fasting and muscle loss: In the fitness industry, more than just any industry that comes to mind, extremism is the norm. What is the status quo today is trash tomorrow, and vice versa it will become the status quo. I talked about this in my article “Diabetes and fat loss”, but it applies to elevators, behaviors as well as nutrients.
Think about it: 10 years ago, bodybuilders avoided large lifts for squats, benches, and a deadly lift. Now it seems that every major bodybuilder is using a DUP template for squat, seats, and lethal lift. Not to say that there is a problem with this approach; I am a fan of the three big lifts.
Tables of food are definitely subject to these epic mood swings as well. A decade ago, bodybuilding logic used to eat everyone in the gym every 2-3 hours to “ignite metabolism” and stay energized. Today, the gym refuses to talk about not eating for 16-20 hours continuously, which is known as “intermittent fasting.”
Each of these camps has its strict followers, and I’m not here to say that one is always right or the other is dead. But let’s check the logic behind both of them so we can figure out what’s best for you.
The old Way: Eat, Eat, Eat
Let’s start by looking at the old “eat every 2-3 hours” method, especially her claims about metabolic rate first. Countless experts have suggested over the years that eating more frequently will improve your overall metabolic rate. While I will admit that logic sounds good at first, it does not seem to have withstood the sunflower test of scientific evidence.
In practice, each study that examined the frequency of the meal in the last meta-analysis showed zero differences in fat loss when calories were controlled. Surprisingly, there did not appear to be any differences in the signs of hunger with changes in the frequency of the meal, and the metabolic rate was not affected by the frequency of the meal.
This may sound blasphemy for religious followers of Mantra 6-8 meals a day, but it’s hard to discuss the data. However, it should be noted that this is related to fat loss. When strength and muscle gains are the goals, three square meals a day may not provide enough protein distribution.
That’s why, on the PH3 Power and Hypertrophy program, I advocate 4-5 protein-rich meals a day, depending on your personal preferences. In any case, you will leave massive amounts of protein in individual meals, which as I will discuss later, is not a good idea either.
The New Way: Fast, Then Feast
So if eight meals are off the table, that automatically means that you have to do intermittent fasting, right? Maybe – but maybe not.
The most important factor for long-term success in the diet is not when you eat; It is an obligation. That’s right: people don’t fail on diets because they don’t have the perfect frequency for meals, food sources, or magic voodoo cleanups; They fail the diet because they simply cannot stick to it.
Research data shows that among people who have lost a significant amount of weight, the majority of them will regain the weight they originally lost, and after five years, they often exceed their initial weight. [3.4] This is a big problem, and to solve it, the focus should be on using strategies that improve dietary commitment.
Thus, if intermittent fasting allows a person to put a better diet in their lifestyle and stick to this diet, then this is a good enough argument for me – at least as far as that person is concerned. I knew many people who were able to fast certain parts of the day, because of the lack of hunger in those times, or simply because they had very busy jobs and that the way of eating fit their lifestyle better.
There is another feature of course. Spread, for example, 2,500 calories over 6-8 meals, and you’ll end up with very few portions, but those same calories greater than 1-2 meals can make a great celebration of food. Many people prefer to wait longer for larger meals. I know that when I fell from eight meals a day to four meals a day, I was more comfortable, and my hunger levels decreased.
Can you take this too far? Of course, of course. Many people find that they simply cannot go for 12 hours or more without becoming tragically hungry, and this may make them more likely to overeat. For others with eating disorders, they may begin to get rid of feeding windows or hoarding food.
Here is what I mean: the regular intermittent fasting protocol is usually 16 hours fasting with 8 hours of feeding or giving or taking a few hours. But some people will slip into 2/22, for example, and I’ve seen people spend days without eating for the sake of great justification and gluttony. This is not a bug of the intermittent fasting itself, but it definitely means that it is not a suitable protocol for everyone. Therefore, understanding your preference for food and what you like is very important.
So if you prefer to fast and help you stick to more diet, do so by all means. But keep in mind that it is not magic, and it can be done wrong. Fat loss is ultimately a matter of calories, not hours.
A Modified Fast For Max Muscle Growth
It became clear that while your daily protein intake is important, so is how much you consume in a meal and how these meals are distributed. But while most people use this perception only to defend more protein per serving, there may be a point of diminishing returns that discontinuous fasting people should consider.
Research from our lab concluded that when it comes to improving muscle protein synthesis, excessive protein intake at one time of the day cannot compensate for protein decline at another time of the day.  So just as there is a certain limit of protein to start the anabolic process, there also appears to be a maximum of Anabolic. [6,7] At work, this means that if you eat a small amount of protein most of the day, but then eat a lot of protein in one meal, it will not “balance”.
For example, let’s pretend that this anabolic cap is 40g protein, and the minimum protein required to start anabolic is 15g – that’s all, in theory, to be clear. It is clear that you will not be stimulated while you are fasting for 16 hours. But then, to get 200 grams of protein in this eight-hour window in three meals, you can consume about 65 grams of protein in each meal. This is approximately 50 percent on the theoretical anabolic cap.
For a normal reclining atmosphere, this may not be important. However, if you want some benefits of intermittent fasting but want to improve muscle mass, I would recommend a different type of fasting. Instead of reducing all calories, simply restrict carbohydrates and fats during the fasting period, but continue to distribute protein evenly throughout the day. Until we know where this potential anabolic cap is, this seems to be more effective than trying to put everything in your feeding window.
Take this approach, and you will still get a large amount of food during the feeding period and spend a large part of the day in the case of burning low-insulin fats, but you will be able to distribute protein in such a better way for muscle growth.