Exercising at start of fast can help people reach ketosis 3.5 hours faster

3 min read
With Thanksgiving just a day away — and the most anticipated meal of the year already in the works — the last thing on most people's minds right now
is fasting. (Of course, maybe by Thursday evening, a few of us will be feeling like fasting for a day.)

But even with a short Thanksgiving pause, many people are turning to fasting for weight loss and improved metabolic health, whether that be a regimen of time-restricted eating, periodic fasting or the "monk" fast. Now a new Brigham Young University study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds that exercising intensely at the start of a fast may help maximize health benefits of temporarily foregoing food.

"We really wanted to see if we could change the metabolism during the fast through exercise, especially how quickly the body enters ketosis and makes ketones," said BYU Ph.D. student Landon Deru, who helped design the study for his thesis.

Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of glucose — its first, preferred fuel — and begins breaking down stored fat for energy, producing chemicals called ketones as a byproduct. In addition to being a healthy energy source for the brain and heart, ketones combat diseases like diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

For the study, the researchers asked 20 healthy adults to complete two 36-hour fasts while staying hydrated. Each fast began after a…
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