Just as I am passionate about keeping a lean, healthy physique I really do enjoy food and not just the healthy stuff. Trying to juggle the 2 were extremely difficult. Until I started doing intermittent fasting ( IF ). With IF you can eat the foods you want— within reason, of course, and still maintain a lean physique.
Intermittent fasting involves eating nothing for a period of 14-16hours, followed by normal eating. Depending on your lifestyle and training regime that could either be 2 – 5 meals. IF is good for some people as it can help with their overall calorie consumption for the day. As you know in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. Without this, you will not lose weight.
Approximately 16–24 hours into a fasted state, the body experiences a massive surge in growth-hormone release. Human growth hormone helps build muscles, accelerate metabolic rate, speed recovery time, and is also known to spare muscle tissue during periods of fasting. A study presented at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans showed that during 24-hour fasting periods, human growth hormone increased an average of 1,300% in women and nearly 2,000% in men.
Intermittent Fasting And Weight Loss
When we are in a fed state, our body uses insulin to bring glucose into cells to manufacture energy, during this process our insulin levels lower and it increases insulin sensitivity resulting in increased fat acid oxidation. During the fasting periods, the body’s level of blood glucose significantly decreases and since IF may decrease both glucose and insulin levels, the body could potentially use stored fat for fuel.
You can do intermittent fasting long-term with no adverse health effects. Instead, you’ll actually see health benefits from IF which are stated later in the article.
Does Sleeping At Night Count Towards the Fasting Period?
Yes, it does. So, for example, if your last meal or protein shake was at 8pm your next meal would be at 12pm the next day to reach your 16 hours fasting. h
Can I Drink While Intermittent Fasting?
Obviously, you don’t eat anything or consume any calories during your fasting hours. Water you can drink if you are doing a water fast, if you were doing a dry fast then that is different. Black coffee or herbal teas ( green Tea) that don’t have milk or sugar are fine also.
Intermittent Fasting Promotes Cardiovascular Health
- Decreases cardiovascular disease risk
- Increases HDL cholesterol and lowers triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol
- Decreases resting heart rate and blood pressure
- Improves circulation of triglycerides and cholesterol
- Increases resistance to ischemic injuries
- Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease
- Protects neurons from genetic and environmental stress factors during ageing.
- Increases insulin sensitivity, which benefits neurons that stimulate the production of enzymes that help cells cope with stress and fight against disease
How to Plan Your Meals Into Eight Hours?
Regarding the “feeding period,” You want to maintain your usual caloric intake according to your weight and goals. This means that if you are needing 3000 calories a day then you need to eat those 3000 calories in your 8 hour window. This is where the fun gets in as you can enjoy the foods you would normally have to pass on however you do not want to eat junk as that would just be counterproductive to your goals.
You also definitely do not want to undereat during your feeding window, or you’ll compromise your performance in the gym and your ability to build or maintain muscle. Get in all of your nutrients, particularly protein.
In theory, you’ll be eating the same number of calories and macros per day, just with a different meal schedule than a typical eat-every-few-hours nutrition plan. Using this type o plan make its easier to manipulate your meals and caloric intake I.E cycling carbs and fats etc.
Training in a Fasted State
I generally start my training fasted however I do consume BCAA’s during my workout. Amino acids combine to form protein and there are 20 aminos that are used as the building blocks of protein, including the nine essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, phenylalanine, methionine, lysine, and histidine), and the 11 nonessential amino acids (arginine, serine, cysteine, glycine, proline, alanine, tyrosine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid, and glutamine). If you consume just one of these amino acids, you’re essentially consuming some small amount of protein and therefore are technically not fasting. Once I start to consume the BCAA’s technically I have ended my fast. As I mentioned before people can use intermittent fasting basics to keep within their calorie intake for the day. If you really tracked everything you consumed from coffee, snacks food etc you will see how quickly it will all add up.
When you’re training, BCAAs are a powerful source of energy for your muscles. And since you’re just sipping on a drink with BCAAs in it, you’re not pounding down a bunch of them. The benefits of BCAAs for your workout outweigh any potential negatives on fasting.
Amino acids that aren’t proteinogenic can be consumed during fasting. For example, it’s OK to have beta-alanine, betaine, D-aspartic acid and even though they’re not technically amino acids, but many people classify them as such, carnitine and creatine. These are fine to sip on during the day, especially if you’re training in a fasted state.
10 Facts about Intermittent Fasting
1. Intermittent Fasting Changes The Function of Cells, Genes and Hormones
2. Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
3. Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Insulin Resistance, Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
4. Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in The Body
5. Intermittent Fasting May be Beneficial For Heart Health
6. Intermittent Fasting Induces Various Cellular Repair Processes
7. Intermittent Fasting May Help Prevent Cancer
8. Intermittent Fasting is Good For Your Brain
9. Intermittent Fasting May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
10. Intermittent Fasting May Extend Your Lifespan, Helping You Live Longer
What supplements you can include.
I always train in a fasted stated whether it is just cardio ( HIIT or LISS ) or weight training. In order to maximize your training performance, you may use the following supplements.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and Essential Amino Acids ( EAAs ): Sipping on BCAAs before a workout and throughout the day may help increase protein synthesis. This will help balance out some of the protein breakdown that may occur from fasting as discussed earlier.
Caffeine: Not only does a little bit of caffeine before your lift help get you get fired up, but a dose of 1-3 milligrams per pound of body weight has been demonstrated to significantly increase upper-body strength!
Great Tea – The main catechins in green tea are epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin and, the one with the highest concentration, epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG. Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG). One of the primary goals of intermittent fasting is increased fat loss, one of your goals with supplementation should be to increase lipolysis (breakdown of stored fat) and fatty acid oxidation (use of fatty acids for energy).
EGCG, when combined with caffeine, has been demonstrated to lead to significant increases in fatty acid oxidation and increased metabolic rate.Green tea has been repeatedly shown to increase the fat burning, especially during exercise.
Beta-alanine supplementation has been found to increase work capacity by decreasing fatigue associated with buildup of metabolites.
Creatine supplementation of 3-5 grams per day leads to significant increases in lean body mass, power output, strength, and muscle-fiber size. There are mixed reviews on whether you should take this pre or post workout and my advice would be to do both. Take 3 grams before training and 3 grams after.
Protein consumption following resistance training may lead to increased protein synthesis.