For many people who normally work out (let’s say 2-3 times per week) who want to try the 5:2 diet, it’s hard to not continue to hit the gym.
But even if you aren’t into exercising this much, is it safe exercising while fasting, while you’re limiting calories?
The basic answer is yes. The more complex answer is yes, with conditions.
Planning on Exercising While Fasting? Be Safe. See a Doctor
First and foremost, you should check with a doctor. With a calorie-restricted diet, your body goes into ‘repair mode’ and doesn’t have as many calories to burn. This essentially makes it so that you have less energy for your body to use, which, when working out and expending energy, can cause fainting, a feeling of not being able to work out as hard, or worse.
We recommend checking with a doctor, especially if you have any previous heart problems, and get your blood pressure checked to ensure you are able to work out while on this diet.
Prepare for Your Workout
Preparation is always the way to go with this diet. If you are planning on exercising while fasting or just after your fasting days, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best workout possible.
Firstly, be sure you’re fully hydrated. Drink water before and during your workout. Keeping hydrated will put less stress on your body during the workout (especially during cardio), and will help keep your energy levels up.
Secondly, eat a meal before your workout. As you are restricting calories (essentially energy), you’ll want to boost your body just before you work out. So within an hour or two of your workout, plan to eat a meal, especially one rich in protein and carbs. You don’t want to lose any muscle during your diet, so protein is a must. You should try to get somewhere around 15-20 grams of protein within 4 hours before a workout. Something like a cup of cottage cheese will give you about 15 grams of protein and contains 104 calories.
Finally, know your limits. At the beginning of a 5:2 fasting diet, you may find that you can’t work out as well as normal, and get tired faster. It’s important that you don’t push yourself past your limits. If you start feeling faint during a run, then stop. As you continue your diet, your body will adjust and you should be able to work out better.
Planning is the key
To keep up with your workout regime, plan around your 2-day diet. Try not to do intense cardio during your fasting days. Do the easiest workout during the fasting days, or just after (ie: if you’ve got strong legs but are currently focusing on building your upper body strength, then maybe plan to work out your lower body during the fasting time, so you don’t struggle or feel any negative results of your focused workout).
Exercising while fasting can really increase the results that you can get while on the 5:2 fasting diet plan. As long as you use caution, you can really fast track your weight loss results.
But if you need some more tips, advice, and inspiration for you 5:2 fasting diet plan journey, then make sure you check out our quick start guide to help you start and keep going so that you reach your goals sooner. Click here for more information.
What is your best workout schedule that you found to work during your fasting diet? Have you modified your routine? If so, how? Please share your exercising while fasting experience in the comments section below…