Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why would I do Intermittent Fasting along with weightlifting?

I will briefly outline the benefits of IF in this post.

All the claims made are scientifically proven through empirical studies on humans.

* Increased insulin sensitivity, possibly resulting in superior nutrient partitioning as compared to traditional meal patterns; especially when combined with weightlifting. There are also several other health benefits, including improved blood lipids (scientifically proven).

* Possible to reduce bodyfat and increase lean mass through a cyclic calorie intake.

* No more obsessive thinking about food and worrying about eating every second hour.

* Very liberal approach to calorie intake in the eating window (8 hrs) and post-workout window; you can eat to your hearts content and still lose bodyfat.

* Increased mental focus, energy and productivity during the fast.

* Increased metabolism during the fast. Ironically, most people think it´s the other way around.

* Appetite suppression during the fast. This is particularily beneficial if your main priority is to lose bodyfat.

That being said, IF is not a universal solution to gaining lean mass and losing bodyfat. Just like there are people that prefer high carbohydrate diets, and loathe low carb diets, some people will prefer a higher meal frequency and more regular meal patterning. However, those that like IF rarely go back to their old habits of meal patterning and meal frequencies.


health_nutty said...

Nice idea. I'm just starting the same thing but for a different reason: life-extension. Intermittent fasting has good evidence that it is as effective for life extension as calorie restriction (without the downside of looking like a twig).
For the rat study they rats ate 50% of their normal calories every other day. The other days they eat more than normal. They were able to achieve the same life extension as the calorie restricted rats, but they ate as many total calories as the control (normal diet mouse).

jamie hale said...

In addition for athletes training high volume (skill and conditioning work):

Less food sitting in the stomach through out the day. For many athletes who train multiple times per day eating frequently is not practical and decreases performance.

Boxing with a belly full of food may not be the best idea,I have seen many combat athletes learn the hard way

jamie hale

Anonymous said...

@ health_nutty
Yeah I've read about this as well. Caloric restriction seems to benefit lifespan as well as muscle density. The study I saw compared an old rat who they "weight" trained its whole life (used electric shocks to stimulate muscle contractions), a old rat that lived normally, a young rat, an old rat that only recently began "weight" training, and an old rat that cut out 1/3 of its calories each day, without weight training.
The results were surprising: obviously the amount of muscle in the first three was as you expected: the one who weight trains the most has the most, as well as the young rat being right up there etc., but what was surprising was that the older rat that had done no weight training and only restricted calories had the most muscle mass of all of them.

Now, I'm no scientist, so I can't validate the methods used in this study, but my professor, who has done research his whole life was the one who was impressed by it and showed it to me. Seems there is a recurrent theme of caloric restriction being beneficial.

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Seve' said...

Since Jan 2010, I have started doing H.I.T based on Body By Science. Resulting loss of 5% bodyfat and 4 lbs overall weight. Recently, I discovered your blog and started with IF. Just yesterday, I did my weekly HIT workout in a fasted state, but I felt weak,and could not hit my previous Big5 reps. Of course when asked those gym trainers, I burned muscle instead of fat, since I was in 'starvation mode.' What did it really happen here?

Martin Berkhan said...

Consider that

1) What you ate on the day before may influence performance for fasted sessions.

2) You simply do not tolerate fasted training well.

Seve' said...

Martin, thanks for your quick reply. Let's just I don't tolerate fasted training well. If so, how should I approach my HIT as far as eating pre and post? Btw, doing IF daily till 16th hour does make sense, yet like IF@Eat,stop,eat suggest 24hour cycle. I am really enjoying my HIT weekly and fits my life style of working 6 days a week and playing golf on my 7th day. Any suggestions?
thank you.

Martin Berkhan said...


Have a pre-workout meal, post-workout meal and a third meal.


12-2 pm pre-wo meal
6-8 pm pwo meal
8-10 pm last meal

Anonymous said...

HI Martin

What are your thoughts on? itermittent fasting for losing weight/maintenace for a person that does not utilize any resistnace training?
(any difference to a person who loses weight/maintains weight with 'normal' meal frequency and does not follow a resistance training program).


Martin Berkhan said...

Yeah, it works. You'd obviously want to structure the meals differently (i.e no major carb refeed etc).

Anonymous said...

this is very good for you, ybg :)

Ahmed said...

I've personally experienced all these benefits at some level or another, great information Martin.

weight loss ebook said...

intermittent fasting is always good. I first got introduced to the idea when I was searching for diet plans on youtube, and I was sold to the idea of IF ever since. good scientific post, while most other people only give broscience about this topic!

My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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