Watch Out For The Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting
Your sex, stress level, and age can increase the chances of IF side effects like insomnia, fatigue, and poor recovery. This is especially true for intense fasting schedules like alternate day fasting.
Side effect #1: Intense fasting can disrupt sex hormones.
If estrogen is your dominant sex hormone , you may be more sensitive to energy intake than someone who has testosterone as their dominant sex hormone . Piling on too many stressorsextreme exercise coupled with extreme dieting, for examplecan lead to a cascade of problems, including:
- mood disorders and mental health problems
- thinking and memory problems
In Dr. Scott-Dixons case, too-frequent fasting combined with too-heavy training as well as general life stress and an anxious temperament resulted in estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, LH, FSH, and cortisol levels that were effectively zero. I was in my mid-30s and menopausal, she says. Ive seen this situation in many of my female clientssome as young as their mid-20s.
As a result, most women will want to gravitate toward the gentler forms of IF and be careful about how they pair those options with a fitness program.
Side effect #2: IF is a stressor, which can make you feel run down.
If someones under a lot of pressure, a gentler form of fasting is probably best. If you attempt an advanced fasting schedule such as ADF, youll want to give your body plenty of TLC on your fasting daysand schedule exercise for your eating days.
Intermittent Fasting: Cardio Vs Strength Training
The research is inconclusive when it comes to the impact of fasting on exercise including cardio and strength.
Since more extensive research has proven the benefit of adequate nutrition to help build muscle, its best to adjust intermittent fasting patterns so that strength-related workouts are done during feeding windows.
Final Thoughts: Intuitive Exercise
Listening to your body and how exercise and eating habits make you feel is the most important thing you can do. For instance, if you find that you feel fatigued during fasted workouts, it may help to shift your eating window and have a bit of food before you get fit. If youre the type who doesnt like food in their stomach during a workout, light lifting before eating may be best for you.
What it really comes down to is what pushes you to work hard, but makes you feel your best. Just keep in mind that lifting weights during the window of eating times will provide the best results.
Recommended Reading: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting
An Increase In Human Growth Hormone = More Muscle
Human growth hormone is essential for your body to repair and regenerate tissue. It also helps you build GH helps you build muscle and recover after exercise. Your production of this crucial hormone will typically increase after a workout.
There is an ideal ratio between insulin and human growth hormone that promotes optimal health. Exercise helps to improve this ratio by increasing the amount of GH in your system. Having high insulin and low GH leads to increased fat deposition in the body. When you have low GH, it can slow down your post-exercise recovery, and it can be more challenging for you to build lean muscle.
Studies showwhen you exercise in a fasted state, it can dramatically increase your HGH levels. If you practice shorter fasting periods you may not provoke a profound response, but the effects can still be impressive.
Is It Safe To Work Out While Fasting
First note that there are many different methods for IF, including the 5:2 program, which involves restricting your calorie consumption to 25% of your calorie needs two days a week and eating normally the rest of the days. On the 16:8 diet, you eat during an eight-hour window and fast for the remaining 16 hours. While you’re fasting, you can drink water, black coffee, and tea, but everything else is off limits.
“It is safe to follow IF and be physically active, but some things are more important to be aware of, especially at the beginning when you are becoming keto adaptivemeaning your body is learning how to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs,” says Wendy Scinta, M.D., president of the Obesity Medicine Association and member of Prevention’s medical review board. “Hypoglycemia initially can lead to increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and poor athletic performance, but this improves as your body learns how to run on ketones instead of glucose,” she says.
“Some people don’t do well when they eat and work out, but it’s important to have energy,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., creator of BetterThanDieting.com, and author of Read It Before You Eat It – Taking You from Label to Table. “If you’re on the 5:2 program, you’re consuming only 25% of your calorie needs two days a week, so I would reserve exercise for the other days of the week when you’re eating normally,” she advises.
Recommended Reading: Can I Drink Alcohol While Intermittent Fasting
Is There A Muscle Loss During Fasting
While working out during a fasted state can make your body a crazy fat burner, it can also decrease your strength. In case your main goal is to lose weight and you dont care about muscles, then you dont need to worry about anything.
In case you want to maintain muscle, you really need to make sure that your workouts are short and low-intensity. Otherwise, you might start seeing a decrease of muscle mass.
Is Intermittent Fasting Better For Weight Loss
If youre reading this article, theres a good chance you want to lose weight and are hoping intermittent fasting can make it easier.
Well, I mentioned above, research clearly shows that intermittent fasting isnt inherently better for weight loss than traditional dieting.
That said, some people do lose weight faster on an intermittent fasting diet than a traditional one.
The reason for this is simple: IF helps them control their caloric intake and prevent overeating. This, in turn, helps them lose weight faster.
What about losing fat, though? you might be wondering. And youre rightthats an important distinction to make.
We dont want to simply lose weightwe want to lose fat and not muscle.
And that brings us to the biggest criticism leveled against intermittent fasting in the context of bodybuilding
Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?
If this style of dieting sounds like a great way to disintegrate lean mass, I understand.
I used to think the same thing.
In fact, I once believed that I had to eat protein every few hours or I would lose muscle and wreck my metabolism.
To understand why, lets look at what needs to happen for your body to burn muscle for energy.
Glucose, or blood sugar, is a great source of energy for your cells and organs. Your brain particularly likes it, using upward of 25% of total body glucose.
Well get to that in a minute
You May Like: Does Pickle Juice Break Autophagy
Summary How Should You Be Exercising In The Morning And Fasting
Fundamentally, the answer to this question is going to be different for everyone. You are going to have to work out what your goals are and what you can incorporate into your training regime. Despite claims that immediate post-exercise nutritional intake is essential to maximize muscle gains, evidence-based support for such an anabolic window of opportunity is far from definitive. It comes down to self-experimentation and what is realistic for you.
Intermittent Fasting And Exercise Tips
Ultimately, successfully completing your fast and exercising consistently are both important. The following tips will assist with combining both successfully.
SAFETY TIP: If you feel light-headed at any moment when working out. Stop. This may happen when you first start Intermittent Fasting because your body needs to adjust to the change. Its more likely to occur if youre used to eating prior to working out and you complete high-intensity workouts.
To prevent feeling light-headed, start with low-intensity workouts and work your way up to high-intensity workouts as you get used to fasting.
NUTRITION TIP: Eat enough protein when you exercise. If you work out during your fasting period and still have a couple of hours to go before you break the fast, have some bone broth. Its high in protein and, depending on the fasting protocol you follow, youre not considered to be breaking the fast.
MEAL TIP: If you feel ravenous on the days you exercise, feel free to add a meal. Lets say youre only eating twice a day. Its okay to add a third meal until you get used to the workout/IF combination. You will still get the benefits of both.
Lift To Keep Your Muscle
An IF dietlike any other diet that restricts calories below maintenance levelcan lead to loss of muscle mass if youre not careful, says Poli.
The antidote? Strength training. 2-3 sessions a week ensures that youll preserve your muscle mass while stripping away fat. Just be sure youre getting enough protein, and dont let your calorie intake dip too low.
How To Best Time Exercise While Intermittent Fasting
What is the best time to workout when following Intermittent fasting?
Exercising at the end of your fasting period would be ideal.
Not only will it help you pass those last hours of fasting when you are eager to get some food more comfortably, but it will also help you to maximize your weight-loss potential.
What about Intermittent Fasting and working out in the morning?
But what if working out just before breaking the fast doesnt fit your schedule? Could you workout in the morning when you still have 4-5 hours left until you can break your fasting window?
Undoubtedly, it is going to be tough to exercise on a fasted stomach and still go a few hours without any food. But believe us, its possible, and you can get used to it. Weve seen this over and over again with our 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Challenge takers who chose to combine intermittent fasting and working out in the morning.
To ensure a smooth transition into working out with this pattern, you should keep it easy for the first few weeks. Once you feel your body is getting habitual, you can push more with your workouts.
An important thing to keep in mind while combining intermittent fasting and working out is to drink a lot of water, ideally about one-half to one gallon of water. If you sweat a lot, you could also try adding an electrolyte tablet, particularly if you are combining intermittent fasting with working out in the morning, while you are still fasting.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Unsubscribe From Dofasting
Can You Build Muscle While Following If
Research shows that combining an IF diet with a regular exercise routine can produce greater weight loss results than fasting alone. But the reality is IF isn’t the most effective nutrition plan for building muscle mass, so if that’s your goal, you want to consider following a different diet. “IF has a greater tendency to decrease your workload due to muscular fatigue. But you can build muscle if you train intensely enough and time your workouts properly, along with recovery days,” Bacheyie says. “Loading your feeding time with protein will also help.”
How Your Body Reacts To If Combined With Different Types Of Exercise
In a nutshell: both intermittent fasting and aerobic exercise reduce your blood sugar, whether you practiced them separately or combined. But, some forms of exercise, such as HIIT , can cause an immediate rise in your blood sugar, because it prompts your liver to release stored glycogen. So, if you have diabetes, its vital you pay attention to your body regardless of what form of exercise you choose to use.
Also Check: What Is 14 10 Intermittent Fasting
Cardio While Intermittent Fasting
The hormonal benefits you reap while exercising in a fasted state have to do with the depleted glycogen stores that occur when you fast. Doing cardio while intermittent fasting is OK, but your performance will hinge on how fat-adapted your body is . If youre new to fasting and exercise, you can expect your performance to drop a little it can take up to 6 months for some athletes to fully adapt their endurance to this new fuel source. Ie. If youre a competing athlete, and your race results are your primary goal, dont switch to fasted training a couple of weeks before a competition.
If you are doing cardio in a fasted state, avoid extending the fast post-workout, and opt instead to re-fuel right when you finish.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Drinking water can help you to lose weight if you drink it instead of other beverages that contain calories.
Drinking cold water may also be a way to speed up your metabolism. Researchers have found that drinking 1.5 liters of water per day can raise resting metabolism, leading to a weight loss of about 5 pounds in a year.
Water can also help fill you up so you dont feel so hungry. Studies show that drinking water a half an hour before you eat can help you to eat less.
Also Check: Intermittent Fasting Drinking Alcohol
Can Intermittent Fasting Work Without Exercise
In principle, intermittent fasting can work without exercise since it sets the hormonal course for weight loss and improved health.
Ultimately, obesity is more a hormonal imbalance than a caloric one, as the world-renowned neuroendocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig concludes .
In this context, the storage hormone insulin in our body represents the crux of the matter. When insulin levels are high, the hormone blocks the enzyme that breaks down body fat .
Moreover, scientists can already predict about 75% of possible gains and losses in overweight people using insulin levels .
Those unhealthily high insulin levels that plague us today have two primary causes:
- High-carbohydrate diets
- Constant eating
Intermittent fasting addresses the latter problem by restoring a natural balance between eating and fasting.
To finally burn stored body fat as a source of energy, the carbohydrate stores in the liver and muscle mass must first be emptied.
In addition to intermittent fasting, working out also helps to do so. Accordingly, sport increases the energy demand during intermittent fasting, which causes the glycogen stores to deplete even faster.
That is why sport in a fasted state can significantly accelerate fat burning. Those who do not eat for a long time and practice sports on an empty stomach thus increase fat burning effectiveness.
Nevertheless, intermittent fasting can work even without exercise, as long as you do not constantly fill the carbohydrate stores.
Second A Cheap Option
Early in the post, I mentioned a morning workout plan called Max T3. These are incredibly short workouts that are high intensity with zero rest. You can buy them for $19.99 at maxt3.com.
Outside of the workouts on Beachbody On Demand, these are the most practical and effective workouts I have ever experienced. Youll achieve great results in a fraction of the time by utilizing metabolic conditioning.
According to MaxLiving, the company behind the Max T3 program, metabolic conditioning consists of short bursts of high-intensity exercise. This type of exercise takes much less time and stimulates processes in your body that continue to burn fat for up to 48 hours after your workout!
I followed this program in 2011 and I tracked solid results. The workouts are intense, which is exactly why they work.
Also Check: Is 119 High For Fasting Blood Sugar
It May Improve Endurance
When you practice cardio exercise, your endurance is only as good as your bodys ability to deliver necessary oxygen to the right cells.
Endurance training can help increase this process of oxygen delivery. The measure of this is the maximal oxygen uptake, often referred to as VO2-Max.
VO2-Max measures the maximum amount of oxygen your body uses per minute during an endurance workout when youre pushing yourself hard.
Increasing this value allows your body to take in more oxygen and deliver it to your muscles. This way, you can improve your performance during cardio workouts.
One study compared the VO2-Max values of people in a fasted and fed state. The group that had cereal for breakfast performed significantly worse than those who ate nothing after getting up.
At the start of the study, all participants had average VO2-Max values of about 3.5 liters per minute . After ergometer training, VO2 max increased by about 10 percent in the fasted group.
In contrast, the fed group saw only a 2.5 percent improvement in VO2 max .
In short, intermittent fasting allows people to increase their maximal oxygen uptake through exercise significantly better than those who eat breakfast or eat before a workout.
What Ramadan Can Teach Us About Intermittent Fasting
During the holy month of Ramadan, observant Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset for about 30 days. The fast-breaking evening meal is often a big dinner.
Over the years, researchers have studied observant Muslims in an effort to find out how fasting affects a range of outcomes, including athletic performance. As it turns out, Muslim athletes tend to do worse in the early weeks of a Ramadan fasting schedule, research finds.1
How someone performs depends on several factors:
- The individual athlete: Just as some athletes can train harder and longer than others, some also adapt to fasting more easily and more quickly than others. Hello, genetics.
- Recovery and nutrition: Adequate rest, sleep, hydration, and nutrition can all help the body to adapt more quickly to IF and heavy training.
- The fasting schedule: Less intense types of fasting pair better with heavy exercise than more intense styles of fasting.
- The type of exercise. Fasting is more likely to negatively affect more intense training. .
The following activities generally dont pair well with IF. If any of these are your jam, you can probably expect your performance to suffer as your body adapts to this new way of eating:
- activities that require intense effort
- speed endurance, such as repeated short, intense runs in soccer
- repeated power-explosive movements like jumping
- some types of strength and work capacity
But its not all bad news.
Pairing exercise with IF can boost results, too.
Read Also: Is Fasting Necessary For A1c Test