Does Intermittent Fasting Burn Muscle
Intermittent fasting will only promote muscle breakdown if two variables are left out: strength training and a high-protein diet.
If you want to build and maintain muscle mass, you need to stick with a strength training program, preferably one that focuses primarily on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses.
Whats more, in order to ensure your muscle mass wont become the target for your bodys fuel supply, you should focus on eating a high-protein diet.
Protein contains the building blocks of muscle tissue, promoting both recovery and growth while avoiding protein degradation .
How To Do A 16
For most people, it works best to start the fasting at 8 p.m. That means you will not eat food or consume calorie-based beverages until 12 p.m. the next day.
You can still drink water and calorie-free beverages such as black coffee and herbal tea.
Once your feeding window begins at 12 p.m. the next day, you can follow your normal diet, but as I mentioned above, try to eat protein with every meal.
Once 8 p.m. arrives again, you go back into a fasting state.
Should You Do Intermittent Fasting And The Keto Diet
We have a crazy extensive guide on the Keto Diet in case youre not familiar with it, so here it is in a nutshell:
This process is called ketosis, and there are two ways for a body to enter ketosis:
- Eating in a way that induces ketosis .
- FastingHey, thats what youre reading about right now!
We actually have an amazing success story here on Nerd Fitness, Larry, who followed our strategies, went Keto and start intermittent fasting. He ended up losing weight, getting stronger, AND overcame the challenges of rheumatoid arthritis !
Heres how the fasting portion of it works:
As your body enters a fast period when there are no sources of glucose energy readily available, the liver begins the process of breaking down fat into ketones.
Fasting itself can trigger ketosis.
Fasting for a period of time before kicking off a Keto-friendly eating plan COULD speed your transition into the metabolic state of ketosis, and fasting intermittently while in ketosis could help you maintain that state.
I personally love fasting for the simplicity: I skip breakfast every day and train in a fasted state. Its one less decision I have to make, its one less opportunity to make a bad food choice, and it helps me reach my goals.
WHY KETO + IF WORKS = eating Keto can be really challenging. And every time you eat, its an opportunity to do it wrong and accidentally eat foods that knock you out of ketosis.
Youre also tempted to overeat.
Your value may vary!
You need to decide what works for you.
Read Also: What Can I Eat Fasting
How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Your Body And Metabolism
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most popular method is called the 16/8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and then eat all you want for the next eight hours.This plan is similar to intermittent fasting, but it requires you to eat within certain windows throughout the day.
Remember, intermittent fasting is eating within a certain time frame during the day. For example, a common way intermittent fasting is done is to fast overnight maybe something like 10 p.m.6 a.m. or 11 p.m.8 a.m. and then be able to eat normally again within hours or hours before breakfast.
If you follow this plan, youre only eating during those 16 hours where your body is completely without food. Youll usually eat your first meal at about noon or 1 p.m., and then youll eat your last meal the biggest meal of the day at about 8 p.m.
Use The Rhythms Of Fasting To Schedule Lunch And Dinner
Youve heard enough youre ready to dive head-first into the wonderful world of intermittent fasting. So when, exactly, can you eat?
The simplest approachis skipping breakfast, having coffee or tea, Zane outlines. If your goal is weight loss, eat a low-carb lunch and dinner.
Your first meal of the day takes place after your fasting window ends, which means all of your eating occurs in a compressed window of about six to eight hours.
Thats give or take. Make it work with your schedule. If its six hours, great. If it has to be nine one day, dont beat yourself up, Zane emphasizes.
Thats the beauty of intermittent fasting: theres no right or wrong. Its one tool to improve your health in whatever way makes sense with your routine.
If Zane could recommend an ideal intermittent fasting schedule, heres what hed suggest:
- Stop eating after dinner
- Skip breakfast, enjoy your black coffee or tea, and fast until noon
- Break your fast with a low-carb lunch
- If you need a snack, make it light
- Enjoy a healthy dinner, then start the fast again
Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm of intermittent fasting, you can experiment with extending your fast until 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00 instead.
Figure Out Caloric Needs
There are no dietary restrictions when fasting, but this does not mean calories do not count.
People who are looking to lose weight need to create a calorie deficit for themselves this means that they consume less energy than they use. People who are looking to gain weight need to consume more calories than they use.
There are many tools available to help a person work out their caloric needs and determine how many calories they need to consume each day to either gain or lose weight. A person could also speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian for guidance on how many calories they need.
A person interested in losing or gaining weight may find it helps to plan what they are going to eat during the day or week.
Meal planning does not need to be overly restrictive. It considers calorie intake and incorporating proper nutrients into the diet.
Meal planning offers many benefits, such as helping a person stick to their calorie count, and ensuring they have the necessary food on hand for cooking recipes, quick meals, and snacks.
Tip #: Watch What You Eat
Intermittent fasting works best when paired with a healthy diet. Eating junk food all the time will cause weight gain and trigger cravings that can lead to a failed fast.
Even though intermittent fasting is not considered a diet, most people that practice this form of eating tend to eat a relatively healthy diet in order to reap the benefits like – fat loss, increased energy & productivity. So if you are going to practice fasting then make sure you’re making healthy food choices! It’s better for your health and it will help you stick to your fasting plan!
One way to help make sure you’re getting the most out of fasting is by setting a healthy meal plan. Base your meal plan around your fitness goals – weight loss, increase muscle mass, maintain. Calculate your macros to know exactly how many carbs, fats, protein, and calories you need to eat to reach your goals. Then set up a new meal plan every week to help keep you on track!
Just a note: The keto diet is often paired with intermittent fasting because of the fat burning capabilities. Although fasting does work really well with keto, it’s not necessarily needed for fat loss or for any of the other benefits. The key is to eat mostly whole foods and minimize the amount of processed carbs and sugars.
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Should You Do Intermittent Fast Every Day
If you can follow a daily intermittent fasting schedule, your body gets used to the cycle, and you may not feel as hungry as you do when you start. Your body adapts to the change in eating patterns.
Lets face it we are used to eating several times a day. And if you gradually ease into intermittent fasting, you will find it gets easier.
However, suppose you feel that you simply cannot do this. In that case, you can try expanding your eating window to 12 or 14 hours and eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, which are filling and yet not very calorific.
Do you find this very restricting? Then opt for skipping meals occasionally. Whatever method you adopt, know that eating fewer calories and eating healthier will enable you to lose weight and improve your health.
Intermittent Fasting Side Effects Beginners May Experience
Most people are used to burning only sugar for energy because of the Western Pattern Diet . Therefore, switching to fat burning for the first time can bring the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
These physical symptoms are also known as the keto flu because the ketogenic diet requires the body to get used to burning fat for energy in the same way.
The trigger for this is the depletion of carbohydrate stores. Before the body can go into ketosis, it preferentially consumes glucose, which comes from glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscles.
Glycogen is a branched multisugar, with about 2-3 grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate.
Since this causes the body to flush out a considerable amount of water and electrolytes, physical symptoms can occur, most notably headaches and dizziness.
However, these disappear permanently once the body is fat-adapted. If you prepare for it, you can also prevent the keto flu while intermittent fasting, even as a beginner.
Recommended Reading: How To Calculate Fasting Hours
Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Fasting, like eating a low carb-high fat diet, is another tool for weight loss and improving your health. But the effectiveness of these tools rely on whether you can do them consistently over the long run.
Here are some pros and cons to help you decide:
- Its simple and easier to stick to because you simply skip a meal when youre not hungry or too busy to eat.
- You can fit it into your lifestyle, i.e. schedule around special occasions, Holidays.
- However, theres the hunger . You need to develop the skill to ride the ebb and flow of hunger by being more mindful about why you eat. But because its a skill, you can learn it.
What if you achieved the health benefits you want from intermittent fasting?
How will that change you?
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
If you’re looking for a simple, doable way to practice fasting, I get it. It shouldn’t have to be hard. Get my FREE email course below that shows you the easier way.
How To Do Intermittent Fasting
If you are just getting started with intermittent fasting, we recommend slowly working up to your target fasting schedule over the course of several weeks or months. Start by reflecting on your eating habits. Do you snack in between meals or after dinner? If so, try a 12-hour fast overnight. This means you finish dinner by 7 pm, for example, and dont eat anything else until 7 am the next day. If you usually dont feel the need to eat after dinner or between meals, try a 14-16 hour fast . If youd like to fast longer, add 1-hour increments every 5 days or so. Drink water to keep you both hydrated and distracted from hunger. If you need caffeine, drink unsweetened black coffee and tea.
31 daily challenges to get started with intermittent fasting
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Day 2 Delay Breakfast
Good morning! You just did a 12-hour fast.
Your last meal was at 7 PM last night, and its now 7 AM. Thats 12 hours. You didnt eat for half a day. Youve balancedeating and fasting to a ratio of 50:50 12 hours of eating and 12 hours of fasting. This is a good thing.
That wasnt so hard, was it? All you had to do was stop eating after dinner. Time flies when youre sleeping!
But now its the morning rush. You need to get out of the house asap or youll be late. So you eat as fast as you can or grab something on the go to eat in the car. But why?
| Delay breakfast today. Eat it when its convenient. Have water, coffee, or tea instead.
Theres nothing extreme about delaying your first meal of the day until its convenient. Like after youve arrived at the office or the kids have been dropped off to school instead of amidst the mad morning rush.
After you get to work, settle in. Check your email, look at your calendar, plan your day. You dont have to sneak in breakfast before or have breakfast while youre doing all this.
- 10 AM. Its time to enjoy your breakfast without the chaos.
- 12 noon. Lunch time. Youre probably not hungry because you just ate. The clock says its lunch time but your body doesnt say so. Its okay to wait to eat until you feel hungry again.
- 2 PM. Youre hungry now, have a nice lunch.
Eat dinner at 7 PM.
Build up on the prior steps: Dont eat after dinner, delay breakfast until 10 AM.
A Couple Of Tips About The Process
Im going to give you a few tips about the whole process and intermittent fasting in general. There are also a few things you should know:
Intermittent fasting is a tool for losing weight, not a diet. If you are struggling with choosing the right diet you can pick some of these healthy diets. You can take it for a week, month or even for the rest of your life. There are no cases recorded where intermittent fasting caused negative side effects!
Water intake is extremely important. Water will flush out all the toxins and your hunger level will be much lower.
Make sure to have more potassium in your eating window.
It would be great if you could make yourself some of these fat burning detox drinks every day. They will help your body throw all the toxins out and it will rebuild your digestive system.
Avoid sugar and sweets. They cause serious insulin spikes, food cravings, and hunger.
During the BOOM day or the first day after, dont exercise or go to the gym. Your body is under the stress, and you dont want to faint out. Relax, take a cup of water, and watch Netflix or something.
Coffee and green tea CAN interrupt your fasting window! Even though you read everywhere that they are calorie free and everything, Im telling you from personal experience. Drinking only water in fasting window will give you the best results! Keep it clean and without cheat attempts!
Read Also: What Is The Best App For Fasting
Keto And Intermittent Fasting For Beginners
For most beginners, getting started with intermittent fasting can help with fat loss, disease prevention and thereby increase longevity. And all that comes with minimal side effects.
If youve ever eaten dinner, slept in, and not eaten until lunch the next day, then youve fasted using the 16/8 schedule before.
You may even know people who are simply not hungry in the morning and instinctively do 16/8 intermittent fasting resulting in excellent fitness. After unlearning to be hungry in the morning, most beginners achieve the best results in intermittent fasting with 16/8.
In addition, the method is flexible and saves time. Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind that intermittent fasting is just an eating pattern and not a complete solution to your diet.
Hence, regardless of which intermittent fasting method you choose, you will get better results with a low-carb diet.
Therefore, more and more people report that a ketogenic diet works wonders for intermittent fasting for a good reason.
Because both fasting and the keto diet are based on reducing insulin, emptying carbohydrate stores, and burning fat through ketosis, they are ideal matches.
since you dont have to spend hours burning your stored carbs first.
Used correctly, intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets can have a massive impact on health and weight loss.
What Defines Successful Fasting
Is fasting just skipping meals? Not exactly.
As Zane explains, Theres more than one way to fast. Generally speaking, our dependence on body fat for fuel starts to be elevated after about 12 hours of not taking in any sort of calories.
At its core, intermittent fasting is putting at least a 12-hour window between meals.
After 12 hours, your body is mobilizing excess fat to burn energy. This means that an extended period without caloric intake jumpstarts weight loss and creates a healthy gap that gives your body a chance to regain homeostasis.
So what exactly defines successful fasting? Put simply, a successful fast means staying out of your bodys way for 12 hours or more. Rather than overloading with food every few hours, successful fasting gives your body the opportunity to reset, recalibrate, and burn fat.
The most effective intermittent fasting uses a 14 to 18-hour window of no-calorie intake followed by a 10 to 6-hour window of healthy eating.
Recommended Reading: Can Fasting Make You Lose Weight
Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem: