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How Should I Rank Workout Times / Fastedness Combos for Optimum Fat Loss?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 08, 2011 at 1:57 AM

I've read the advice over and over on PaleoHacks and also from other sources: Work out fasted, ideally after fasting overnight. I've read this so often that it's now a gold standard for my working out schedule...except...then there's real life. And thrown-off schedules. And sometimes I don't get a chance to work out until after breakfast, or in the afternoon or evening.

Going on the assumption that any workout is better than no workout at all (except for rest days) - in my case, for fat loss - can anybody give me a ranking (top is optimum, bottom is worst possible time) for:

  • Work out fasted for ~12-16 hours (aka overnight), then (after a while) enjoy lunch - I'll put this at the top right off the bat, unless folks have good evidence to the contrary.

So where do the others that follow get ranked after this one?

--

  • Work out right before lunch (3-4 hours fasted since breakfast)
  • Work out right before dinner (3-4 hours fasted since lunch)
  • Work out right before bedtime (3-4 hours fasted since dinner)
  • Work out right between breakfast and lunch (two hours after breakfast, two hours before lunch)
  • Work out right between lunch and dinner (two hours after lunch, two hours before dinner)
  • Work out later in the evening (2 hrs. after dinner, 2 hrs. before bedtime)
  • Work out right after breakfast
  • Work out right after lunch
  • Work out right after dinner
  • Other? Feel free to describe.

This helps for when I get to 10 a.m. having eaten breakfast, but not having gotten the workout in yet - but me wanting to still work out that day and not scrap it altogether because I couldn't do an overnight fasted workout. :) Thanks for input!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Mostly I work out fasted, because if I don't, then I feel like puking. :p

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 08, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Fat loss, but even fasted doesn't mean muscle glyc is depleted. It's better hormonally for muscle gain as well from what I've read, I'll have to dig it up

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on March 08, 2011
at 02:15 AM

True, I'm definitely overthinking. I guess I'd just like to know, given the rest of the day, when I'll get the most, and when I'd get the _least_. Would hate to think that I'd chosen to work out at a time that was, say, half as effective as a different time.

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5 Answers

4
B86cb1207d7a8336dad0b1bfd07d4187

on March 08, 2011
at 02:04 AM

Ok. Wow. I religiously workout between 5-7 am on n empty stomach. I've done that for 32 years because it FEELS right. Having said that, I feel you may be WAY overthinking this. Just get your workouts in....and eliminate stress ; )

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on March 08, 2011
at 02:15 AM

True, I'm definitely overthinking. I guess I'd just like to know, given the rest of the day, when I'll get the most, and when I'd get the _least_. Would hate to think that I'd chosen to work out at a time that was, say, half as effective as a different time.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on March 08, 2011
at 11:24 AM

The above order is already in place, excepting what you're eating at those meals.

Most efficient would be after fat/protein meal. Least efficient after a carby meal.

Then you have less efficient after a large meal.

If it's that big of a concern, skip breakfast and or lunch and IF until your workout. That's a Double Whammy of Fasting AND exercise. Put that on top.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on March 08, 2011
at 02:03 AM

If I don't workout fasted, the only other thing that works for me is Work out right before dinner (3-4 hours fasted since lunch).

I absolutely cannot workout right after eating. I need at least 2 hours for my stomach to settle.

0
Medium avatar

on March 08, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Why would working out fasted be preferable to working out with saturated glycogen stores? The latter leads (at least for me) to a greater number of reps per set than if the workout were fasted. I've experimented with this back and forth and working out fasted definitely decreases the volume of a workout if sets are kept the same. I'm trying to imagine how this could be advantageous for hypertrophy. Or is the idea that it's less good for hypertrophy but better for fat loss?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Mostly I work out fasted, because if I don't, then I feel like puking. :p

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 08, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Fat loss, but even fasted doesn't mean muscle glyc is depleted. It's better hormonally for muscle gain as well from what I've read, I'll have to dig it up

0
Ce762ef3660ab44dbc72fdd7ff8fb168

on March 08, 2011
at 07:52 AM

I have been doing my work outs at between 0500 and 0800. I eat my last evening food at ~2000 and eat lunch at ~1230-1330. No "Breakfast". This has certainly not impeded my weight loss at all - 35kg since sept 2010. I don't know if this is optimal, however this works for my schedule and feels pretty right for me.

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