Losing weight, gaining muscle or a combination of both - Here is all you need to know about Intermittent Fasting
This article will explain what Intermittent Fasting actually is and who will benefit from such a diet. We’ll show you the perks and how to achieve the best possible results.
As with every diet or form of nutrition, we can’t avoid mentioning objections and one or the other disadvantage.
For those of you who stick to our tips, and bring along the right mindset, Intermittent Fasting will deliver fast results and convincing aspects.
Intermittent Fasting is the general term for a variety of diets which include a long, daily period of fasting and a shorter window for taking in food. Focus lies on improving fat burning while protecting the musculature.
In some cases, athletes even try to increase their musculature mass as they are decreasing their overall body fat. This is unusual but seems to be possible with Intermittent Fasting. This “lean gains” method is very popular in the fitness scene.
To achieve an athletic build, the overall body fat percentage has to be kept low while building up muscles. Athletes time their meals during the Intermittent Fasting period around their training sessions. It is very popular to have a meal after training, as it allows the body to immediately provide the muscles with the needed nutrients.
16 hours of fasting implies that the body only releases the hormone insulin during the shortened period of food-intake. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, which aids the absorption of protein and glycogen into the muscles. Therefore, the timing of food intake after strength training is essential for muscle growth.
Since insulin stops the fat metabolism, the body is able to convert stored fat into energy during the fasting period. Insulin release is prevented when you do not consume carbs. That makes it very important for you to only drink tea, water and coffee during the fasting period and no sweetened beverages, juices or soft drinks.
It’s a common belief in the fitness scene, that a regular protein intake every two to three hours is optimal for muscle growth. In bodybuilding, having six meals a day is quite common. But we have to wonder, if our gastrointestinal system was made for such massive amounts of food. No animal and no human ate after such a pattern during the past thousand years. On the contrary: Meals were always consumed rather irregularly.
16 hours of fasting give the gastrointestinal system a break, as no new food is taken in. Only six weeks of fasting can therefore have a very positive effect on the digestion. Even the kidneys benefit.
For all those with the goal of fat reduction or definition, it has to be said that only a caloric deficit will decrease the overall body fat percentage. Which means that you have to take in less energy in form of calories, than you are burning every day.
Most diets achieve a deficit by reducing the meal quantity or cutting out certain macronutrients such as carbs or fat. For all those who struggle to eat nothing but a small salad or plate of raw veggies for dinner, Intermittent Fasting is the ideal solution.
Once you’ve made it through the first hours of the day without a big meal, you can eat relatively big portions during the small window of food intake. If the meals are healthy and well-balanced, you’ll end up staying under your daily caloric need.
An average man will for example eat two meals with 700 kcal each and have a snack, maybe a protein bar, with 250 kcal. He will consume less than 1700 kcal in total and be in a clear caloric deficit.