Weight Loss with Intermittent Fasting and Working Out

  • By: superliving
  • Date: February 9, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Although intermittent fasting is nothing new, it certainly has featured heavily of late in fitness
forums, websites and YouTube videos, with its bold claims of invigorated health and fat-
razed bodies.

And even if there is still widespread debate regarding whether or not fasting and exercise
even go together, there is enough results-based evidence to highlight the obvious benefits of
such programs.

Many will say that working out on an empty stomach is not wise, especially if
the goal is to build muscle. This is based on the premise that food intake is the body’s fuel
and so exercising while hungry wreaks havoc on any ‘gains’ (if that is the goal) and may
even lead to health problems with blood sugar and the like.

In stark contrast (and possibly somewhat more realistically), the ‘primalists’ who take their
cues from our hunter gatherer ancestors who would have gone days without eating and
been at their absolute, leanest, sharpest, most feral best when hunting hungry, insist that
this way of eating and training (i.e. fasting and working out) is the key to weight control and
optimal performance for humans.

Basically, it comes down to the premise that the body is simply not designed to be constantly consuming, and that it will make the most of the food it gets during particular feeding ‘windows’, and will be quite capable of, if not more efficiently, using stored energy to complete physical tasks, including workouts, without the need to fuel up beforehand.

The theory, which is seemingly now well-proven, is that without food, when the body goes
into ketosis after the depletion of glycogen (using stored energy — ketones, from fat cells) to
accomplish physical tasks, it is functioning at an optimal state, a fact championed by many of
today’s athletes, from body builders to mma fighters.

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Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting in conjunction with a training program, whether it be weights, body weight
calisthenics, martial arts or ‘fasted cardio’ is in fact said to be the gold standard in terms of
not only rapid, but also healthy weight reduction, a premise championed by athletes, models
and movie stars alike.

In fact it does seem more than obvious that muscle-building is not
only also possible, but is a natural by-product due to the increased natural production of
HGH (human growth hormone) when in a fasted state.

Although there are many types of fasting, intermittent (IF) is the main one used in
conjunction with an exercise program and a surefire winner for weight loss if that is the

For example, the 16:8 ratio is probably the most common, whereby a ‘feeding window’
of 8 hours is allowed within a 24-hour-period. If weight loss is the plan then the food types
and calories taken within this window would be adjusted accordingly, as a pose to someone
interested in strength gains who may eat continuously during this period.

Results-based evidence does indeed suggest that IF can not only aid weight loss, but can
also slow the process of aging, whilst contributing to improved brain health, reducing
inflammation, and significantly lowering the risk of chronic diseases. A win-win program, by
all accounts.

Some studies have indicated that being in a fasted state benefits metabolistic
muscle biochemistry, leading to increased insulin sensitivity and enhanced glucose
metabolism — in layman’s terms,burning more fat when exercising on an empty stomach.

For some people, at least initially, the negative of intermittent fasting in conjunction with
exercise may be its seeming effect on performance. It may even be true to some extent that
it causes some reduction of muscle due to the breakdown of muscle protein.

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When working out while fasting for longer periods, the body will likely slow down its
metabolic rate to preserve energy.

Eventually, slowed metabolism can interfere with weight
loss, particularly if it is not possible to ensure the necessary calorific intake during feeding
windows. That said, IF is still popular with many strength enthusiasts who feel that the
overall benefits outweigh any downsides.


Establish goals. If weight loss is the ultimate aim, it is wise to consider the basic premise of
calorie deficit. In simple terms, weight loss means burning more calories than those

The result of this is a deficit of energy that will eventually cause weight to be
relinquished. So obviously intermittent fasting in conjunction with exercise is responsible for
a large calorie deficit, facilitating the shedding of pounds much faster than with other

Strategic planning is related to the type of exercise undertaken, along with the timing and
intensity of the workout. Research shows that strength-training exercises require more
carbohydrates for optimal performance, while cardio exercises generally rely less on them,
meaning that the workout type determines the required nutritional intake.

For instance, the timing of workouts and meals during intermittent fasting is a crucial factor to be considered, with some people preferring to exercise before, others after the feeding window. Exercise in a fasted state may be suitable.

if the goal is burning more fat, as long as performance is not affected. Obviously working out
after the feeding period is a better option for those whose performance suffers in a fasted
state. A lot will depend on trial and error, at least initially, due in no small part to factors such
as body type, lifestyle, experience, and type of exercise undertaken.

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The Bottom Line

Intermittent fasting along with a dedicated exercise program can seemingly work perfectly in
tandem in terms of weight loss goals. And while it may be worth noting that training while
fasting is likely to cause what seems like a rapid weight loss at first, the effects tend to be
less significant over time as the body makes its adjustments.

Also taking into consideration the other potential benefits involved in the undertaking of a program of this kind, along with careful planning and a little further research related to specific, predetermined goals,
intermittent training along with an exercise program are likely to be seen and implemented as lifestyle choices on a more and more common basis, at least according to current trend

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