T Nation

Intermittent Fasting


i would like to know if any of you have ever heard or tried intermittent fasting?

now before you all freak out at the word "fasting", let me explain it. intermittent fasting involves 15 hour fasts (almost always overnight)...done at random times throughout the week, and has been proven to be very effective at fat reduction while not causing any loss of lean body mass (as long as you maintain your current amount of daily caloric intake). this cannot be said of simply restricting calories for fat loss.

i came across intermittent fasting through crossfit, which i still use as my cardio training. several of the people there have used it and saw good effects from it, i have yet to hear a bad report from using intermittent fasting.

while i do not use intermittent fasting on days that i weight train, i do however include the fast on days i plan to do cardio. as we all know doing cardio early in the morning before eating burns more fat than doing it later in the day after eating. this is the same principle as doing cardio at the end of a 15 hour fast.


I'd be curious to know how this can be claimed not to cause muscle loss. Surely the body would be in a catabolic state after 15 hours of fasting?


From what I understand, the effects of performing cardio on an empty stomach (which I do because it just feels better) compared to not are really pretty negligible.


Well, maybe if it's fasted morning cardio and then you eat afterwards. I don't see how exercise during extended fasts like this wouldn't result in muscle loss. The program doesn't make much sense to me. Even if it works, who would want to do it? Not me when it's possible to lose weight eating properly throughout the day. I'll take a healthy, balanced diet of 6 meals any day.


On the other hand, including the hours you spend sleeping is not the same as not eating for a whole day. Still, I like to eat when I wake up. I won't be doing this anytime soon.