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intermittent fasting

How To Make Use Of Intermittent Fasting

Would you like to know what is Intermittent Fasting? Would you like to know whether Intermittent Fasting can help you build muscle and lose fat?

I have always been curious about intermittent fasting. I have heard a lot of bodybuilders and fitness experts claim that it can do miraculous things when you want to build muscle or lose fat.

So let’s get into the details whether intermittent fasting is really the magic pill that people claim it is.

What is intermittent fasting?

The name “intermittent fasting” is a bit misleading because it means that you need to fast intermittently or irregularly.

However, with intermittent fasting you actually fast for a certain period of time and then eat during the remaining period of time during the day.

For example, with an IF (intermittent fasting) method called Lean Gains you will be fasting for 16 hours and then eat during the remaining 8 hours of the day.

Similarly, in another IF method, you will be fasting for 20 hours and eat during the remaining 4 hours of the day.

Humans have been fasting in the past due to lack of easy availability of food when they had to hunt and gather food.

So, you can say that our bodies are adapted to support such a pattern of eating where we fast for some time and eat only for a limited time.

In fact, most of us today kind of fast when we sleep for 8 to 12 hours and only eat food after that. IF is something similar where we just extend the fasting time.

So a simple way to do this would be to skip your breakfast and directly eat lunch. This would extend your fasting period and could be considered as intermittent fasting.

With IF, you are allowed to drink calorie-free beverages like tea, coffee, drinks with sweeteners during the fasting period.

Some IF methods also allow certain snacks that could be consumed during the fasting period.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting adds simplicity to life

One benefit of intermittent fasting is that it makes life simpler. You can start your day with a glass of water and skip breakfast.

You can have just two meals in a day instead of three. This means you need to plan one less meal, prepare one less meal, and wash lesser dishes.

Intermittent fasting makes you live longer

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting will extend your life.

This is because starvation is supposed to put the body in survival mode and make it extend life.

However, starving is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Instead, you can use intermittent fasting that is shown to give the same benefits to the body as does a temporary starvation.

Intermittent fasting could be easier than dieting

For many of us, dieting sounds easy to achieve but when we start with a diet often time we get cravings and it becomes difficult to execute the diet.

Intermittent fasting is the opposite. It’s not easy for many people to imagine not eating food for 16 or even 24 hours.

However, IF is quite easy to implement and execute.

You don’t have to worry about eating three meals a day and can just eat one or two meals in the feeding window.

Your food budget will also improve as you tend to eat less with intermittent fasting.

Studies show that intermittent fasting is very useful for obese people who are looking to lose weight and works much better than regular dieting.

Can intermittent fasting help with weight loss?

Intermittent fasting can affect hormones and assist weight loss

Studies have shown that fasting lowers insulin levels. And lower insulin levels can assist in burning fat.

Fasting for short periods is also known to boost metabolism and this can help you in burning fat.

Fasting also helps to increase the levels of growth hormone that are crucial to building muscle and losing fat.

Note, however, that this is with a temporary fasting for less than 48 hours. If you fast for more than that time, then the metabolism actually slows down as your body tries to protect itself.

Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories and assist weight loss

The basis of weight loss is getting your body into a calorie deficit where it burns more calories than it consumes.

Intermittent fasting can help you with calorie reduction simply because you can only eat calories in a shorter period of time and many people won’t be able to over consume calories during this time.

Intermittent fasting is simpler than dieting and consistency can assist weight loss

As we have already seen, intermittent fasting can make your life simpler as you may need to eat fewer meals each day.

This makes it highly likely that unlike other diets you may be able to continue healthy eating with intermittent fasting for a consistently long period of time. And the key to success with any diet is to consistently follow it for a long period of time.

So IF can help you lose weight as you follow it consistently and keep eating healthy.

Can intermittent fasting help you build muscle?

Studies show that there is not much difference for building muscle when following a regular food schedule or using intermittent fasting.

While working out in a fasted state is known to help burn more calories, there is not much evidence to claim that intermittent fasting will actually help you build more muscle.

So it can be useful in the cutting phase when you are trying to lose fat while retaining your muscle.

Of course, working out in a fasted state means you have relatively lower energy levels and that might affect the amount of effort that you put into your workouts.

This could have an impact that you don’t build muscle as efficiently as you possibly can.

What are some of the intermittent fasting methods you can try?

There are several methods for intermittent fasting and different people choose different ones based on how comfortable they are with it.

Eat Stop Eat Method

The Eat Stop Eat is probably the simplest method when it comes to intermittent fasting.

Basically, you fast for 24 hours once or twice per week. It’s as simple as that.

So if you eat at 8pm today then your next meal should be at 8pm tomorrow. And this meal needs to be your regular meal. So you should not binge eat or try to treat yourself with lots of food just because you fasted.

Of course, you are allowed to drink as many non-calorie drinks as you please. So you can drink beverages like water, black coffee, tea, etc. as long as they don’t have calories in them.

The benefit of this method is that it’s extremely simple to follow.

You can also make it flexible so you can plan it for any days of the week. So in case you need to go to a social event, you can change the plan and fast on some other day.

It would be best that you plan the fasting day on one of your busy days as you will then not focus on the food and instead be more productive at your work.

Now this might not work for some people who just can’t see themselves on a 24 hour fast and they might suffer anxiety, cravings, and fatigue. However, for many people, this will just be temporary and as they continue with the fast this will improve.

Lean Gains Method

The Lean Gains Method is another simple intermittent fasting method where men fast for 16 hours and women for 14 hours per day.

This means that for example if you had a meal at 8pm today then the next meal you can have is at 10am tomorrow if you are a woman and at 12pm tomorrow if you are a man.

This makes it a simple method that you can follow every day where you can skip breakfast.

You can also have 2 meals a day instead of 3 if you wish. This will make the meals larger keeping you fuller and satisfied.

This is also a flexible method because you don’t need to worry about eating 5 to 6 meals a day and how it will affect you at a social event. You can have a large meal at the event as it’s completely allowed.

And it can be used whether you are looking to lose fat, build muscle or just do a body recomposition.

The Warrior Diet

The Warrior Diet method basically has you fasting for about 20 hours per day.

However, this is a partial fast because you are allowed to consume certain foods during the fasting period.

This includes beverages like coffee, tea, etc. You can also have small portions of raw fruits and vegetables or fresh fruit or vegetables juice. You can also have small portions of protein such as protein shakes, nuts, and eggs.

You are then supposed to eat a big meal in the night when the fast ends. However, the diet specifies the order in which you need to eat your foods such as fruits, vegetables, and protein.

The diet has benefits that you don’t need to eat for a long period of time and many people tend to have more energy when they are fasting.

It might also help if your goal is to lose weight rather than to build muscle.

And it might help you save money on food as you will be eating less food as compared to earlier.

This method is a little rigid because it specifies the order of the foods that you eat.

It can also be inconvenient when you want to go to a social event but need to be fasting during that period.

It might also be difficult for some people to eat a huge meal all at once especially at night.

Conclusion

Now you should know more about intermittent fasting and some of the intermittent fasting methods out there.

And this should help you decide whether it is something you need to consider for your goals of weight loss and muscle gain.

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References

If you would like to learn more about intermittent fasting and how it can help you, please check out some resources below:

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