Fasted Cardio Isn’t The Answer To Fat Loss

cardio fasted cardio fat loss weight loss Sep 18, 2020

It still surprises me that some people are surprised by the notion of fat breakdown not equalling fat loss. Just because you are burning fat NOW does not mean you have achieved fat loss.

All it means is that you used fat for fuel for a point in time! It doesn’t, however, mean that you have burned so much fat that by the end of the day you have less on your body than you did when you woke up.


You see, fat loss is about balancing the equation in your favour and to do this, some people believe that the timing of both your food and your exercise, as well as the type of each as well, may yield a particular net result. But the reality is this…

Unless you nail the basics, the minutia won’t do diddly squat.

Now, for the purpose of transparency, let’s get one fact out on playing table immediately.

The fuel your body chooses to use to provide energy is primarily determined by 2 things:

  1. The reservoir of energy available

    • Do you have available sugars in the blood to burn

    • Do you have available triglycerides in the blood to burn

    • Do you have available glycogen in the muscle to breakdown

    • Do you have available adipose tissue to break down

  2. The intensity of exercise

    • Are you training at high intensity whereby the efficiency and speed of fuel breakdown supports carbohydrate use

    • Are you training at a low intensity whereby you can utilise fatty acids more readily


It’s true…

As intensity rises, so does carbohydrate utilisation. That we cannot refute. But does this, therefore, make fasted (low blood sugars) low-intensity cardio the ultimate fat burning tool?
Sure… it may mean you burned fat for 100 min on the treadmill while fasted...

But what does that mean in the context of your entire day?

What about the other 1340 min you spend alive?

Well, for 420 min of that you will likely be asleep, but what about the remaining 920min then?

Think big picture, you know...

The picture that accounts for your ENTIRE day, your ENTIRE week and your ENTIRE month!

Those moments in time right there are where you actually achieve fat loss, not the 100 min on the treadmill you're so adamant about doing in the morning while fasted.

What energy you burn right at that moment is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to how much energy you either burn or store by the time you go to sleep.

You may have burned ‘x’ amount of fat in that 100 min but if you then over consume on calories for the remainder of the day, how many grams of fat did you end up with by the time your day is done?



Fat loss is a check and balances sheet!
Control the calories in, optimise the macronutrient split to suit your personal needs, manipulate the calories out.

At the end of the day you have one primary goal and that is to make sure that your check and balance sheet results in a calorie deficit.
Then, and only then, can you begin to focus on the minutia to tease out the small percenters that may make a difference between coming 1st and coming 2nd.

If you can’t do the basics, don’t bother with the specifics.


Diet Smart. Not Hard.

Coach Dean.