have them get used to a fasting condition first. My definition of fasting is set period of time where they do not eat any caloric containing foods. This may be extended for up to 24 hours, typically done once per week. For example, you decide to do a fast from your last meal on Sunday night at 8pm until 8pm on Monday ,which totals 24 hours. Most would not do another fast until the next week. Once fasting does well, I then have them train on their fasting day. This allows for the positive adaptations from fasting, but limits any potential muscle mass loss of constantly being in a catabolic state for days on end (e.g. fasting for 48-72 hours at a time). Summary: Fasted Training and Fat Loss Test it out. Work up to 1 fasted session per week, and monitor your results. Make sure that you feel good during your fast first before you add training into the mix. Mike T Nelson
References 1) Van Proeyen K, De Bock K, Hespel P. Training in the fasted state facilitates reactivation of eEF2 activity during recovery from endurance exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 Jul;111(7):1297-305. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1753-7. Epub 2010 Dec 4. PubMed PMID: 21132439. 2) Van Proeyen K, Szlufcik K, Nielens H, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state. J Appl Physiol. 2011 Jan;110(1):236-45. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00907.2010. Epub 2010 Nov 4. PubMed PMID: 21051570 3) Van Proeyen K, Szlufcik K, Nielens H, Pelgrim K, Deldicque L, Hesselink M, Van Veldhoven PP, Hespel P. Training in the fasted state improves glucose tolerance during fat-rich diet. J Physiol. 2010 Nov 1;588(Pt 21):4289-302. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.196493.
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