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Minimizing Muscle Loss on 2 Wk Fast?


I never imagined I'd be going on a fast, but I live in the tropics and came down with a candida (yeast) infection. I've tried cutting out all carbs for over a month now, and it helps, but slowly. Everyone who's had this here says don't eat ANYTHING for two weeks and you'll starve the yeasty bastards. At most, they say, drink green veggy juice plus cold-pressed coconut oil (since it's antifungal).

I know fasting that long will catabolize significant muscle mass, but at this point I feel I have to do it. My question is: how do I minimize the damage? I'm a mesomorph, 37, easily gain both muscle and fat, and work hard enough in the gym six days a week that the staff walk behind me with a mop.

I would never do this for weight loss, but have to for the yeast. But I'm willing to cheat a little if it will preserve muscle mass. Anyone been through this/have advice?

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!!


I'm curious about this, as well. Would resistance training be harmful or helpful while fasting?


If you really have a candida infection, see a doctor for antifungal meds.

If you really are a mesomorph, you have nothing to worry about.


Thanks, Andersons! So even two weeks of fasting won't waste away significant muscle? (I'm 225, 6 foot, reasonable body fat %.) I don't mind losing a pound or two of muscle, but don't want to lose ten.

I've seen doctors. Dermatologist gave me Sporanox (itraconazole), topicals etc. I won't bore you with the candida details, but the yeast eventually becomes resistant to the pharma anti-fungals, so I need to do something drastic to knock them away before that happens. Nearly every large heavily sweating male here eventually gets a yeast infection here if he eats junk. (Which I did before; don't do now.)

My intuition is that I'd absolutely have to keep lifting in order to mitigate muscle loss, but I'm wondering about intensity and supplementation, and most of all, whether it's even possible to mitigate loss. Supplementation would have to be easy to digest and include very few calories that could feed the yeast (again with the exception of coconut oil which is anti-fungal).

Are protein powders hard on the digestive system?


That's the thing. You'd think no lifting would cause muscle loss, like on a very restricted diet, but too much would eat muscle as well.


I would deff. find a topic that fits this under on of Thibs threads & see what he has to say.


Your more likely to lose water fasting for that long, what minor muscle loss you do have will generallly be overcompensated when you start eating again. Many bodybuilders go through this after a competition, you'll find most of them say thats when they have the greatest gains.

Lifting is always good to helping your body maintain muscle but dramatically less, just high intesity fairly heavy weight. You have to becareful with volume your likely to cramp faster and/or pull a muscle.

Yeast infection.... your a guy? and can't get rid of it? sounds a little weird. YOu should check whoever your sleeping with, your clothes, sheets, and bed. Increase your full body washing frequency, minimize your body hair. It can get resistant to pharmcuticals if you use them too long, but a week or two is not too long. If you haven't used them too long then use them along with following the above.

Skip the protein shake while it's good it's nothing compared to food, try a no carb diet strictly greens and meat. Candida supposedly survives off sugar more than anything so that shouldn't hurt. Did you ever find out how you got it in the first place? Maybe your getting rid of it and getting it back over and over again.


For training, cut the volume, maintain the intensity. For nutrition, take in what the maximum amount is allowed, and make sure the source is of very high quality since every gram counts. Are you allowed to take in BCAA's?


Thanks, all!

Airtruth, I didn't realize bodybuilders went on all-out fasts. That's a huge relief. Most of the full fasting info on the web is from vegans, and I don't trust that sort of info.

I thought it was weird too that a male would get candida, until I started asking here and it turns out it's common. I live in Bali, my roof is made of grass, and it leaks. The inside walls of my office turned green with mold a month after I had it built. Found out that the bottom half of my mattress was eaten by mold. I threw it out, of course.

My wife had a yeast infection too, but for her it's the regular sort. For me it's become systemic, rash all over (except the genitals, oddly enough), messed up joints, etc. I shower four times a day. My biggest fault in this was my diet--since I worked out really heavily I ate like a pig while maintaining a fat % of about 20%: pizzas and ice cream and beer every night, spiking my blood sugar to where the candida busted out of my gut and into my blood/skin.

But you're right about re-infection: I'm moving next week. I've been on pharmaceuticals for over a month, periodically doubling the dose the doctor prescribed for three or four days at a time, which is the only time I noticed real improvement but it's hard on the liver. (You don't need a prescription to get drugs here.)

I've also been on a very low carb diet (under 50g per day, and that only some juice and yoghurt with my protein shake post-workout) plus a cheat apple here and there. Everything was going okay until I drank 8 martinis one night figuring they were low carb and the alcohol revived the yeast and second time around they've become more resistant.

Taufiq, I'm allowed anything that (1) doesn't raise blood sugar; and (2) isn't hard on the digestive system. I presume BCAAs should be easy to digest (?), but I'm worried that either protein powder or sardines would be harder. During the last month I've been eating massive quantities of sardines, lots of salads (no dressing), and pork ribs without any sauce. Plus fish oil and coconut oil by the jigger.

I lost twelve pounds and found a six-pack in the process, but I'm one of those (married) meatheads who don't care much about looking lean compared to maintaining strength.




Don't lift during a two-week fast. That would be asinine. Lifting will do ZERO to preserve muscle without any nutrition. You will just breakdown muscle but never recover. It's healing and recovery of the microtears that promotes growth with proper nutrition. But very unlikely you'd lose 10 lbs of muscle in two weeks. It will come back quickly anyway. I know nothing of the issue, but I have my suspicions of 'starving yourself' better in the first place. I'd check on that more.


I completely disagree with lifting during two weeks wihtout eating ANYTHING as the OP said. This is a technique movie actors use when they need to lose lean mass quickly for a role. A surefire way to catabolize lots of muscle.


jsbrook -- thanks, though you've scared me. All the info I was getting was lift intensely but low volume and it will be fine, but they may have been just extrapolating from regular dieting/cutting.

This is what I was worried about, that a total fast has different rules than a simple carb deficit.

As for starving myself better -- the idea is to starve the yeast. It can only feed off my blood sugar, which is why a no-carb diet has had some effect. But if the improvement curve stayed constant, it would take me six months to a year to fix this with a no-carb approach -- and I don't want to be on toxic antifungal meds for that long.

But I hate the idea of throwing away lean mass...


Yeah. Plus, you'll probably pass out if you try and lift intensly without eating for two weeks.


Oh, sorry, I assumed the type of fasting that you're doing is something like Intermittent Fasting or very low calorie diets. So no food at all in that 2 weeks? Damn...I guess you just have to suck it up, and accept the fact that you'll lose some muscle mass. Better to just get this over with. If you try to fit in some cheat meals here and there just because you want to keep a little bit of muscle you'll probably have to go through with it for much longer and you're going to hamper your long term progress.


I'm actually trying intermittent fasting now, with no carbs during the eating window, while I try to figure out whether to do the total fast.


If Bali is anything like Costa Rica where I live, you can get lots of drugs without a prescription. When I take a 7-10 break from lifting to give my joints a rest, I take albuterol 16 mg. per day, usually 8mg at 6AM, 4mg at 10AM and 4mg at 2PM, as any later in the day interferes with sleep.

It seems to stop working after about 14 days, so then on the first day off, I take benedryl before bed to reset the receptors. I am not recommending this for anyone, just that it works for me. Here is the study info on it, sorry I don't have the title:

Beta-2 agonists enhance the effects of a strength training program and
endurance for individuals during a period of bedrest. There is disclosed a
method or process for the use of beta agonists either alone or in
combination with exercise, to maintain strength or aerobic capacity during
periods of inactivity.

The effects of one particular beta-2 agonist,
albuterol sulphate, was tested. Two subjects were placed at bedrest for
two 14 day trials each (see the graphical representation of FIG. 1).
Maximum isometric strength was measured with an isotonic dynamometry
machine before and after the trials.

In one trial, the subjects received a
placebo and in the other trial, the subjects received oral albuterol
sulphate. The oral albuterol sulphate was administered at the rate of 24
mg per day in three divided doses.

As demonstrated in the graphical
representation as shown in FIG. 1, knee extension strength fell with the
placebo but increased with the ingestion of oral albuterol sulphate.

Thus, a beta-2 agonist, such as oral albuterol, mitigates the loss of
strength occurring from inactivity such as bedrest.

In addition, combining a beta-2 agonist such as albuterol sulphate with
exercise enhances the effects of exercise. Furthermore, strength,
endurance, and aerobic capacity can be benefitted by the use of a beta-2
agonist, such as albuterol sulphate alone or in combination with
appropriate exercise.

Similar beta-2 agonists such as terbutaline,
isuprel, (isoproterenol), serevent or metaprel (metaproterenol) can also
be used for enhancement. These drugs can be taken either in tablet or
powder form, or inhaled, and similar benefits may be obtained.

The tablet forms of medication are safe, easy to use, and do not require
the level of monitoring that intravenous solutions require.

Ingestion for benefit can be had through oral administration or inhalation
of from 4 to 32 mg per day. A preferred range of from 16 to 24 mg per day
will provide enhanced benefit. Three divided doses of the beta-2 agonist
is also a preferred embodiment of the method.


Happy Gringo -- great information! Thank you! (And yes, your medication doesn't have to go through any sort of guild approval here before you can use it on your own body.)


Perhaps I'm missing something, but what does bedrest have to do with fasting? Wouldn't using albuterol just eat more muscle? You're just burning more calories that way.


I guess I just looked at it as preserving muscle, possibly by using fat as an energy source. Could certainly be wrong about that, as I am not exactly sure how beta-2 agonists work.

As far as Candida. I did a candida diet about 20 years ago. I cut out all white foods:
pasta, sugar, bread, potatos, rice and also fruit. I didn't know about keto diets, so I lost muscle and fat and went down from 174 to about 145 in six months. I had all the 'die off' symptoms (was also eating lots of garlic and some kelp, as iodine is anti-fungal, and taking grapefruit seed extract). I looked like death for the first couple of months, but then felt better than at any previous time in my life. If I had it to do over, I would have greatly increased my protein to preserve muscle. You might check to see if anyone has used a keto diet to combat candida. Seems like it would work as Candida needs sugar or simple carbs to eat. Then maybe try some grapefruit seed extract between meals to kill off the little invaders quicker. Also some unsweetened yogurt to fill up the space left by the dead yeast.