in this article Michael Mathews describes why its difficult to loose stubborn fat using traditional dieting methods and why they cause you to fail
he mentions that why its better to train fasted. he says
Your body is in a “fasted” state when insulin is at a low, baseline level and fat stores are the primary source of energy.
The size and composition of a meal as well as various physical factors determine how long it takes for your body to process and absorb the food you eat and enter a fasted state.
There aren’t hard and fast rules but here’s what you should know:
- ~30 grams of whey protein will take 2 to 3 hours to fully process,
- carbs aren’t the only macronutrient that stimulates insulin production–protein and dietary fat do as well
- dietary fat also slows down the digestion of a mixed meal, causing insulin levels to remain elevated for longer,
The bottom line is the larger the meal, the larger the insulin response and the longer it will take to come back to a fasted state.
This is why most people that train fasted do so first thing in the morning, after at least 8+ hours of time has elapsed since their last meal.
If you can’t do that, then I recommend you eat no more than 30 to 40 grams of protein (whey is particularly good because of how quickly it’s processed) with only trace amounts of carbohydrate and fat (10 grams or less) and wait 3 to 5 hours before exercising.
Now, why bother with fasted training? Because it accelerates fat loss…and especially if combined with a few supplements.
Weight training a fasted state is particularly effective and training first thing in the morning has an added benefit, as fasting for longer than 6 hours increases your body’s ability to burn fat.
Before we dive into the details, I want to make one thing clear: fasted training doesn’t let you somehow “cheat” the laws of energy balance. If you’re not a calorie deficit, no amount of fasted training is going to help you get leaner.
That said, fasted training does “optimize” fat loss in several ways.
Insulin blunts lipolysis (the breakdown of fat cells for energy) and fat oxidation (the burning of the fatty acids resulting from lipolysis), and that’s why the higher your insulin levels are during exercise, the less fat you’ll burn in those workouts.
This is why research shows that exercising when insulin levels are at a baseline levels burns slightly more fat than exercising with higher insulin levels.
(Remember, though, that the workouts will burn large amounts of glucose, which will cause your body to have to turn to its fat stores for energy sooner than if you hadn’t exercised. This is why exercise done in a fed state (elevated insulin levels) is still effective for losing fat.)
Furthermore, blood flow in the abdominal region is increased when you’re in a fasted state. This means that catecholamines can reach the stubborn fat easier, resulting in more stubborn fat mobilization.
This is why many fitness competitors swear by the strategies outlined in this article for getting rid of the final bits of stubborn fat that take you from “lean” to “shredded.”
Fasted training does have one significant drawback, however: accelerated breakdown of muscle tissue.
This is undesirable because a calorie deficit, which is necessary for losing fat, puts you at a protein turnover disadvantage. Thus, higher amounts of protein degradation can result in more muscle loss.
Fortunately, you can prevent this with proper supplementation.