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Fasting after cardio/workout?

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  • Fasting after cardio/workout?

    I am stymied.

    I am a 5'9" female and have been primal for about 6 weeks. After some success, I am now looking to lose the last bit of weight to get me down to around 22% body fat.

    IF does not come naturally to me as I am generally too hungry. However, I seem to have an easy time doing 17 hour fasts on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

    On Tuesdays, I tend to eat my last meal or snack around 3:00 p.m. and then head to kickboxing at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. The specific activities vary, but it tends to be 50 minutes of interval type cardio of hitting and kicking heavy bags and mitts mixed in with resistance training via lunges, squats, burpees, pushups. I get home at 9:00 p.m. and am generally too jazzed up from the work-out to eat, so I drink a bunch of water and head to bed and don't eat again until breakfast the next morning (17 hour IF).

    On Thursdays, I eat my last meal or snack around 3:00 p.m. and then head to volleyball at 6:00. From 6:00 - 8:30 or so I play 4-8 games of 2s sand vball (with breaks in between). By the time I get home I'm too tired to eat (and not hungry) so I go to bed and don't eat again until breakfast (17 hour IF).

    I have 126 lbs of LBM so I'm not looking to gain any more muscle -- I just want to lose the rest of my fat. That said, am I doing my body a disservice by not eating after these two workouts? Note: I kickbox a few other nights a week as well but it is earlier in the evening so I eat dinner after. My only IFs tend to be these two days.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    "If you won't be better tomorrow than you are today, what do you need tomorrow for?"

  • #2
    I personally find IF to work best prior to exercise rather than after it. I tend to get hungry after a hardwork and especially high intesity ones like playing sports. That said, if your body tells you that its not hungry afterwards then I don't see a problem unless the kickboxing or volleyball is of very high intesity.
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    • #3
      There are some articles on the main-site about fasting, for a short time anyway, post-workout and its positive affect on growth hormone and the like. What *I* took away from the article is that, if I don't eat IMMEDIATELY AFTER a workout with a protein shake, its not necessarily a bad thing (which is what most lifters/gym'ers think).

      On the other hand, your body is primed to receive nutrients after a hard workout. I prefer the latter as to the former, but I also fast for ~16 hours per day, then workout, then eat.

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      • #4
        +1 for fasting pre-workout! That's the only way to go.
        I grok, therefore I am.

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        • #5
          I don't think you are doing yourself a disservice by not eating after your workouts. I always work out in a fasted state since I work out at 5:30 a.m. Prior to PB I was anal about getting a protein shake in me within 45 minutes of a weight lifting day. If I did cardio, I always waited at least an hour before I had anything to keep the burn going. Since PB, I try to eat only when I am hungry. I am a little concerned now that I am at my goal weight, although I am not at my goal body composition, that I will lose muscle. I also realize that is CW talking to me and thus far, I have not lost any discernible muscle mass.

          Make sure the other components of PB are in place, ie. stress reduction, sleep, walking slow, etc., before you add in more food.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lovestoclimb View Post
            +1 for fasting pre-workout! That's the only way to go.
            +1

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lovestoclimb View Post
              +1 for fasting pre-workout! That's the only way to go.
              Not the ONLY way to go, but definitely a good way if that's your thing.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Fury22 View Post
                Not the ONLY way to go, but definitely a good way if that's your thing.
                That's exactly my question. I am not PURPOSEFULLY choosing not to eat after these two workouts -- rather, I'm not hungry so I see it as the perfect time to IF. I just don't want to damage my metabolism, slow my weight loss or lose muscle because I am going about 10-11 hours without eating after those two workouts. If I was hungry I would eat.
                "If you won't be better tomorrow than you are today, what do you need tomorrow for?"

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                • #9
                  I am fasting pre-workout, but I often find that I am not hungry immediately after. Some hours later though...
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                  • #10
                    I usually fast pre-workout and eat 1-2 hours afterwards...

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                    • #11
                      I typically go anywhere from 5 to 6 hours without eating after my workouts...sometimes longer. Working out is a natural appetite supressant so it just doesn't feel right to cram some food down just for the sake of injesting something an hour afterwards. I'm not too fussy about meal timing. I have been leaning out and slowly gaining muscle while doing this. I haven't noticed any drawbacks myself.

                      You won't lose muscle from not eating afterwards. You'll start to lose muscle if you reach the 72 hour mark without injesting any calories but I don't think you're doing that.
                      I grok, therefore I am.

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                      • #12
                        I usually hit the gym on a weekend morning. I skip breakfast, hit the gym work out out on a 12 to 18 hour fast then go home for brunch.

                        The day I work out is often my highest day when it comes to eating and racking up the calories.

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