Strength Training For Muscle Growth
What you eat is only a small part of the process to build or maintain muscle. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics emphasizes that you need to exercise. You should do muscle-strengthening activities that work all your major muscle groups your legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms twice a week through strength-training exercises like lifting weights, using resistance bands or doing calisthenics such as push-ups, pull-ups or sit-ups.
Remember that you’ll need proper nutrition to get you through these types of workouts. People who exercise in a fasted state risk worsening performance, particularly during high-intensity training, according to a January 2020 review published in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine.
However, the review also notes that exercising in a fasted state will increase fat breakdown in untrained people and may be good for weight loss. Still, those who exercise in a fasted state could also lose lean body mass along with fat. In this review, there is still a lot of unknowns regarding how fasting affects performance in regard to gender, trained status and performance outcomes.
Why Do Some Tests Require Fasting
Blood tests give doctors an understanding and baseline of ones health. However, when a patient consumes foods and/or drinks before a blood test, it can interfere with a bodys typical nutrient levels. For example, if a patient is hypoglycemic, eating foods before a blood test could spike their blood sugar levels, inhibiting the physicians ability to detect abnormalities and correctly diagnose their condition. It is difficult for the physician to distinguish whether it is a behavior that influences the results or if they are genuinely at a normal range .
Benefits: Mental Strength And Heart Health
Fasting these first few days can be difficult, but there are mental and physical benefits. Mentally, the act of fasting is an excellent way to exercise your willpower. Similar to the strength runners might feel after pushing their body to run that extra mile, people who choose to fast can feel strength as they fight through those natural urges to eat. Physically, there are incredible cleansing and heart health benefits taking place, too. As BMR lowers, fat in the blood starts to disappear as its metabolized for energy. This process promotes a healthy heart, and for some, improves cholesterol levels by boosting HDL levels.
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Autophagy Replacing Old Parts Of The Cell
The same process also happens at a sub-cellular level. You dont necessarily need to replace the entire car. Sometimes, you just need to replace the battery, throw out the old one and get a new one. This also happens in the cells. Instead of killing off the entire cell , you only want to replace some cell parts. That is the process of autophagy, where sub-cellular organelles are destroyed and new ones are rebuilt to replace it. Old cell membranes, organelles and other cellular debris can be removed. This is done by sending it to the lysosome which is a specialized organelle containing enzymes to degrade proteins.
Autophagy was first described in 1962 when researchers noted an increase in the number of lysosomes in rat liver cells after infusing glucagon. The Nobel prize winning scientist Christian de Duve coined the term autophagy. Damaged sub cellular parts and unused proteins become marked for destruction and then sent to the lysosomes to finish the job.
One of the key regulators of autophagy is the kinase called mammalian target of rapamycin . When mTOR is activated, it suppresses autophagy, and when dormant, it promotes it.
Switching Up Your Fasting Plan May Be Beneficial As Well
Some experts find that people’s fasting results eventually stall, in which case it helps to switch things up. “Increase your fasting time to a few days a week or do a longer fast one day a week,” suggests Pedre. “In the end, what works best is mixing it up for your body and keeping it guessing when food is coming.”
To learn more about what IF approach may be right for you, check out our other expert-powered articles about the different types of intermittent fasting plans, the ultra-popular 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule, and the fasting-mimicking diet. Also, be sure you know exactly what breaks a fast to ensure you’re getting the maximum possible benefit.
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What Should I Eat With 20/4 Intermittent Fasting
Now that you know how to effectively follow the intermittent fasting 20:4 rules, your next step is to make a meal plan. Meal planning is an easy way to ensure that you always have meals at the ready for whenever you break your fast. This ensures that you always have healthy meals or snacks, which prevents you from consuming unhealthy food options.
Since intermittent fasting is an eating plan and not a diet, people do not have any strict regulations on what kinds of foods or drinks they should eat during the feeding window. However, the warrior diet stands out as it offers some guidelines on how to eat. Your meals should make up a balanced diet, which is a diet that gives your body enough nutrients to work effectively, protecting itself against disease, infection, fatigue, and low performance .
With that in mind, here are some foods that should be included in your 20/4 intermittent fasting meal plan or grocery list. Not only will these foods help with your weight loss goals, but they are also good for your overall health.
Benefits: Personal Goals And Growth
If you make it this far, the benefit becomes personal. Fasting, especially beyond the first seven days, takes steadfast dedication. What you get out of the fast in these later stages can be a culmination of all the earlier stages or an accomplishment of a personal health goal. For some, it is weight loss, for others, it is a strategy to heal a particular health complication.
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How Often Can You Do Intermittent Fasting
This also up to you. There are no set rules on how often you can do intermittent fasting for. You can have an initial phase where you hit your goals after a couple of weeks. Then have a break for say 3 months and eat the routine way for the 3 months.
Then, re-start intermittent fasting again for another 3 months, have a break for 3 months and do the same thing again.
You can use a 2 month ON, 2 months OFF model, 4 months ON, 4 months OFF . Do this repeatedly. No rigid rules about how often you can fast intermittently.
If the question is about how often to fast during the week, it would depend on the IF plan you adopt. The 5:2 requires you to fast 2 days a week . Alternate day fasting is as the name suggests, every other day.
The 2 days you fast in the 5:2 plan are not actually a total fast. It only requires you to hold back on your calories to 500 Calories for those 2 days.
The true 24-hour fast may require you to do this twice or three times a week, if you can handle that frequency.
If you cant, even one day a week is okay until you get comfortable with it and you can then try 2 days a week.
Even one day a week is certainly better than what you are currently doing. It will still work. Its just going to take longer.
So, if you want to know how many weeks to do intermittent fasting, all I can say is theres no one size fits all approach.
Mushroom Spinach & Potato Pie
This super easy and delicious mushroom, spinach and potato pie is perfect for meal prep or a family dinner. It is also meat-free and vegetarian-friendly.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 400g baby spinach
- 500g mushroom
- 300g cooked new potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 300g each green beans and broccoli, steamed
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 heaped tbsp light crème fraîche
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 sheets filo pastry
Nutritional value of 1 serving:
Calories: 215, carbs: 29g, fats: 8g, protein: 9g
Why You Can’t Eat Or Drink Before Surgery
Jennifer Schwartz, MD, is board-certified in general surgery with a subspecialty certification in bariatric surgery. She serves as an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, and practices in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
You may have been told not to eat or drink for eight to 12 hours before surgery. And that’s a firm rule: No food or drink means no food or drink.
Don’t snack or take even a sip of water. If you do, your surgery may be canceled or postponed.
Many surgeries are scheduled for the early morning. This means most of your eight to 12 hour fast will be at night while you are asleep.
You can stop eating around dinner time the night before. Don’t take anything by mouth from the time you wake up until your surgery is over.
Some procedures require a bowel prep. This is a process that removes food and stool from your digestive tract. In most cases, though, you will just have to avoid food and fluids after the specified time.
This article discusses some of the reasons why you can’t eat or drink before surgery. It also offers suggestions for what to eat before you begin your fast.
May Help Protect Against Alzheimers
Note that these results are from research done on animals and not humans. In 2017, a study posted online revealed that intermittent fasting, in general, may help protect against Alzheimers disease through the restoration of Aquaporin-4 Polarity . Later in 2018, another study suggested that intermittent fasting protects against this disease through the increase of lipoproteins to the brain .
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It May Be Difficult For Some People To Stick To
One of the most obvious limitations of the Warrior Diet is that it restricts the time during which you may eat substantial meals to a four-hour period.
This can be difficult to stick to, especially when participating in normal social activities like going out to breakfast or lunch.
While some people may feel great when consuming very small amounts of calories over a 20-hour period, others may find that this way of eating is not ideal for their lifestyle.
Why Do I Need To Fast Before My Blood Test
If your health care provider has told you to fast before a blood test, it means you should not eat or drink anything, except water, for several hours before your test. When you eat and drink normally, those foods and beverages are absorbed into your bloodstream. That could affect the results of certain types of blood tests.
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It Could Lead To Negative Side Effects
The Warrior Diet may lead to side effects, some of which could be severe.
Potential side effects include (
- Hormonal imbalance
- Weight gain
In addition, many health professionals argue that dieters will not get enough nutrients when following an intermittent fasting plan like the Warrior Diet.
However, as long as healthy, nutrient-dense foods are chosen and calorie needs are met, nutrient needs can be covered by carefully planning your food choices when following the Warrior Diet.
The Warrior Diet is inappropriate for many people, can be hard to stick to and may lead to negative side effects such as fatigue, insomnia and hormonal imbalance.
Hofmekler suggests that anyone starting the Warrior Diet should follow an initial three-week, three-phase plan to improve the bodys ability to utilize fat for energy.
What Are The Benefits Of Fasting
Fasting can provide significant health benefits, for a variety of health issues, symptoms and conditions. Because fasting works to repair and heal on a cellular level, research suggests that it can help conditions like obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, some types of cancer, Alzheimers disease, arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, IBS and chronic or autoimmune conditions.
Fasting can help with the following:
- Stimulating growth hormones secretion by 1300%
- Triggering autophagy, ie. cleaning up of damaged cells
- Stem cells generation
- Normalizing ghrelin levels, aka the hunger hormone
- Reducing inflammation and lessen free radical damage
- Lowering triglyceride levels
- Boosting brain power by stimulating BDNF by 400%
- Supporting the treatment and prevention of cancer
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What Are The Dos And Donts Of Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to the dos and donts of intermittent fasting, the rules are fairly flexible. But achieving your goal does require you to do certain things that will improve your chances of getting to the promised land.
Use these dos and donts as tips for intermittent fasting as well.
Okay here are some of the dos of intermittent fasting:
1. Do your exercise or workout close to your feeding time. This has been shown to be very effective producing really good results especially for people who want to build muscle. Some people use BCAAs or Bang energy drinks to break their fast.
2. The follow up to that is that you should have your main meal after your workout or exercise routine. You may have another meal afterwards. But must be within the eating window of the intermittent fasting plan.
3. You can take bcaa supplement just before your exercise. Its not going to hurt your results. If anything, it is actually a good thing as bcaas contain essential amino acids. BCAAs help with muscle building and muscle bulk maintenance. See article on the advantages of using BCAAs.
4. On fast days, one way of coping is to have warm beverages. But absolutely calorie-free sweeteners only are allowed in your beverage. This is particularly important in the evenings. The time you will be most tempted to cheat.
6. Having proteins on fast days can also be a good idea. White meat like Turkey, Chicken, Goose or Broad beans for vegetarians can let you hold up the fast more effectively.
Chow Down In Sync With Your Circadian Clock
This is not the first research to show that the timing of meals can make a difference to our waistlines. As we’ve reported, a study several years back found that dieters who ate their main meal of the day before 3 p.m. lost about 5 pounds more than people who ate a dinner meal late in the evening.
And as scientists learn more, it’s clear that our bodies are timekeeping machines. Not only do we have a master clock in our brains, but there are also clocks in all the organs of our body from the pancreas to the stomach and liver.
Daylight is a main cue to reset our master clock each day, but it’s the first bite of food we take in the morning that may be an important cue to reset other clocks in our organs.
“When the timing of meals does not match with the sleep-wake cycle well, there’s a disconnect between the different clocks that we have in basically all the cells of our body,” Frank Scheer, director of the Medical Chronobiology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told us several years back.
“When the clocks in our body are out of sync,” our bodies don’t work as efficiently, and this may lead us to store more fat, explains Panda. “And over a long period of time, that can lead to Type 2 diabetes, obesity and increased risk for heart diseases,” Panda says.
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Is Stress Test Done On Empty Stomach
If you are exercising on an empty stomach, you should do so. In order to prevent aspiration of contents into your lungs, it is best to have an empty stomach in case of complications. It is possible that your doctor will recommend you avoid food and drink after midnight if the test is taking place in the morning.
How Many Days A Week Is Fasting Recommended
Intermittent fasting is most effective for losing weight if practiced daily. Although, fasting is never easy due to peoples job shifts, extensive travel, or hectic work schedules. These people may find it difficult to practice intermittent fasting daily and may want to fast on alternate days or at least two times a week.
Extreme fasting techniques and lifestyles, such as fasting for 24 hours one day a week or fasting without drinking water, are not recommended.
On average, if you want to lose weight and shed one pound per week, you have to eat 500 calories less daily .
The two times a week method
- You restrict calorie intake in 24 hours to 500 for two days a week.
- During the other five days, you resume your normal eating diet .
- On the fasting days, you must have high-fiber and high-protein foods to keep the body full and the calorie count low.
- Make sure there is a gap of at least one day between the two fasting periods.
- This method does not have any fixed fasting and eating window.
The alternate-day fasting method
- You restrict calorie intake to about 25 percent of your normal intake, irrespective of the fasting hours.
- On non-fasting days, resume your regular diet.
- Alternate-day fasting may have harmful consequences in the long run.