I'm working a typical 8-4 / 9-5 ish desk job right now. I wake up at 6:30/7 to get my stuff together and bike to work (~30 min low intensity cardio). Trying to get in the habit of stopping by the gym for 30 minutes of weight training on my bike ride home.
Assuming I'm too lazy to wake up extra early and hit the gym on my way there, how should I arrange my eating schedule? I have been experimenting with IF on and off for many months and eating mostly low-carb (so my body does know how to run on fat).
Mainly: I've heard great things about training fasted, but I'm so cranky and tired by the time I finish work that it's hard to resist breaking my fast at that point. HOW CAN I PEP TALK MYSELF INTO IT? Also, it's somewhat more convenient for me to eat a protein+fat breakfast and then skip lunch - does that count as fasted training? Or would it be better to skip breakfast and break my fast at lunch, preserving the IF schedule but losing the fasted training benefits?
asked byHelicat (144)
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on July 04, 2012
at 01:27 PM
I do crossfit after work usually at 5:30pm. I eat lunch but usually nothing else until the workout so i am somewhat fasted.
I am usually mildly hungry on my way to CF since i eat a small breakfast and lunch. I guess i just try not to think about it until the workout starts, since for me intense exercise is an appetite killer and about 5 minutes into the workout all i want is water. My appetite is then at zero during the workout and for about an hour afterwards, but then i am ready to eat a grass fed steer.
The first few times i did this i found that my energy during the workout was somewhat uneven, but after a couple of weeks i adapted. Now, a funny thing happens, about 2/3 the way through the workout, i get a sudden burst of energy. Like i'll be gasping for breath at round 3 out of 5 but then at round 4 all of a sudden it is easy and i find another gear. My intuition is that my body is tapping into reserves here specifically because i am fasting, i am still carrying around about 10 pounds of unneeded fat so i think this is getting burned. I went down a notch on my belt after 5 weeks which is additional evidence.
on July 04, 2012
at 12:05 PM
I like the Leangains approach. I used to do fasted training after work, usually around 3-4 PM. In retrospect, I think this was too much fasting to do on a regular basis (3-4x/week). I now train earlier in the day (between 10-12) and break my fast after that.
If I went back to afternoon training, I think I would have a small pre-workout meal a few hours before training, protein+carbs. I think fasting all day 3-4 times a week is just too much stress.
Or you could try the fat fast approach. Guess you just have to see what works for you.
on July 04, 2012
at 01:03 AM
I work a M-F, 8-4, sedentary job.
I tend to do the same. Get up at sunrise, go for a walk, do some stretching, light body-weight stuff, etc. Daily I eat a very high fat breakfast, Bulletproof coffee and maybe some eggs which keeps me until the afternoon. I'll train when I get home (around 5:30) and then eat the bulk of my calories post-workout.
On days I fast, I'll usually go from 7 PM to 7 PM with an intense but shorter training session, or longer/slower lifting session.
Have you tried eliminating carbohydrate and protein during your fasts, which can still give you all the benefits even if you consume a lot of fat. This will supply you with more than enough energy to get through the day and train, especially once you get used to it? All depends on your goals and why you are fasting. For someone who is in shape, doesn't have fat to lose and just wants many of the benefits, you can somewhat "cheat the system" by abstaining from carbohydrate and protein for a prolonged period of time but still have adequate fueling from dietary fat.
on July 14, 2012
at 05:18 PM
Good article above. Your body can take a whole hell of a lot in the way of working when it's tired or low on its typical fuel. If you're fat adapted, it can run for quite a while.
On a workout day I can do: -8 hour+ workday -Stronglift 5x5 reps which include 3 lifts (5sets of 5reps) (Squat, Bench, Bent over Row - Depending on the day) -6x 6:15 pace sprints for .15 miles -2 miles at 7:30 pace -5 sets of M-100 (Each set is 10 Thrust+Jump squats, 10x3 Mount climbers,10 Jump squats)
Pre-workout fuel: Next to no carbs at lunch (just some pulled pork) 7 hours before, 1 Kiwi, a small piece of honeydew.
When in doubt, push yourself (unless you have a musculoskeletal issue that will cause an injury.
Keep it up. Do it for your health! IF can be a great thing if done correctly. I'll do a week on and a week off.
on July 14, 2012
at 09:56 AM
Most people would do fasted training before breakfast. Dont skip any meals, especially not breakfast. Doing it before breakfast after a light supper means your body has been fasting overnight. Its much easier to stick to this.