3

votes

Should I Crossfit fasted to help lose weight?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 30, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Hello there! I've been working out at Cross-fit for two weeks now. My goal is to lose 50 pounds, I am 179-181 lb. (it fluctuates) and 5'6. I'm doing Cross-fit on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays because the Saturdays are more of a light, cardio day to welcome new people.

I will work out in the morning and then eat my breakfast, working out fasted. I did find that the first time I got get very light headed and it affected my performance. My assumption is that I would get used to the fasted state over time.

My gym hands out the Whole9 nutrition guide to new members, and I read about how they want you to have a pre and post work out meal that does not include your regular 3 meals and snacks a day. I personally don't like this because I think I would end up eating too much for losing weight. I already have a hard enough time shedding weight and have to eat low carb to see any results. I'm not sure what to do, I plan on asking the coaches because I think it is completely geared towards athletes who need the calories and not for those who are overweight. I want to know other people's opinions for working out fasted when overweight, not just to shed the last few pounds.

Let me know if you want any more information, thanks guys!

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 30, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Stupid iPhone! I lift heavy 3 days a week, 1 day METCON, 1 day Bikram. Now I'm effing done :)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 30, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Oh! There are several threads if you search re: meals and what people eat all day, before and after workouts etc. Might be interesting for you to see, give some ideas. Many leave notes stating if they are on gaining or losing paths. Good luck and kick butt in the box!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:36 PM

I agree with Meredith. Personally, I wouldn't do CrossFit for fat loss--only for fun/community.competition. Too much opportunity to boost cortisol, which would be counter-productive. Much more effective IME to lift heavy 2x/week, sprint 10 min 1x/week, and move slowly (walk, etc) 1+ hours fasted every day.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 30, 2011
at 07:34 PM

It's going to take some tinkering with your meals + the workouts to find what works for you, that whole every body is different deal. I trained fasted for years and can't with Crossfit or lifting. It took about 6 weeks to get it right but in the morning an hour before I have a banana with a small spoonful of almond butter, some coarse sea salt and a big glass of coconut water or regular water. This lil concoction allows me to have a strong performance in the box, no flagging/dizzy/lightheaded, etc. PWO meal always has tubers. Trial and error, it will come.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:27 PM

Whatever works for you is what you need to do. You are eating something like less than 10% of your diet as carbs though. I would seriously recommend upping that if you notice and fatigue or problems.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:15 PM

My goal is 1600 calories and half of my meal is a protein, other half mostly veggies with good fats like avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:11 PM

This is the reason why I've started to question the rationale behind Crossfit for weight loss. To me if I can't do the workout without pre or post carb loading I have to wonder. Personally I am all about weights and walking right now, which I can do fasted and I don't relly *need* to take in post workout carbs. Just my $.02.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on September 30, 2011
at 06:41 PM

This just happened to me this week - I worked out at my box on two bites of sweet potato (enough to do some ibuprofen) and I nearly plotzed. My instructor suggested that I actually eat a breakfast, and I did the rest of this week (with no plotzing), but if I'm not working out fasted then I wonder how that impacts my progress toward weight loss goals. :-\

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 06:27 PM

If you're hitting it hard with crossfit I seriously would consider upping carbs. How many calories are you eating per day and what are your other macros like?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 06:26 PM

For me personally, keeping carbs below 100g for a while while doing highly demanding crossfit makes me binge on ice cream and cookies every two weeks. I like to do 100-150g of carbs per day, and do at least 75-100 in the PWO meal. I only eat twice a day though.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on September 30, 2011
at 05:36 PM

About how many carbs are we talking as "hyper" low carb and "good whack" of carbs? I track everything I eat and my goal is no more than 30g of carbs a day. I find that if I eat more carbs than this, I will not lose weight and will even gain, whether I'm paleo or not.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on September 30, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Yes, the 50 pounds I want to lose in fat, though if I weighed 140 but was very lean in muscle, that would be even better. I just know that it'll be a long time before I get to that point. So pretty much as long as I don't overdo the Crossfit workouts and don't reduce my calories too much, then I'm fine? I'm sorry, I don't really understand how anabolic and catabolic works....

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4 Answers

2
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on September 30, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Honestly you have to be in tune with your body. Working out in a fasted state is definitely okay, but some people just train better with something in them. I would definitely take some bcaa's before hand regardless and I would still count that as staying in a fasted state.

I think the key here is your carb intake. If you are feeling lethargic or are taking too long for recovery I would up your carbs (safe starchy carbs like potatoes, squash, etc). I know you are giving yourself a limit, but I don't think you can live life so absolute. Our bodies are constantly adjusting to the environment we present them. I wouldn't add too many carbs at first if your body has been mostly insulin resistant due to low sugar levels, so I would slowly add a few extra carbs every workout day (maybe 10 or so grams) until your body feels right. Key here is to listen to your body. Don't worry so much about exact numbers.

Your not gonna die if you train fasted, so try it out and adjust accordingly.

2
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 05:21 PM

I think you're fine working out in the fasted state. If you think your performance is being affected try taking some bcaas or some coffee before you work out. In addition, get a good whack of carbs in the post workout timeframe. If you stay hyper low carb and exercise fasted you're likely to burn out.

Paleo means paying attention. If you aren't seeing the results you want change the approach. Don't expect anything to be a magic bullet though as things may progress slowly.

For another view on this topic check out this previous thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/56533/have-you-combined-crossfit-with-leangains-style-intermittent-fasting-what-was-yo

Lots of success there for losing fat and maintaining muscle. Just make sure your gym lifts heavy.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on September 30, 2011
at 05:36 PM

About how many carbs are we talking as "hyper" low carb and "good whack" of carbs? I track everything I eat and my goal is no more than 30g of carbs a day. I find that if I eat more carbs than this, I will not lose weight and will even gain, whether I'm paleo or not.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 06:26 PM

For me personally, keeping carbs below 100g for a while while doing highly demanding crossfit makes me binge on ice cream and cookies every two weeks. I like to do 100-150g of carbs per day, and do at least 75-100 in the PWO meal. I only eat twice a day though.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 06:27 PM

If you're hitting it hard with crossfit I seriously would consider upping carbs. How many calories are you eating per day and what are your other macros like?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:27 PM

Whatever works for you is what you need to do. You are eating something like less than 10% of your diet as carbs though. I would seriously recommend upping that if you notice and fatigue or problems.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:15 PM

My goal is 1600 calories and half of my meal is a protein, other half mostly veggies with good fats like avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil.

2
Medium avatar

on September 30, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Hey Kelly,

To what extent is muscle gain, or at least muscle preservation, part of your weight loss goal? And when you say you're looking to loss 50 pounds, I'm assuming you'd prefer those pounds to be fat rather than lean tissue?

I ask because the preponderance of evidence for the effectiveness of fasted training supports the general notion of increased strength training (primarily: squats, benchpress, deadlift, chin-ups) minimal conditioning ("cardio"). Crossfit has anabolic dimensions, of course, so it's not like regularly doing Crossfit in a fasted state would be catabolic per se. Just bear in mind the value of pro-anabolic activity for enhanced fat loss.

There's a general consensus (based significantly on the protocols of Martin Berkhan/Leangains) that the twin goals of fat loss and muscle gain via fasted training is 70 percent diet, 30 percent exercise. The main thing to bear in mind with respect to Crossfit is not to go too intense, too often, on a reduced calories diet. This because high intensity conditioning activities generate cortisol which correlates with fat conservation.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on September 30, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Yes, the 50 pounds I want to lose in fat, though if I weighed 140 but was very lean in muscle, that would be even better. I just know that it'll be a long time before I get to that point. So pretty much as long as I don't overdo the Crossfit workouts and don't reduce my calories too much, then I'm fine? I'm sorry, I don't really understand how anabolic and catabolic works....

1
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on September 30, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I've found I can do nearly anything fasted. Granted, I'm not an advanced enough athlete to know the difference, but I've done moderate to intense cardio, intense weightlifting, all fasted, and don't seem to suffer for having done it.

For example, early this morning I ran a fast (for me) mile on my dog walk, and then climbed 60 floors of stairs at lunchtime, all fasted. No performance hits to my knowledge. Not even any cream in my coffee. Then I ate :)

I think you just have to adjust to exercise in the fasted state.

But if you've given it some time and it's still not working out for you, then it probably won't if you continue to push yourself. So above all else, listen to your body.

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