T Nation

Intermittent Fasting


I wanted to see if anyone has tried IF before. For the record, I have - with great results. I'd like to hear your thoughts (or sarcastic sassmouth).


I have not tried it, but I have heard of others doing really well with it.




I dunno I used to skip meals all the time back in highschool and I looked more like Kevin Spacey than Kevin Levorone. It seems to go against every basic rule for bodybuilding nutrition.


I have tried it and it works great..i just have to make sure to adjust it according to my needs at the time of the fast, but it makes me look vascular like nothing else.


I did my google search and I don't really understand how this works to suit our needs. How long do you fast and how does this not tap into your muscle? I'm not doubting it, I'm sure it works fine for models trying to drop weight for the runway, but I just want to hear how this would be beneficial to a bodybuilder.


Fasting suppresses insulin response and moves the body towards ketosis, which is awesome for body comp. If you are already low-carb (you probably should be), then the breakdown of muscle caused by the fasting will be minimal. In fact, I tend to gain lean body mass when I do a fasting phase. To respond to skank:

There are tons of ways to fast. You just have to make sure that the end result is fully leaving the "fed" state. This means something like 18- 36 hours. A lot of IF people will do 24 on 24 off (no food, just water)for a week at a time and sometimes longer. Sure, you'll drop weight. But, unless you're already super lean and veinier than my veener, I'm sure this is a good thing. The weight will likely be fat - if done properly.

This does not mean skipping meals. That is stupid. That is a really good way to get skinny-fat. IF means getting your body to fully digest what's in the belly and to produce a fair amount of HGH. A heavy-weight fasted workout is great for HGH. However, I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU TRY FOR A PR OR SOME CRAZY CROSSFIT-LIKE DEATH-CIRCUIT. YOU WILL PASS OUT. I KNOW THIS FROM EXPERIENCE.

Anyway, I met Kevin Spacey once. Besides being a creepy pedophile (I'll explain that one later) he actually looked pretty good.


For the record, I want to put me schlong into your profile picture. I read the article. Very good. I expected prof x. to come in an shit all over this thread. I really like the responses, thus far.

So it says the studies are inconclusive but lean towards a conclusion that IF is beneficial. I guess that, if you are on this site, then you are likely pretty healthy. Thus, the best way to see if IF works for you is to try it. It wont kill you. It wont make you skinny - I promise.

...I am seeing that 'Celebration of the Bulk Belly' has popped up on most popular pages. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to harass them.


can you give a breakdown of how you handle a week with IF? assuming you're already low-carb - calories each day before/after the fast, workout choice, etc?

or is it not that planned, just, "Hey i think I'm not going to eat today"?


I love Alan he is fantastic! Great link.


Now, on the Anabolic Diet, I'll restrict the window in which I eat. So, I eat from, say, 11am - 7pm. I found this helps my mood and digestion while eating the huge amount of calories the diet prescribes (4200) for me. I do 2-carb up days on Sat/ Sun and will stop eating (everything) by like 8 pm on sunday and won't eat again until 11am on monday.

The restrictions get tiresome. So, I'll take a week off and eat ad libidum.

That said, IF needs to be catered to the individual. Thus, I think that you should research the basic premise. http://www.theiflife.com/ is a great resource.

As for workout choice:
3-on working on primary lifts (sqt, dl, olys), 1-off,
1-maxout day in one exercise or maybe go climb something or, hell, another day off.

I feel no need to limit myself as I never go deep into the fasting state. The few (like 2) times I've done longer than 24 hrs I just go to the gym to bump HGH - maybe some weeny isolation shit.
Hope that helps. I highly recommend IF - for health and hypertrophy.


Although the idea alone has some pretty attractive thoughts behind it; I would apt to go on a keto style diet before that. At least allowing myself to eat everyday...

I'd like to hear from people (in more detail) on how this is going for them. Not that I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and do it tomorrow...but it's an interesting concept that I wouldn't mind learning about more.


I have used IF for a while now, and I eat every day. I once went a full day (waking to sleeping) without eating to see what it was like, and (no surprise) it was shitty. Anyone who suggests or claims to do that regularly has no interest in building muscle.

I've eaten pretty low-carb for the last few years, but I don't know if that has anything to do with the way I've reacted to IF. Basically, I'll fast for 18-24 hours once or twice a week, going entirely by feel. Sometimes it's unplanned (no time for breakfast today, guess I'll fast) but usually I do it on purpose and intentionally eat more than normal before starting. Then I'll stop eating after lunch and not start again until breakfast (~20 hours) or lunch (~24 hours) the next day. If I skip breakfast, I'll have three or four meals by the time I go to bed, and if I know I'm fasting in the evening, I'll have three meals in the morning, usually.

The key, for me, is that it's always controlled. I never binge on junk after a fast just because I'm hungry, and I also never fast so long that I only eat 1000 calories in a day. I try to keep my calories pretty consistent day to day, just moving them to the morning or afternoon as appropriate.

I have to say that I like it a lot. Since I've started, my back, shoulders and arms have all gotten bigger and my legs have, at worst, not gotten smaller, while I've been cutting fat. I haven't had any trouble working out fasted, either, since I've gotten used to it, though I mostly workout fed. I do like doing a sprint workout or some other type of HIIT before I break my fast, but I've had some great "real" workouts fasted as well.

I started doing it because I was curious, really, and I won't stop unless I find that I can't put on any more muscle, which doesn't feel like it'll happen anytime soon. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but if you're curious, it can work if you're reasonable about it. The iflife link posted earlier is, in fact, pretty good.


surprisingly good for maintaining steady energy for everyday tasks sand clear thinking

as for having energy for training and muscle building, hell no


Not true. Think about how much energy is actually in your body. I'm gaining weight now (steady 2 lbs or so a week) and still fast, though infrequently. My body comp has gotten really good since I began IF. Even at 4k+ a day, my BF is under control and my energy is better than it has ever been. Again, I would not recommend trying for a PR deep into the fasted stated, but any type of reasonable workout will be just fine.


dude you didn't even get the fun part of not sleeping- around 72 hours of being up you start to hallucinate pretty vividly. or at least i did.


I don't think that fasting and staying awake are the same thing at all, though that does sound interesting, if unhealthy and unpleasant. I also don't think I could stay awake for 72 hours with only hallucinations for motivation.

Not if you do it right. It's possible to fast intermittently and consume a surplus of calories. Bear in mind that by intermittent, we're talking about once or twice a week, not Warrior Diet one meal a day stuff.


I have never made it 72 hours without sleep... I think my record is somewhere in the 60's.

I was a zombie, and my body kept trying to fall asleep for little 2-10 minute naps while I was in class.


IF is something I considered trying, but I think first I'm going to try a plain 24 hour fast and see how that feels. I've never been an entire day without food, and I want to know what it's like. After reading Pimpbot's thread (I forget the name) it sounds like something worth trying once.


Tell a starving person that you're fasting for whatever retarded reason, and they'll smack you in the face.

I personally feel like crap if I go a day without eating enough food, let alone fasting.


Keep in mind that going the whole day without fasting is way more than 24 hours. When you wake up, you've already gone ~10 hours without eating, and at the end of the day that's another ~10 hours before breakfast, so if you don't eat at all during the day, that's at least 36 hours of fasting, not 24. Going breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch is more of a 24 hour fast.

Tell a starving person that you feel like crap if you go a day without eating enough food and they'll smack you in the face.

I, and plenty of other people, feel great when intermittent fasting. I don't know if you read my other post (I doubt it) where I said that I don't go a day without eating enough food, I just distribute it differently throughout the day. Intermittent fasting is not the same as starvation, or even temporary starvation, unless you're doing it wrong.