The Dos and Don’ts of Intermittent Fasting and Workouts

Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity among fitness conscious. It is becoming a trend due to the many benefits of fasting and easy to follow approach. It helps you to lose weight, regulate hormones, boost immunity and prevents diseases. This trendy diet allows you to eat during your eating window and fast during the fasting window. Some people follow 12-hour eating and 12-hour fasting window. While those looking for quicker and better results, opt for 8 hours eating and 16-hour fasting window. You can eat pretty much whatever you desire in the eating window while maintaining portions to get the results. When you do intermittent fasting, you don’t need to count carbs or monitor calories carefully. However, there are certain dos and don’ts of intermittent fasting if you plan to continue working out.

  1. You should choose a steady-state cardio workout if you plan to exercise towards the end of your fasting window. This is because after fasting for 8 hours, your body uses its glycogen store. The glycogen store refers to the carbohydrates that we burn for energy. If we don’t burn it, then it gets stored as fat. When you exercise with no glycogen store, the body will end up using the next source of energy, i.e. fat.
  2. Don’t hit too hard! If you think of doing high-intensity interval training or a hard run in a fasted state, then your body will need more energy than the fat cells can provide. In such a state, it will start burning the muscle for energy. So, instead of opting for high intensity one, you can give the low-intensity workout a try and burn fat efficiently.
  3. Do listen to your body. If you are working out and feeling lightheaded or dizzy, it means you don’t have enough energy to perform a workout. You should immediately pause your workout and take rest. Fasting and working out may work for some people. However, every human body is different and will react differently.
  4. Don’t work out if you are following intermittent fasting for more than 16 hours. You will not have enough energy to perform a workout.
  5. Do continue with intermittent fasting and exercises for a span of 1-2 months if you want to build your endurance. It may initially seem a little tough as your body gets used to eating three meals and two snacks. However, over a span of 30-60 days, your body gets adapted to the intermittent eating window. Once you can manage your workout and fasting schedule, the energy levels will stabilise, and you will benefit with better endurance.
  6. Don’t start working out and fasting at the same time. Ideally, you should begin intermittent fasting first, give yourself a week and then start working out.
  7. Do break your fast with healthy meals. It is best to start with something raw. You can give fresh fruit or salads a try. After that, you can eat proteins, carbs and fats and replenish your energy reservoir.
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