Intermittent fasting is probably the best way to lose weight. Excess body fat is best released by providing good insulin sensitivity and good energy metabolism – two things that can be achieved through intermittent fasting, free of charge and without complications.
In general, the limited intake of calories is health-promoting, as opposed to unlimited calorie intake. For example, restricting calories, consuming fewer calories per day than the daily requirement, is a proven effective method of significantly increasing your own life expectancy while decreasing your weight.
However, the calorie restriction strategy has the significant disadvantage that it can lead to low bone mass and reduced immune function (apart from other “little things” such as constant freezing and concentration problems).
Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, has none of these detrimental side effects, as the amount of calories ingested remains as high as if you were not fasting. The calories are only taken concentrated at other times.
This has been demonstrated not only in animal studies of intermittent fasting but also in human studies as experimental subjects.
How long a fasting period should last at least
The benefits of intermittent fasting include not only increased fat burning but also a more efficient metabolism and more muscle in the long term. Of course, these advantages can not be achieved without effort. So how long does it take to fast in order to achieve the full effect of fasting?
The answer to this question is unfortunately inconclusive, as that would be too difficult, not to make clear and comprehensive study. Therefore studies on this topic are not only difficult to perform and therefore rare, but are often done on animals only and not on humans.
Nevertheless, based on the available data, it is possible to develop a fairly good approximation.
By observing the changes in insulin content in the blood over the period of a longer fasting period, it was possible to ascertain that particularly favorable values are reached after 18 to 24 hours without food intake.
With an 18-hour fasting phase you will be able to take advantage of most if not all the benefits of fasting. However, the fasting phase should not be much shorter, because the condition in which the body benefits from fasting must last for a certain period of time.
Balancing intermittent fasting with strength training
It is clear that enough protein has to be added after every strenuous exercise to support muscle synthesis, thus allowing muscle growth and muscle recovery.
This takes place approximately up to 24 hours after a training session. Accordingly, one should in the 24 hours after training take in enough high-quality protein, exactly at least 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
This is easily possible with a balanced diet by eating enough meat, eggs, yogurt and other dairy products. In addition, protein intake can also be very well supported by protein shakes from whey protein.
Accordingly, no fasting is possible in these 24 hours after training, if you do not want to hinder the body in his muscle building efforts.
In order to be able to use the full advantages of both power sports and intermittent fasting, sufficient time must be planned in advance for both.
An exemplary training and fasting plan
Each person responds differently to their workouts and not everyone trains with the same intensity. Usually – given a high level of training intensity and appropriate exhaustion – it is definitely recommended to stay away from fasting after training for two days and to consume enough protein via food and protein shakes.
With the conclusion of the dinner on the second day after the training, one can calmly begin his fasting phase without having to worry that the body needs more protein for muscle synthesis.
For example, if the last meal was taken at 7pm, the next day would be exactly 18 hours by 1pm the next day. This means that you just have to skip a breakfast to fast long enough for the time.
Also, it is only necessary to abstain from food in addition to calorie-containing drinks such as juice. Water can and should be consumed in sufficient quantities. Furthermore, tea and coffee (unsweetened of course) are not a problem too as they do not interrupt the fasting phase as well.
Rather, tea, especially green and black tea, or coffee are even recommended, as they accelerate the physiological processes of fasting even further.
Those who train more often than all three days, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday, of course have less time for an extended fasting phase, if you want to start only 48 hours after training.
But it is also possible to train within a fasting phase. However, everyone should know their own exercise limits and also finish the fasting phase after the training session to consume sufficient protein for muscle synthesis.
Fasting for muscle building – fasting increases the secretion of growth hormones
You may be thinking about whether it is not harmful to build muscle, by not eating for a long time.
It has always been the wisdom in weight training circles that you have to feed the body every three hours at the latest, otherwise you will be in catabolic states and can slowly say goodbye to your muscles. Which, of course, is a nonsensical assumption.
In fact, increased growth hormone (IGH) is released by fasting phases from the body. This not only means that existing muscle is protected from degradation, but that even additional muscle mass can be formed; the same applies to bone mass. And a sturdy skeleton is as essential to a healthy body as it is to have enough muscle mass.
So you should get rid of the idea that only constant training and uninterrupted eating can lead to muscle growth and stronger bones. Rather, a fasting day is probably even more conducive to muscle toning than an extra day of training.
Strength training is one of the best measures one can take for one’s health. Increased muscle mass and more efficient metabolism are not only responsible for a better lifestyle in particular but also for a longer, healthy life in general.
To be able to use all the benefits of strength training, a sufficient intake of proteins must not be neglected. Especially immediately after training sessions.
For longer periods, from 18 to 24 hours or even longer, fasting, as well as strength training for good health is more than recommended. With a bit of planning, both regular weight training and fasting can be reconciled.
Those who practice both not only increase their muscle mass but are on the way to the best of health and can be sure to beat the nowadays rampant diseases of civilization.
What are your experiences with intermittent fasting and strength training through weightlifting. Feel free to share them with all of us in the comment box below.