T Nation

Questions about Intermittent Fasting


#1

I am looking for some knowledgeable advice on IF. I have recently started this style of eating, with the goal of burning fat and maintaining muscle mass. The concerns I have are that I training early in the morning, between 4:30 am and 6:00 am. I would prefer not to have to do this but my schedule dictates it. I am a school teacher, coach, and father so the afternoons and evening are dedicated to my athletes and my family. I guess the questions I need answered are as follows:

  1. With no pre, peri, or post workout nutrition will my workouts yield little or no results?
  2. Will taking my supplements (Fish Oil, Vitamin D, L-Carnitine, Alpha Male) only during the 8 hour eating window from Noon until 7 p.m. have any adverse affects?
    Looking forward to hearing from some of you, Thanks!

#2

You can fast the second part of the day. Adjust your window to before bed and eat when you wake. Maybe lunch is the last meal of the day. Make the fasting slot fit your life.

I am also coach, teacher, father, etc…

Keep grinding. 4 am wake up with a cold shower in the field house is less than ideal but how bad do you want it…


#3

Hi and welcome to the forums.

Probably less results but how much less can vary, from barely a difference to big drops in performance, depending on a lot of factors e.g. how intense/long your sessions are. My advice would be to try it out for a bit to give your body time to adapt and see how you feel.

If you go into sessions truly believing you’re going to have a bad time you’re already setting yourself up for it like a self fulfilling prophecy and all that jazz. The food you eat the night before, the day before that and your body stores don’t magically vanish or count for nothing just because you follow IF.

More importantly for improving body composition daily caloric intake and daily protein intake needs to be on point consistently. A calorie deficit drops the weight while eating enough protein maximises favourable changes in body composition i.e. maintaining muscle.

Training wise you need to lift with enough intensity/volume to encourage your body to hold onto lean body mass while in a deficit. So if you train very intensely the lack of food about your workout may prevent you from training at required intensity and thus have negative effects on your cut.

Both the diet and training side of things need to be covered.

Short answer no. Long answer supps probably won’t do much for you anyways so what’s adverse effects on barely any effect going to amount to. Nothin much.


#4

I thought intermitent fasting has like no major benefits benefits over regular dieting?


#5

And?


#6

So why do it? Or if you want/need to eat by that schedule why give it a special name if it’s the same thing?


#7

You do what you want and what fits to your schedule.

It’s an individual thing.

Besides, he thinks IF is the answer to fat loss and muscle retention.


#8

Do you mean body-comp wise? Because I was under the impression that IF can do a whole lot for your overall ‘health’


#9

There are, apparently, a lot of ‘health’ benefits to fasting, and I believe a lot of this is backed up by literature with the area receiving a lot of attention in the past few years.

No I don’t have studies, but Dr Peter Attia is one name I know has written a lot about it and worth reading.

For pure muscular gains it is very unlikely to be the best diet, but that is a separate topic and goal.


#10

Ok…so is there substantial benefits relating to gains? Or for health? Give me the TLDR pls


#11

I have successfully lost fait in the past while maintaining muscle mass and strength. It was a very liberating way of dieting.

However your training schedule makes it very, very difficult.

The most common approach is a PM training session, with your peri-workout nutrition being what breaks the fast and starts your 8 hour feeding window.

An alternative approach would be to still have the 8 hour window around your workout, however this would neccessitate you stopping eating at 12 midday, ish, which is psychologically more difficult (for most), reversing the sacrifice & reward timescale and not eating at the more culturally normal times.

If you dont see that eating window being a problem, eating 4:30 - 12:30, then it could be a successful diet strategy.

If not, then it may not be the diet for you, not every diet is for everyone.

If your training is high intensity (so lifting weights not light cardio) I personally wouldn’t recommend training in the Am and then fasting until the evening.

Your supplements shouldn’t have any impact one way or another timing wise, with the exception of fish oil and vitamin D. The former containing fatty acids, providing fat calories, which would ‘break’ the fast (and so should be taken in the eating window), and the latter having, apparently, better absorption rates when taken with fat containing meals, rather than an empty stomach.


#12

TLDR?

Benefits to health, yes, benefits to gains, dubious.

Not necessarily harmful to gains, in any statistically measurable sense, but unlikely to be optimal.


#13

But what are the benefits and how/why


#14

TLDR good for health, at best irrelevant to gains, at worst detrimemtal


#15

Doesn’t sound like you are willing to do whatever it takes to leave humanity behind goddamn it ala Rich Piana may he RIP. No gains.

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#16

Something to do with allowing the body to function in a post-absorbative state, where the body focuses on repairing cells as opposed to digesting food

I thinkm


#17

A couple of podcasts with Tim Ferris interviewing Dr Attia is a good intro and foundation to the topic. Put it on in the background at some point.

Too long to explain and this was something I was reading into two or so years ago so I wouldn’t be able to do the topic justice with my own explanation.


#18

So if that’s the how/why of it what’s the benefit


#19

Insulin Sensitivity, decreased aging (I think), improved hormone balance (more GH higher test and some others) and less ‘mental fog’ allegedly


#20

To the OP, I lift first thing in the mornings with a BCAA + electrolyte drink. I typically don’t eat until midday, because that is convenient for me. I’m not in the condition a lot of these folks are, but that was true no matter how I was eating. My workouts have not suffered, but I do notice they suffer without the drink. I think the electrolytes are actually the difference-maker for me there.