****Edited to add- if you are not used to fasting, or do not do well not eating right away, or if you are on Medifast (Take Shape for Life)- don't exercise fasted. Check with your doctor or health coach first****
One great realization over the last week or so were the walks I took in the early morning in Arizona. To get 10,000 steps a day in on a hot summer day in Phoenix, we started between 6am-7am and I was looking for 4,000- 5,000 steps in the morning.
I did the walk first thing in the morning, before breakfast, just out of convenience and wanting to avoid the heat. So, after 6 days of walking for about 40 minutes or so fasted, I did notice I reduction in a little bit of abdominal (belly) fat. Awesome! I do believe that the visceral fat is disease related, and my clothes fit pretty good, too. Win-win.
Now, I was away from work at the time- different stress, so who knows. It could have been a reduction in cortisol from work stress. Unknown. I'll be doing some n=1 testing over the next 2 months.
I don't do intermittent fasting or anything like that. I tried briefly, but no dice. Once great thing that allows me to do 30-40 minutes of morning, fasted walking is being fat adapted. Here's a good article from Mark's Daily Apple on being fat adapted
. No shaky,weak moments. It feels good. If I walk over 45 minutes, then I get the feeling I should head home for some eggs, avocados, tomatoes, and kale. Not to mention a hot cup of coffee!
Fat adaptation also works in my favor when there is a longer time between meals than expected, being stuck in I-5 traffic in the summer, and when I can't eat the meal being served somewhere. It allows a few extra hours to get where I need to be to refuel with the right food. I'll have about 15 minutes of feeling a little hungry. Then 2-3 hours of normal feelings and energy.
Nice for fasted blood draws, too.
Here's what works for me
1. Walking 30 minutes in the morning before eating. Walking another 30-45 minutes later in the day.
2. Eating a clean, low inflammatory diet (paleo template) that allows my body to burn fat when needed. I like being a fat burning beast.
3. Wearing a pedometer so I know how many steps I get.
4. Taking a camera, because I'll miss the best shot ever if I don't! ;)
Here's what did not work in the past
1. Leaving my whole day's walk until after 3-4 pm. Slippery slope time wise.
2. Eating processed foods. It kept me from being fat adapted, shaky, and eating more than I needed.
3. Not wearing a pedometer. My tricky mind would say "I've walked a lot at 5,000 steps, I'll eat a Skinny Cow Ice cream I've earned it!...."
4. Forgetting my camera and missing baby birds, cool hawks, and other awesome photos.