It’s 9AM. I’m barely awake, stumbling to shut off my fifth snooze alarm, and my bladder is about to burst. Just as I’m peeing, I notice that bottomless growl coming from my stomach. Yes, it is indeed time for a feeding.
The stomach growl can be one of the most awful experiences, especially if you are in a room stockpiled with 100 other full bellies. It can also be particularly irritating if you begin your day fuel-less without your “wheaties.”
We have all by now heard the infamous, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but is it honestly necessary? Do we believe the tiger? Do we believe in genetically modified frankenstarches?
When I first began my weight loss journey about 4 years ago, every bit of literature I could get my hands on listed eating breakfast (even if it was just a small banana) as your number one focus. They explained it as the science of metabolism and those who ate breakfast weighed less and ate less later in the day than those who didn’t.
That was all I needed to convince me breakfast was my new BFF.
Fast forward to present day, and there’s a new trend in town…CARDIO…FOR…BREAKFAST!
Yes, cardio. No pop tarts. No oats. No protein shakes. Just plain cardio.
(Which means your stomach will consistently growl…but I promise you this is golden if you are wishing to tone up and lose a few extra inches in a short amount of time)
In it’s technical terms, cardio for breakfast is typically deemed “intermittent fasting/fasted cardio“. It basically means you starve yourself for a determined amount of time. We naturally fast during sleep which is why most of us are hungry upon awakening.
I know I am hangry as hell if I don’t get me some oats, bananas, or chocolate inside of me within seconds of rising.
Intermittent fasting tests your mental and physical thresholds. I recently started incorporating this into my morning routine.
Why on earth would I subject myself to such a grueling activity?
Results, of course.
I have read quite a few articles and especially ones in regards to training for body building competitions which praise the “fasted cardio” for quick and effective results.
I thought I would guinea pig it out and the results have actually been quite surprising.
I began about 2 months ago with my workouts on the treadmill right when I woke up. I would burn about 400 calories in 45 minutes and then devour a prepared breakfast right after.
At first it was absolute torture. I felt anorexic. Then I felt like a cow. Then I actually felt like vomiting halfway through one of my sessions.
After a while, like with anything else in life, practice made perfect. My body began craving those early morning endorphins and the stomach growl began to be overshadowed by my drive to win.
I now worked my way up to incorporating fasted cardio within my exercise and eating plan about 2-3 days per week. (It all depends on if the beast mode is willing to make an appearance or not.)
I have noticed my upper flabs actually transforming into UPPER ABS. My energy is sky high. I am consuming my food more mindfully. I also am rarely getting major cravings for refined sugars and white flours.
I can see why so many competitors swear by fasted cardio. I would never preach this to someone who is trying to re-establish a healthy relationship with their food. This is not for amateurs. I only recommend this to those who have previous experience in the fitness and health realms as it’s pretty intense and depletes your body of many vital nutrients and minerals.
You don’t always have to play by “their” (food industry/gov’t/dieticians) rules. Take the road less traveled. Experiment. Listen to your body. Decide for yourself.
Have you ever dabbled with intermittent fasting? For how long? Did you find yourself adapting after a while?
Peace, love, and cardio for breakfast!