Fasting timing and excerçise

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  TracyJ 10 years, 7 months ago.

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  • I am relatively new to fasting and still refining what might work best for me. My partner and I love to hike in the mountains – up to six hours per day) and I am trying to find an eating schedule that will allow me to sustain my energy throughout the day. So far I have stuck to the 5:2 eating breakfast and dinner. But then I find that I run out of energy for hiking just after 12:30 or so. I’m wondering if the fast would be just as effective if I ate at say 11 am and then again at 4:00 or 5:00 pm. That woild mean having my 500 calories closer together and longer fasting on either end. Hopefully it would also provide me with energy when I most need it. I would be really grateful for any feedback!

    hello, how and when you have your 500 cals is up to you, do whatever suits you best xx

    Brad Pilons book on Eat-Stop-Eat (another intermittent fasting plan) has a section on fasting and physical performance and a couple of references to scientific research. Pilons conclusion of the research is:
    “Fasting is not advised preceding long-length endurance events [he here means marathons or Ironman-style triathlons], or during the training of elite athletes if the training involves multiple workouts each day, and where performance is the number one priority over body composition. But for everyone else the combination of fasting and exercise may be a potent way to lose body fat and maintain muscle mass”.

    According to this you need not worry. I used to bring salted almonds and 85% dark chocolate as a rescue snack, but now – after 3 months – I do not have any symptoms from fasting for less than 18 hours.

    Thank you for your input! I guess I need to give my body some time to adjust to its new regime.

    I have lots of energy on the morning of the first day of fasting & so I strength train.

    The rest of the day I walk, run and enjoy easier activities.

    The second day, I’ll start with easier activities also.

    Take some mints & gum for a quick energy boost & chewing sensation as your day progresses.

    Test for what works for you.

    I’m now fasting for at least 16 hours every day and more usually around 20 hours with an ‘eating window’. I do this every day and have not run out of energy as yet (although to be fair I rarely walk up mountains for 6 hours!!! Maybe 6 miles? Maybe of a weekend? Maybe somewhere a bit hilly?). I also go swimming (1 hour duration and about 2.6K in distance) at the end of my fasting period (about 20-24 hours in) once a week. It’s totally fine and I see no dip in performance. I think once you’re used to the lifestyle and have worked out how best to break up your calories you should be able to do any ‘normal’ (to you) exercise on a fast day.

    The only thing I will say is that I think it did take a while to get my body used to that level of fasting prior to exercise, to the point where there are no side effects. I did try the swimming thing once before, fairly early on. I went swimming on a fast day, after my 500 calorie meal, the swim was fine but I was absolutely beside myself with hunger after swimming and had to have something small extra to bring me back down off the ledge.

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