Fasted Cardio: Will It Help You Burn More Fat?

Fasted Cardio. You may have heard it will help you lose weight faster. How much of this is fact vs. fiction, and what do you need to know to make the right decision for your situation?

I’ll address all of that in this blog post.

In case we haven’t met before, call me KJ or #CoachKristyJo. I’m a Mind and Body Strategist with over 20 years combined experience in teaching the body mechanics of dance, coaching bodybuilders, fitness models, and every day people who want to tone up, lose fat, and feel amazing.

The body is my passion, and I love even more to help you understand it.

It’s not as complex as you think! (okay, actually it is–and far beyond our mortal understanding–but for our purpose today, let’s simplify the process. Kapeesh?)

Why Do You Want To Do Fasted Cardio?

Do you believe that by spending time doing fasted cardio, first thing in the morning after “fasting” or not eating for 5-9 hours that you will burn more fat?

(Sounds pretty good, eh? I get it. We do what sounds emotionally appealing).

Perhaps you believe this exercise will mitigate fat gain that may have taken place the evening before through a food binge session, emotional eating, or simply not following your nutritional strategy to the TEE. If fasted cardio is used in this way, it is a psychological sabotage tool. I do not endorse the use of cardio as punishment, and that comes from over 15 years of  disordered eating and exercise that was in my past. For some, it might be the “tough love” you need to kick you back into focus, but more many women particularly, this punishment can become a destructive cycle that destroys your hormones, causes injury, and raises your cortisol levels due to not sleeping enough.

Other people are trying to rip off the last layer of body fat before a physique competition, photo shoot, wedding, or vacation. While these short-term approaches may warrant a change in the scale, the science does not actually indicate you will  be losing body fat.


Your efforts will simply be reducing the glycogen in your muscle sites and liver (stored form of glucose–aka sugars of carbohydrates), which resultantly will lower your scale weight. You see, your body needs water to store glycogen, so while you did not mobilize stored body fat, you did get some water  and glucose out of your body.

So . . . no fat loss just yet.

This is the EXACT Recumbent Bike I use at home! It’s less than $150 and easy to put together! Perfect for the person who wants to get in some cardio at home while watching TV and doesn’t need a fancy piece of equipment to get the job done. PERFECT for HIIT programs too with an easy spin of the resistance dial. I love the no-impact structure that is easy on my scoliosis back and knees. click here to view on Amazon!

What really matters at that point is that you fuel yourself with PVF (protein-veggie-fat) meals to extend the life of  lowered glycogen levels. This will help your body continue to be fueled, which it needs for the metabolism to keep functioning optimally, while keeping sugar levels in the body lowered. While this is an incredibly complex chemical equation, the long and short of it is this:

IF you choose to utilize Fasted Cardio to begin the glycogen reduction process, but follow it up with appropriate nutritional strategy like I teach here at the Power Foods Lifestyle, then I’m okay if you do it.

Everyone has different psychology patterns that work for them, and I’m not trying to imposition my personal values of nutrition and fitness on you.

Rather, I’d like to help you think critically about the evident science that clearly points out there is no acceleration of the reduction of body fat with either fed or fasted cardio.

Instead, it is the overall trend and trajectory you’re on (remember what I talk about in my book, it’s the ‘environment’ of the body on a longer term scale that matters in body composition changes).

More details are in the video below. I hope you’ll check it out and not be looking for the nitty-gritty science (because I’ll challenge you–even if you know it, will you be able to apply it? 99% of people will not–so rather, we look for the applicable elements. That’s what I do as a Mind and Body Strategist).



I hope this information helps you decide what is more helpful for your body in building its strength and longevity, and what could potentitally be a harmful contribution to psychological damage.

Here at Body Buddies, I love helping you think critically, challenging your mindsets, and asking you to consider the effects of combining nutrition + fitness + mindset + spirituality.

You see, we are whole people–and delineating each substrate of these categories in our lives gets us nowhere. Rather, let us seek to become true masters of ourselves as we   enjoy life with health, vitality, confidence, and the energy to  do all we dream of and serve others around us.

Love your bud,


p.s. in case you missed it, you can start your Free 7-Day Trial to join Body Buddies World — my membership site for women who want to lose weight, gain lean muscle, and let me help them reach their goals here.

Clinical Studies Used:

  1. Study 1
  2. Study 2
  3. Study 3

How I Figured All Of This Out…

Nutritional healing is powerful, and I got my first taste of it when I started competing in Figure competitions in 2012. I swung from an excessive and obsessive  life of binge eating, dieting, and excessive exercising into an excessive and obsessive life of controlled, calibrated dieting, strategic training, and narrow focus.

In the midst of that first epiphany of learning about protein and veggie backbones (it just dawned on me one day while listening to a YouTube video on nutrition, I decided to start a Facebook page called Body Buddies.

From that time on, as well as starting my first blog called What I Wish I Would Have Known, people came to me for coaching. While I had been a certified personal trainer since 2010 and a dance teacher since 2002, I initially turned them down. I was still figuring it out and wasn’t ready to help others.

But after enough pleading, I did take on clients with one rule: we were to work as a team. I would research, they would comply, and we would treat their body as giving us data on my hypothesis. This process by which each of my clients have worked with me as a team has led to the greatest evolution in knowledge of the science that works in each unique person’s body for different goals. Now, having coached over 2,000 people at the time of this writing, I am so grateful for those years of working in the trenches with my clients.

I study the academia–peer-reviewed research, and books and other information put out by respected naturopathic doctors, therapists, physicians, and trainers. I absorb all of the information, then ask deeper questions to find the flaws in the data and research–to leave room for the what if scenario that may happen for someone. This  inquisitive mindset has helped me to be teachable, and continue to refine my teaching of the Power Foods Lifestyle for all of my Body Buddies who  find the information blessin

I love bridging the gap between the science of what we need to do and the practical daily application for you. It’s doable, and we love the high-level research. But everyone needs a “Kristy Jo” who can help them strategize the what, when, how, and why. I would love to be a part of your journey.