October 6, 2012 7:16:32 PM
I'm excited to share with you a little something new I've added to my training: fasted morning cardio. Simply put, fasted morning cardio is low-intensity cardio performed in the morning before you put any food in your pie hole. Apparently this burns more fat calories than traditional cardio due to the fact that your body is primed to use fat as fuel in the morning, thanks to the overnight fast.
Although you'll be burning a relatively low number of calories (because of the low-intensity), supposedly most of those calories will be directly from stored fat. Think about it like this, if you've put nothing in your body for the last 10 or so hours to use as fuel your body has no other choice but to use stored fat, right? Makes sense to me.
All you have to do is hop out of bed, step out the back door (I take my dogs along; they need daily exercise, too), and enjoy a brisk 45 minute to an hour walk before you put anything in your mouth, including liquid calories like orange juice, coffee with milk, etc. I guess technically you can do any type of cardio: walking, running, biking, whatever floats your boat.
I'm aiming to do my fasted morning cardio at least four days per week (in addition to my regular workouts) to burn a maximal amount of fat with minimal effort and hope to see more definition in these muscles I've worked so hard on. I know they're there! I can feel them and kind of see them. They just have a nice layer of fat on top. It has to go.
I've been reading a lot about it lately and several of my fitness-fanatic friends have said that fasted morning cardio is the way to go for decreasing body fat. I'm two weeks in, so we shall see.
Get in the routine
With all of that said and as wonderful as fasted cardio sounds, the doozy is that it must be done first thing in the a.m. I don't do mornings. At all. So this heading out the door at the crack-of-dawn-to-walk-or-run nonsense is quite the challenge for me -- especially without even a sip of coffee first. My morning usually consists of two cups of hot steaming coffee with skim milk before anything serious goes down, much less a sweat session.
It's a new experience for sure, so I've come up with a few tips that make the "from the bed to the pavement" transition a little easier in my pre-coffee haze.
Start by laying out your workout clothes the night before. Everything from top to bottom, so all you have to do is throw it all on. As the mornings get chillier lay them out in the bathroom so you can dress with the heater on.
When you get out of bed, use the restroom, brush your teeth, and splash some water on your face to wake up a bit. Change into your workout clothes, turn the coffee pot on (so it's ready when you get back), leash the dogs, and head right out the door. Enjoy the beautiful sunrise and crisp early air as if you were one of those annoying morning people.
Upon your return (and you really will feel great afterwards), it's super important to refuel with lots of protein -- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, fruit and granola; an egg and veggie scramble; or even leftover grilled chicken breast and veggies from last night's dinner. After a nice large cup of coffee, of course.