Intermittent Fasting And Exercise In The Morning. How To Lose Weight Fast?

Intermittent fasting for weight loss is a common dieting trend, and exercise in the morning is a good way to take advantage of it.
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If you practice intermittent fasting it means that you take care of your health. It is more likely that sports also take place in your life. Let’s discover what is the best way to mix these tools of achieving better health and shape.

Written by
Vera Bokor
Health and Wellbeing Coach

There are many controversies about when it is better to do exercises when fasting- during fasting or eating window. 

For many decades we were taught not to exercise on an empty stomach because you won’t have the power to accomplish your workout, you will feel weak and nauseous and that before any sports activity you need to replenish your glycogen storage for better performance. But is this true?

When is it better to exercise?

The majority of us prefer to skip breakfast when doing intermittent fasting because we need to get ready for work or university, we need to take kids to school, we need to take shower, put makeup on, make our hairstyle or just simply want to sleep a bit longer. 

But morning is also the best time to exercise, not only because it will provide you with a lot of energy for the rest of your day, but it has special physiological reasons which will convince you to have your workout in the first part of the day.

Why is it better to exercise in the morning?

Woman doing sit-ups.

We all know that including exercises in your life is good, but we don't really know why it's better to do it in the morning.

Exercising on an empty stomach (read fasted state)  has been shown to have several benefits:


  • After a night, you are running out of your glycogen stores, which forces your body to pull energy from stored fat.
  • Your body's fat burning processes are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system which is activated by exercise and by lack of food. This system is also “on” in the morning to wake you up, which makes the fat burning process even more efficient.
  • Being in a fasted state with the sympathetic nervous system “on” makes you alert, which helps you to be more focused when you are working out, which increases the quality of your training.
  • Exercising in a fasted state triggers human growth hormone production, which is in charge of muscle gain, fat loss, speed of recovery and metabolism (1, 2).

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Morning Cardio

Woman running during sunrise.

We all know, if you want to lose weight, you need to do cardio. But to achieve this, you need to do cardio for at least forty minutes to start to dig in fat storage, because before you need to use up all the glycogen in your body. It takes on average about 8-12 hours for your body to metabolize and use up all its blood sugar and glycogen stores after a meal is consumed. (3).

Doing cardio in a fasted state helps you start using fat much faster, it also increases lipolysis and fat oxidation (fat cells break down to make energy and burn off this energy) (4).

Early Weight Training

Intermittent fasting and working out, especially if it is high intensity exercise, are the best ways to skyrocket the production of human growth hormone (HGH) also known as fitness hormone (5). 

Under normal conditions, more HGH is produced at night than during the day because of the indirect relationship it has with insulin. HGH is only released when there is no insulin in the bloodstream. Lactic acid buildup as a response to weight training is also a good trigger for HGH secretion. There is no better time to make use of the fitness hormone to achieve desirable results than exercising in the morning. (6).

The bottom line

The combination of fasting and exercising in the morning will help you to achieve better results in losing weight and building muscle together with increasing the level of energy and providing you with a good mood for the day. The benefits go way beyond fat and weight loss as you will see. It provides you with good metabolic health, immune system, gut microbiome, and lifespan.

Read our article “Intermittent Fasting and Exercise: What You Need to Know” to have more understanding about the advantages of exercising and intermittent fasting.


  1. Volek J. D., Phinney S. D. “The art and science of low carbohydrate performance”. 2012.
  2. Rodger C., Zinn C., Schofield G. “What the Fat?”. March 201
  3. Fung J., M. D. ‘The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss”. December 2015
  4. Gjedsted J. Effects of a 3-day fast on regional lipid and glucose metabolism in human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2007 Nov;191(3):205-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2007.01740.x. 
  5. VanDerschelden M., Dr. “The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting”. September 9, 2016. 
  6. Godfrey R. J., Whyte G. P., Buckley J., Quinlivan R. The role of lactate in the exercise-induced human growth hormone response: evidence from McArdle disease. Br J Sports Med. 2009 Jul;43(7):521-5. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2007.041970. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

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