How to Lose Weight with Fasted Cardio Exercise?

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Fasted cardio is an innovative workout where a person exercises on an empty stomach. It is believed that working out in this state helps to speed up calorie loss in the body. It makes use of body fat as the fuel to perform the exercise. This leads to faster weight reduction in the body.

Compared to the fed state, it is found that the rate of metabolism of fat is greater in the fasted state. Due to this reason, fasted cardio leads to more calorie burn and weight loss in the body. Many of the top celebrities follow this workout style. Let us know more about the advantages of fasted cardio and how to incorporate this new workout strategy in your routine.

What is Fasted Cardio or Fasted Cardiovascular Workout?

The body is said to be in a fasted state when you have not eaten anything for a minimum of six hours. Doing cardio in this state is called ‘fasted cardio’. You can do fasted workout in two ways:

  • Workout in the morning prior to breakfast.
  • Workout in the evening after a gap of six hours from the time of the last meal.

Principle Of Fasted Cardio or Fasted Cardiovascular Workout

The primary principle of fasted cardio is increasing the heart rate to burn calories without munching on a pre-workout meal. This practice is believed to maximizing the speed at which fat burns in the body.

Fasted cardio workout capitalizes on the fundamental physiological design of a human body. According to this design, our body first uses glucose or sugar as fuel for exercise. Once it depletes, then it transforms muscle protein or glycogen to “glucose” and use it as a fuel, Finally, it uses the body fat to use it as a source of fuel.

When you perform workout in a fasted state, your digestive system is not involved in any form of processing of food. The levels of insulin in the blood are observed to stay low. There is no glycogen circulating in the blood. In such a state, the body has to look for other sources of fuel to give the necessary power to perform the workout. It uses the accumulated fat as a fuel in place of glucose from a pre-workout meal. In this way, fasted cardio results in effective fat burn in the body.

Benefits Of Fasted cardio or fasted Cardiovascular Workout

Fasted Cardio workout has been adopted by several gym-goers, and bodybuilders for its promising weight loss benefits. In addition to it, there are many more benefits of this workout style. Let us see more about the benefits of this a fat-loss technique in detail:

1. Promotes Weight Loss

Fasted cardio help burn twenty percent more body fat in a day compared to those who ate breakfast before a workout. This happens because when you exercise on an empty stomach, then you burn stored fat versus the energy that you consume from pre-workout snack. In this way, a fasted workout gives you a toned body and improves your appearance. When your body fat percentage and body weight is within healthy limits, then it also saves you from any many health ailments naturally.

2. Prevents Muscle Loss

Fasted workout alone could lead to muscle fat in the body. But when you incorporate HIIT in your fasted workout then it sheds stubborn fat while maintaining muscle density. It keeps your lean muscle mass intact.

3. Improves Endurance

Fasted workout improves endurance, and strength in the body. It directs you to build a healthy lifestyle that can give long-lasting results to a person. A study done on the impact of fasted workout on the body, it was found that people who performed fasted workout for six weeks showed better endurance and workout performance than to those who consumed pre-workout snack before training.

Who Are The Ideal Contenders For This Type Of Workout?

  • Fasted cardio is ideal for those who are flabby, or obese and want to stubborn fat.
  • It may not suit people who are diabetic or are receiving any form of other medication. An intense one-hour cardio session on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar to fall abruptly in the body. This can lead to lightheadedness and aggravate other symptoms in the body. Such people should talk to their doctor before they incorporate this new workout regimen.
  • Fasted cardio is not advised for people who want to add mass to their muscles and build better and denser muscles.
  • Fasted cardio is not advised for beginners. it can be exhausting for them and may cause dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, etc. It is suggested that they should begin by doing low-intensity workouts in the fasted state for some months till their stamina increases to a level that they can perform high-intensity workouts in a fasted state.

How To Get Maximum Benefits From Fasted Cardio Workout Style?

You may feel lethargic when you first start running on a treadmill on an empty stomach but over time, you will find that your body will acclimatize to be more effective at burning body fat for fuel. Trainers say it is beneficial if you work out for more than thirty minutes at a stretch four days a week.

Sample Fasted Cardiovascular Workout Routine

A combination of fasted cardio and HIIT exercises is the key to get weight loss while keeping the best results. Here is a sample Fasted Cardiovascular Workout that you can follow to achieve quick weight reduction.

  • Warm-up for ten minutes
  • High knees: Three sets of 20 repetitions each
  • Rope jumps: Three sets of 50 repetitions each
  • Jump squats: Three sets of 10 repetitions each
  • Rest for thirty seconds
  • Pull-ups: Three sets of 10 repetitions each
  • Leg up crunches: Three sets of 20 repetitions each
  • Rest for thirty seconds
  • Skater lunge: Three sets of 10 repetitions each
  • Burpees: Two sets of 10 repetitions each
  • Rest for thirty seconds
  • Russian twist: Three sets of 30 repetitions each
  • Abduction: Three sets of 10 repetitions each
  • Rest for thirty seconds
  • Mountain climber: Three sets of 15 repetitions each
  • Plank: Two sets of one to two minutes hold
  • Leg Raise: Two sets of 15 repetitions each
  • Rest for thirty seconds
  • Post-workout stretches for five minutes

The feeling that you get after this power-packed cardio routine is simply amazing. You would feel a surge in “feel good” hormones, lighter and energetic throughout the day. In a few days of this routine, you will begin to notice visible results in your appearance.

Fasted Cardio And Muscle Loss

Yes, it is possible that fasted cardio can reduce your muscle density. If you are on an empty stomach, then your body first chooses muscle protein as a fuel. Furthermore, if you perform endurance cardio such as walking, or running on the treadmill, then you will lose muscle mass with body fat.

Luckily, there is a way to perform a fasted workout so that you do not lose your muscle mass. It requires you to know the right kind of cardiovascular exercise that will provide fat loss will retaining muscle density in the body.

The best kind of fasted cardiovascular workout is High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a type of cardio that is done for a short period at a high intensity with equal durations of resting period. It implies that you will perform high-intensity exercises for two to four minutes and take rest for one minute in between.

In these two to four minutes, you can easily perform a minimum of two different types of exercises, at least three sets and twelve repetitions. HIIT is a type of anaerobic workout that metabolizes fat even after you finish the workout. It gives you dual benefits of preventing muscle loss as well as developing lean muscle mass for the body. It amplifies your workout and keeps you agile, and active.

There are several other advantages of doing HIIT training:

  • Increases insulin sensitivity
  • Preventing extreme hunger after workout sessions.
  • Increases growth hormone levels that support fat loss.
  • Increases the levels of catecholamine chemicals that boost the rate of fat burn in the body.
  • Increase metabolic rate for 24 hours

Diet On A Fasted Cardiovascular Workout

To get desired benefits from fasting cardio, you need to adopt the right diet that supports your goal.  The right diet as well as a healthy lifestyle will be helpful to cut on stubborn fat from the common areas of deposition such as thighs, belly, chin, arms, and back.

For this type of workout, intermittent fasting is ideal. It involves a gap of twelve to sixteen hours between the dinner and the breakfast. In this way, intermittent fasting is more accommodating to this type of workout. This diet pattern helps them stay lean, agile, attentive and, in shape.

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your fasted cardio workout routine.

  • Consult with your doctor about the new exercise regimen. Learn about its effectiveness and appropriateness about your fitness goals. This consultation will tell you whether fasted cardio suits you as well as your lifestyle.
  • Include Caffeine sources as it boosts fat burn in the body. One of the best sources of caffeine is black coffee. It energizes your body and boosts metabolism that in turn helps you lose fat quickly. If you perform advanced levels of fasted cardio, then it is recommended that you make black coffee as a part of your daily regimen.
  • Consume essential amino acids such as branched-chain amino acids that contain isoleucine, valine, and leucine before a fasted workout. All these amino acids are important for the body in gaining muscle mass and preventing muscle loss.
  • Your diet should include all the necessary nutrients along with adequate calories. Fasted cardio wit can be very intense and would need carbohydrates to produce quick energy. If you do not supply your body with the necessary carbs, then it can lead to feeling tired, nauseated, lightheaded, and sore.
  • You should eat within thirty to forty minutes after fasted cardio. Make sure your post-workout meal is rich in proteins and healthy carbs. Eat a well-balanced diet, that is designed wit low-calorie and healthy foods that assist in weight loss.
  • Stress is one of the contributors to weight gain. It is very important to manage your stress and lead an active lifestyle.
  • Fasted cardio is a high-intensity cardio workout. Doing it for 45 minutes to an hour can cause a lot of sweating in the body. It can even make you feel dehydrated soon. This state can cause you a lot of issues such as fainting, headache, giddiness, and more. It makes it very important to stay properly hydrated. One of the best ways to ensure it is by keeping a water bottle during fasted training.

Side Effects Of Fasted Cardio Workout

  1. Depending on the type of exercise you are doing in a fasted cardio workout, your body can break down muscle or burns fat. If you do not incorporate HIIT in your fasted cardio workout, then it can even result in muscle loss. This is because your body may look for the fat stores in the adipose tissue to generate energy.In this process, it doesn’t distinguish where it comes from body fat, or muscle tissue. There can be a possibility that your body consumes protein that builds your muscle tissues for fuel. So, learning the right way to perform a fasted cardio workout is very beneficial.
  2. Another thing is that if you are in a fasted state then it is not advised to do strength training. This is because, after performing the intense cardio workout, you would not be left with the energy to lift weights to your maximum ability. You won’t maximize the advantages of the workout. It can lead to getting injured too.
  3. Fasted cardio with HIIT could be difficult for newbies. They should start by doing any other high-intensity exercises such as power yoga, walking, slow running, jogging etc. to shed extra fat from different parts of the body. The main idea is to increase your heart rate, by 50 to 60 percent. Once they get a habitual high-intensity workout on an empty stomach, they can gradually incorporate HIIT workout in their workout style.


Frequently Asked Questions About Fasted Cardio

1. How can beginners try fasted cardio?

It may be a little harder for beginners and for those who have not tried working out on an empty stomach before. These people should start with light to moderate-intensity workouts. small. They should start with fruit like apple or banana before a workout. Once their body get habitual of this routine and they do not show any discomforting signs, they can slowly try the exercise on an empty stomach and can even increase the intensity of their workouts as well. Just ensure to stay properly hydrated throughout this workout.

2. How much fat loss can I expect from a fasted workout?

How much fat loss from fasted cardio workout?

At the time of setting expectations from this workout, you need to know that everybody is different. It depends on how your body attunes itself to working out in a fasted or fed state. The goal is to reduce weight while maintaining a caloric deficit in the body through a well-balanced program that encompasses exercise, and diet. To some extent, the results that you achieve from the program also depends on metabolism, age, and genes.

3. For how long do I need to perform a fasted cardiovascular workout?

You can continue doing fasted cardio till you accomplish fitness goals. Consult the workout instructor to understand whether you need to transition to any advanced level training or keep performing fasted cardio.

4. How does fasted cardio differ from fed cardio?

Fasted cardio implies working out after a fast of six hours or more from the time of eating the last meal. This workout is done without any pre-workout meal. As opposed to fasting workout, fed cardio is done after a pre-workout meal. There is a condition of six ours fasting in this type of workout. Fasted cardio mainly aims at burning fat in the body. Fed cardio burns carbohydrates in the glucose form. Both when done in excess can lead to muscle loss.


Fasted cardio with HIIT help you shed fat quickly. People who love working out in the morning before they eat anything are supporters of this form of workout. But this type of workout is not feasible for everyone. Choosing this workout style is more of a personal objective, and preference.

If you follow this workout style, then make sure you feed your body with a nutritious protein and carb-rich post-workout meal after the workout.  If you notice any sort of discomfort such as dizziness, fatigue, sudden in an increase in appetite, etc. then you need you should discontinue it.  There are plenty more ways to shed fat from the body. Good Luck!

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