Intermittent fasting is a common weight loss practice, but some think intermittent fasting and bodybuilding doesn’t work. Here’s why that idea is wrong.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. You already fast every day while you sleep. Intermittent fasting simply extends that fast a little bit longer. Intermittent fasting is very easy to do and once you get used to it, most people actually report feeling better and having more energy during the fast.
If you’re new to IF, the most comfortable point of entry is to skip meals. For example, if you have a large dinner, forgo breakfast and eat lunch as your first meal of the day. If you’re not hungry at dinnertime, skip dinner and resume eating at breakfast.
This is the easiest way to get into the routine of fasting, without getting into the specifics of timed eating and fasting windows.
Once you get more comfortable with fasting, you can start planning specific eating and fasting windows. For example, the popular 16/8 method, where you eat within an 8-hour window each day (for example, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.), and then fast for 16 hours.
Myths Surrounding Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Growth
Myth #1: Fasting Makes Your Body Break Down Muscle
Protein is not your body’s preferred energy source. Your body’s preferred energy source is glucose. Once your body’s blood glucose and glycogen are burned, it’ll start burning stored body fat for energy.
Intermittent fasting won’t make you lose muscle.
Myth #2: Intermittent Fasting Is Starvation
Intermittent fasting is not the same as prolonged fasting, which is an extended period of fasting over multiple days. With Intermittent fasting, you are still fueling your body every day, just under a shorter time span.
Intermittent fasting, provides numerous health benefits, including:
- Weight Loss: Research shows intermittent fasting is an efficient fat loss tool and more effective than simply cutting calories 
- Disease Prevention: Research shows intermittent fasting helps reduce your risk of diseases, boost your immunity, and increase longevity 
- Improved Muscle Insulin Sensitivity: While fasting, your glucose and insulin levels decrease, which makes muscles become insulin sensitive 
- Preserves Muscle Mass: Research shows intermittent fasting actually preserves muscle, not break it down. In one 4-week study, researchers concluded that a fasting diet resulted in more significant weight loss — and maintained muscle mass better — than participants following a low-calorie diet .
The Differences Between Regular Fasting and Bodybuilding Intermittent Fasting
The average person fasting only cares about weight loss. The bodybuilder wants to lose weight and build muscle.
Bodybuilders have significantly more muscle mass and exercise a lot more than the average person. They need to make sure that they hit their still protein requirements in their shortened eating window. It’s really not that hard but something to keep mindful of.
A good quality protein supplement will help a lot. So will essential amino acids; drinking essential amino acids during exercise will elevate muscle protein synthesis, preventing muscle loss and speeding recovery.
Putting It All Together – Example Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan
Everyone has different schedules. I made this meal plan using a 200 pound male who trains around 2PM each day as an example. You’ll of course want to tailor this diet to your own unique schedule.
You’ll notice that I included fat burners like ECA Shred and ALL Day Shred in the fasting window. This wasn’t a coincidence. Fasting decreases insulin levels, which puts the body in the perfect state to burn fat at the most efficient rate possible.
|8AM||One cup black coffee||None|
|10AM||Water||All Day Shred|
|Oatmeal, egg whites blueberries||Slin, omega 3, multivitamin|
*Driving to gym*
|Water||Rage, Arachidonic Acid|
|Whey isolate, CarbTech||Slin, EPIMuscle|
|5PM||Chicken, rice, asparagus||Slin, omega 3, multivitamin|
|730PM||Steak, broccoli, almonds||None|
As you can see in the above example, I condensed the eating window into an 8-hour period. It’s very easy to do. Intermittent fasting is very easy to do. Most people don’t experience any hunger or feel like they’re depriving themselves of anything.
Give intermittent fasting a try and let me know how it works for you.
Questions? You can always connect with me directly by sending an email to [email protected]
Trevor Kouritzin, Chemical Engineer
‘The Canadian Chemist’ Enhanced Labs
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