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    Exercising while fasting

    I am doing my second day of Intermittent Fasting, and it is going well. I'm not really in the habit of exercising regularly, but I'd like to start. If I exercise in the morning, during my fast, will I trigger hunger or low blood sugar that will create a need to break my fast earlier than I'd like?

    The exercises I'm talking about would probably be one of these 3 things:

    1. a leisurely walk, or a 30 minute leisurely jaunt on my elliptical machine

    2. a couple of circuits of squats, lunges, sit-ups, or similar plyometrics

    3. a couple of sets of Tabata sprints on my elliptical. One set consists of a 5 minute warmup, 8 x 20 second sprints with a 10 second rest in between, and a 5 minute cooldown

    I know this would hardly be considered strenuous by most people, but I'm just starting out.

    I would appreciate your input very much!

    Johanna Anderson

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    TorMag's Avatar
    TorMag is offline Senior Member
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    You really should break your fast within 45 - 60 minutes after working out, depending on the workout. If you are trying to do something like leangains, 16 hour fast, you want to workout around hour 14, if you workout is say 1 hour long. If you need to workout in the morning, you will need to shift your fast so that hour 14 is when you want to work out. I work out at work on my lunch hour, so my fast is shifted to end around two pm.....
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    Thank you, TorMag.

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    I wouldn't actually worry about it as long as you are getting in all the good nutrition you need. Really unless your at some super elite level timing matters very little. I worked out at noon yet my 24 hr fast didn't end till 5pm....then dinner took longer to get done than I planned and the kids and the....anyhow no eating till 6pm. No worries (except that last hour was killer! Especially when you already told your belly the food was on its way you know?).
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-17-2012 at 09:09 PM.

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    If you are just beginning, don't worry about all that crap, at all. It's for bodybuilders and athletes looking to get that last ounce of performance and its relevance to the out-of-shape is highly questionable. Just do what fits your schedule and is relatively easy for you to manage. Compliance is 90% of success on a diet or exercise program.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohannaAnderson View Post
    If I exercise in the morning, during my fast, will I trigger hunger or low blood sugar that will create a need to break my fast earlier than I'd like?
    Maybe. It comes down to adaptation. I found the best way to start IFing was to start my fast around 6pm, which gives you an automatic 12 hour fast by 6am and you'll have slept through the time you're most likely to snack.

    As Tor said, you should plan your exercise to coincide with the end of your fast. I usually plan my lifts to start around hour 14 or 15 (~2hours in the gym for me). So if I do get hungry it's time to eat anyway. I'm usually not hungry after and the only time I get light headed (possibly low blood sugar, but usually low electrolytes [i sweat a lot]) is after a heavy lift where I've added hard sprints to finish it off.
    I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

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    Jiigigaw's Avatar
    Jiigigaw is offline Senior Member
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    I eat in a 4 hour window each day. I fluctuate between working out right before the window opens, and working out right after I break my fast.

    You should probably break your fast shortly after a work out as others have said. The reason I occasionally work out after I break my fast is because of the slight performance boost you get from eating. It is minor, and occasionally fun to see the difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigigaw View Post
    The reason I occasionally work out after I break my fast is because of the slight performance boost you get from eating. It is minor, and occasionally fun to see the difference.
    I hold that boost in my back pocket for competition days. All training is fasted then I'll do a small meal before a game. It's all rec sports but it is fun to go run around and not get tired.
    I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

    Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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