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Monday, December 20, 2010

Fasted Exercise Has Many Benefits

My Softride Classic I rode today.
Today I decided to run a few errands on the bicycle.  Even though it was 4* Celsius with a forecast of light rain, I was looking forward to riding my bike again and trying a pair of winter gloves I bought to keep my fingers warm. Since cavemen suffered the cold on occasion while braving the outdoors, I thought giving up the heated leather seat in my car would an introduce some randomness of temperature exposure. The hormesis would do me good.  The plan would be to ride from west Richmond to Shaughnessy in Vancouver using the Arthur Laing bridge - a route I had never taken before.

Figuring our Paleolithic ancestors used fairly simple tools, I built this bike as a singlespeed which provides a better workout when riding uphills and bridges.

I normally try to exercise before eating and I definitely do NOT drink anything that contains sugar before working.  Ingesting sugar before a workout would make the body use the glucose from the drink instead of burning fat for energy. Since I had dinner at 7p.m. the night before, starting out from the house at 10:30a.m. this morning put me at around 15 hours since my last meal - a perfect fasted window for a workout!  It might help me improve my linea alba and fulfill my wife's Brad Pitt fantasy.

A ripped Brad Pitt for the movie Fight Club.

Some readers may prefer Ryan Reynolds - he's just turned single again...

Recent studies confirm fasted workouts are more efficient for weight control and fat loss.  Fasted workouts force the body to use intramuscular fat as an energy source which improves insulin sensitivity and increase muscle definition.  Even The New York Times had an article about fasted workouts.

So if you want to ramp up your fat-burning, appetite control, insulin sensitivity and gain some muscle definition, try working out in a fasted state.  Do it couple of times per week and see it accelerate your fitness goals.


Harvey's Take On Fasted Exercise

I totally agree with Victor. In fact I wasn't aware of all the experiments that were being done on this topic. I learn something new everyday. Maybe I will do more fasted exercise now.

I do sometimes fast and exercise if my MMA session is before 1pm. I have to admit that I feel really good during and after the session. I feel lighter on my feet and I am more alert. But I do feel hungry afterwards.

My advise to beginners is patience. If you decide to start Paleo, it is quite a change for mentally and physically. So start slowly. Don't go all out doing everything we are telling you. Your body will go into shock and you will feel like sh.. er...( not good ).

I suffered through sugar and carbohydrate withdrawal. It took me at least 4 months for it to totally go away. I suffered through wanting to pass out during MMA sessions. I was forced to take it down a few notches. Even now I am not sure how hard I can push my body yet. But I sensed that it can take a little more punishment. The great thing about Paleo is one can start getting results just by changing the food we eat without being a gym rat.

Sorry to say, but we are not in our twenties anymore. In fact, we are 'over the hill' already. So if you are just starting the Paleo program, just take it easy one step at a time. Or else I bet you will quit this lifestyle because of all the ill effects you are going to feel when you change too fast. But don't go at a snail's pace either or you may not see any result.

My recommendation is as follows:

1) Cut all refined sugar FIRST AND FOREMOST. i.e. all sweet tasting drinks and food that are packaged nicely and sold at supermarkets and convenience stores. Desserts too. However, you can cheat. I cheat once a month with my family.

2) Start playing a sport that you enjoy. Mine is boxing and jujitsu. I do a little tennis in the summer too. Might golf a little too.

3) Cut 70 - 85% of all wheat and carbohydrate food.

4) Start intermittent fasting. Start shortening your eating window. I find skipping breakfast and/or lunch is the easiest. Hey, you might even get a promotion if you tell your boss you'll skip lunch in order to stay at work!

5) Now, you can start to go easy on fasted exercise.

I wouldn't recommend going from step 1 to 5 within a month. I did everything right away. I survived but let me tell you, it wasn't fun when my body complained of all the changes. Take one step, let your body adjust and then go to the next step.

Good health,


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