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Fasting and Fitness: A Beginner’s Guide to Success

Sophie Fuller

Sophie Fuller

February 15, 2023

Fasting and Fitness: A Beginner’s Guide to Success

Exercise is more than washboard-abs and bulging muscles: For many, it’s a means of physical, mental and emotional well-being!

But can you workout while fasting? In this article, we’ll explore the world of fasted workouts, who can benefit from them and how to start your fitness journey.

Whatever your goal, it’s important to find the right exercise plan for your lifestyle. Incorporating a fitness routine into your intermittent fasting plan will help you to achieve your goals and feel better than ever.

So, are you ready to work up a sweat?

Can you work out while intermittent fasting?

Yes, it is safe to workout while intermittent fasting! However, it’s not always optimal for everyone.

Because we’re all so unique, it is impossible to find one magic-pill that works for the masses, so it’s important to listen to your body, prioritize your well-being and adjust accordingly.

Some people love fasted workouts and feel more energized after getting their blood pumping, while others prefer to workout within their eating window, fuelling their training with food.

Pros and cons of exercising while fasting:

Perhaps you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of a celeb who loves fasted workouts or you’re fitting in a session before a busy day at work; everyone has their reasons to workout fasted. While everyone has different intentions, it’s universally important to take into account the pros and cons of working out while in a fasted state.

Let’s start with the good-stuff!

Fat Burning:

Studies have shown that fasted workouts can boost fat-burning - woohoo! Depleting your stores of glycogen, your body swiftly switches from stored carbohydrates to body fat, finding a new form of energy to fuel the fire during a workout.

Another study found that primarily, this effect was seen more in steady-state aerobic exercise, like walking, yoga or light jogging, as opposed to higher-intensity anaerobic exercise, like strength training and running.

Increase in HGH:

Human Growth Hormone is the powerful protein produced by the Pituitary gland to help build, maintain and grow almost all bodily tissue as well as the absorption of energy. Essential for all adults, especially as we age, studies have shown its production is increased by fasted cardio.

Now, onto the downsides.

Decreased Energy:

Many people choose not to workout while fasting for the simple reason that they don’t feel like they have enough ‘oomph’. One study found that eating carbohydrates before exercise helped to reduce fatigue time compared to fasted training.

From a mental perspective, it’s also important to note that as a beginner or a pro, exercise should be largely enjoyable for it to be sustainable. For those of you who are looking to start their fitness journey, we advise that you workout within your eating window if you feel that you have more vigor throughout your session having eaten a little food.

Increased Stress:

Even healthy things can be stressors: certain foods, intense exercise, even fasting! When applied effectively, these stressors induce a hormetic response - a healthy adaptation to stress. For example, training in the gym will help your muscles grow stronger fibers to allow you to lift heavier.

However, our bodies have a limited capacity for stress. Too much stress will increase cortisol levels and increase inflammation. Ironically, one study found that too much stress from intense exercise can actually lead to it being harder to lose weight!

Furthermore, did you know that men and women will react differently to fasted workouts?

Because women have a more complex hormonal cycle than men, we recommend that women focus on shorter fasts, such as 18:6, when exercising, to reduce the risk of hormonal disruption, blood sugar drops and fatigue.

While many women enjoy and benefit from fasted workouts, it’s important to understand that extended fasts and high-cortisol levels can seriously impact their menstrual cycles and even fertility. If you’d like to learn more about fasting for women, head over to this article on our blog.

How to workout while intermittent fasting:

As mentioned earlier, the best (and most sustainable) form of exercise for beginners is one that they enjoy!

Exercise won't always feel good and sometimes you might want to skip a session, but having your goals in mind and moving your body a little everyday will help you to take the next step on your health journey. Exercise has been shown to boost endorphins in the brain, leading to a greater sense of pleasure, decreased pain and reduced stress.

If you’re training within your fasting window, we recommend you stick to the steadier stuff. Think yoga, a gentle jog or a walk through the park. Steady exercise has been shown to still be effective in fat-loss while fasting, as well as reducing the risk of blood-sugar crashes, fatigue or inflammation.

But if you’re fuelled with food, it’s time to hit the heavier work. Why not try a strength session in the gym, or a HIIT workout with a friend?!

How to pick the right workout plan for you:

Picking a plan is not always a quick feat. It can take some trial and error, some exploration and some adjustments.

The perfect plan should be:

When first starting upon your fitness journey, many people love to find support in a gym-buddy or accountability-partner. Studies show that having a comrade by your side can increase your success rate by up to 95%!

Did you know that the Fastic app has its very own community of like minded people? Check it out here.

The first step on a new journey is always the most daunting. So once you (and potentially your buddy) are ready, the most important thing you can do is to take it steady and start slow.

While this exciting moment can tempt you to buy all the workout gear, join the best gym and workout every single day, you may find yourself either unable to walk, or totally burned out. So take each day as it comes and work your way up towards your end goal.

It’s important to appreciate and congratulate yourself at every part of your journey.

While you may not be at your final destination just yet, each small step is a little closer than you were yesterday.

Intermittent Fasting Beginner’s Exercise Plan:

A good plan will beautifully balance between hard work and active rest.

We need to stress our muscles, heart and lungs enough to prompt adaptation (hello strength and fitness!), but allow the recovery time they need to heal and restore.

Check out this beginner’s plan, working on full body and core strength, as well as cardiovascular fitness, for that healthy heart!


Ideally, you would complete this plan for 6-8 weeks to see change, adapting as and where you may need to account for any pre-existing conditions or injuries that may be irritated by a new training plan.

For example, if you have problems with your knees, swapping a full squat to a chair squat to limit the range of movement, or walking instead of jogging for 10 minutes.

Every day that you move your body is a bonus! So if you feel like missing a day through soreness, lack of motivation or injury, it’s valuable to adapt your plan and get in some form of movement where possible.

Safety Tips:

Injuries suck, so keeping yourself safe throughout your fitness journey is vitally important not only for your health, but also making exercise a sustainable habit.


Working out in your favorite way will help you to progress, not only on your intermittent fasting journey, but also in every element of your healthy lifestyle.

Essential for beginner’s, finding the right workout plan will help you to reach your goals, feel stronger and more confident in your body and reduce pain and disease. According to your unique circumstances, fitting fitness in around fasting will sky-rocket your success.

Are you ready?

No matter your goals and lifestyle, there’s an intermittent fasting plan that’s right for you. With Fastic, you will have the tools and support you need to make intermittent fasting simple and sustainable. Interested in giving it a go?

Download Fastic today to join the Fastic Family to start your intermittent fasting journey!

Haven’t gotten the Fastic app yet? Download it for free on your App Store!

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