Weight Loss

A Sports Nutritionist Take on Training Fasted

July 26, 2023

The myth that training fasted will lead to burning more fat is not entirely accurate.

Weight Loss Secrets from a Nutritionist
A Sports Nutritionist Take on Training Fasted
3 Tips for Parents of Fussy Eaters
Now Trending:

When it comes to your health you need the right experience in your corner, not just the right person. I’m a qualified, registered clinical nutritionist. That means that everything I do is evidence-based and backed by research. 


Are Your Snacks Making You Hungier?

When it comes to achieving fitness goals, particularly burning fat, there are various opinions and practices that people adopt. One such notion is that training in a fasted state can enhance fat burning. As a sports nutritionist let’s dive into whether training fasted truly leads to burning more fat.

The Fasted Training Myth

The idea behind training fasted for improved fat burning stems from the belief that when there is no food in the system, the body will resort to burning stored fat for energy during exercise. While this notion has some merit, the reality is more complex than a simple yes or no.

Glycogen Stores

Our body’s primary source of energy during physical activity is glycogen, which is stored in the muscles and liver. When you train fasted, your glycogen stores are used first before fat becomes the primary fuel source. Depending on individual factors, these glycogen reserves can last for about 90 minutes to 2 hours during exercise. Therefore, the initial stages of your workout will predominantly rely on glycogen rather than stored fat.

Exercise Intensity Matters

The type of activity you engage in also plays a significant role in determining the fuel source. High-intensity exercises demand a quick and accessible energy source, leading to the increased utilisation of carbohydrates from glycogen stores. Conversely, lower-intensity exercises allow the body to tap into fat stores more efficiently for sustained energy.

Hormonal Impacts

Interestingly, training fasted can have different effects on men and women. For women, the hormonal response to fasting and high-intensity exercise can be more significant, leading to potential negative impacts. Light activities like pilates, yoga, or walking are generally safe when done in a fasted state. However, women should approach high-intensity exercises with caution to avoid potential stress and hormonal disturbances.

The Sports Nutritionist Perspective

Qualified sports nutritionists emphasise that the key to effective fat-burning lies not solely in training fasted but in adopting a comprehensive approach to nutrition and exercise. We advocate for individualised plans that cater to specific needs, goals, and preferences.

Optimal Pre-Workout Nutrition

While training fasted may not be the ultimate solution for fat loss, paying attention to pre-workout nutrition can be beneficial. Consuming a small carbohydrate-based snack before exercise can provide the body with readily available energy, leading to improved performance and endurance during the workout.

In conclusion, the myth that training fasted will lead to burning more fat is not entirely accurate. While the body may eventually tap into fat stores during exercise, the initial energy source is glycogen from muscles and the liver. Exercise intensity, individual factors, and hormonal responses further influence the body’s fuel utilisation.

Aspiring to burn fat and achieve fitness goals should be approached holistically. Seeking guidance from a sports nutritionist can provide valuable insights tailored to individual needs. Remember, balanced pre and post-workout nutrition, along with appropriate exercise, will pave the way to a healthier and more effective fat-burning journey.

sports nutritionist perth training fasted exercise

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Please Login to Comment.

Your journey to a healthy weight starts with my supportive group program where I help you implement the small changes that will make the biggest impact in your life.


Your Cheat Sheet for Nutritionist Approved Snacks

Snacking is important. Snacking on the RIGHT foods is even MORE important when it comes to your overall diet. Just pop your email in below to get my FREE 20 page snack guide.

Free guide


It’s a full-on love hate relationship.

First things first, I’m Jade. And, while I love nutrition, I hate that the industry is full of misleading so-called ‘wellness’. That’s why I’m here. To bring you personalised nutritional guidance backed by science and the latest research.


my story..


You can stay home and we’ll meet online, or you can come to Leederville in Perth for a face-to-face consultation. You’ll be sent a questionnaire before the appointment, so I’ll know you a little bit before we meet.

Book Your Consultation

is that a yes?

Are Your Snacks Making
You Hungrier?

Snacking is important. Snacking on the RIGHT foods is even MORE important when it comes to your overall diet. Just pop your email in below to get my FREE 18 easy, healthy snacks. 

Jade is a clinical Nutritionist in Perth backed by science and the latest research.

© harman health 2023

contact >

free guide >

BOOK now >

follow along 
on Instagram:

about >