It’s common to hear people claim that performing cardio in a fasted state is superior for fat loss.
Let’s find out.
A 2014 study investigated changes in fat mass and fat-free mass after 4 weeks of fasted versus fed cardio in young women in a calorie deficit.
Twenty healthy young females were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 experimental groups 1:
Things to bear in mind
• The length of the study: Study was only 4 weeks long. While this period is sufficient to attain significant fat loss, it’s possible a longer time frame could have changed study results.
• Self-reported intake: Although researchers were pretty rigorous in ensuring participants were adhering to the nutrition plan, due to it being self- reported intake it’s possible misreporting could have occurred that skewed results. As researchers noted, “Given that mean weight loss across groups was somewhat less than anticipated, it seems reasonable to assume that subjects did in fact underreport the amount of calories consumed”
• It doesn’t matter whether you do cardio fasted or fed: if fat loss is your goal, what matters most is your total calorie deficit And cardio should be done when it suits you best.
• If you’re looking to compete, and/or, are already pretty lean and struggling with ‘stubborn fat’: fasted cardio be advantageous (see: Lyle McDonald – The Stubborn Fat Solution/Martin Berkhan has also noted the same thing).
• If you enjoy fasted cardio then feel free to perform cardio fasted.
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