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  1. #1
    Registered User kharneth's Avatar
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    Intermittent Fasting

    Anyone have any experience with intermittent fasting in conjunction with weigh lifting, specifically for the purpose of gaining weight and developing muscle, not losing it.

    I've heard plenty of times that intermittent fasting can be a useful way to lose weight, but I've recently heard that it is useful for developing muscle, however I am very skeptical. Apparently it can induce a great increase of growth hormones, among other things.

    Would anyone recommend combining intermittent fasting with weightlifting and a diet that includes a caloric surplus with the necessary macros?

    Specifically, I'm considering fasting 16 hours a day and eating only between 1pm and 9pm. My typical dietary habit involves eating small meals every 2-3 hours.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Yes, I have.

    It is, in my opinion and what I've read, a good way of helping to control your appetite - you don't eat when you aren't hungry and chances are you won't feel hungry for a prolonged period of time.

    There is good evidence and theory which support the idea that not getting regular protein intake is bad for muscle growth however.

    Very long treatise of that is here:
    https://www.nutritiontactics.com/mea...ein-synthesis/

    Be wary of crazy theories about growth hormone being high during fasting - this has nothing to do with muscle growth. Hormones like this have many roles in the body, in this case it is for energy mobilisation not muscle growth.

    Sensible middle ground:
    If you aren't hungry in the mornings, just have a protein shake and then eat normally from lunch onwards.
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    Registered User kharneth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Yes, I have.

    It is, in my opinion and what I've read, a good way of helping to control your appetite - you don't eat when you aren't hungry and chances are you won't feel hungry for a prolonged period of time.

    There is good evidence and theory which support the idea that not getting regular protein intake is bad for muscle growth however.

    Very long treatise of that is here:
    https://www.nutritiontactics.com/mea...ein-synthesis/

    Be wary of crazy theories about growth hormone being high during fasting - this has nothing to do with muscle growth. Hormones like this have many roles in the body, in this case it is for energy mobilisation not muscle growth.

    Sensible middle ground:
    If you aren't hungry in the mornings, just have a protein shake and then eat normally from lunch onwards.
    I am very confused by your advice.

    For one, I don't need help with controlling my appetite; that's a non-issue for me.

    I'm basically never hungry. I'll eat like a meal a day, or maybe two. But when I'm weightlifting, like I have been for the past 2 months, I'm ravenous all the time. I usually only eat when I'm hungry, but in order to see weight gains/progress (both body weight and lifting weight), I need to eat more than my appetite dictates.

    So, are you saying that intermittent is not worth it? Or that I should definitely give it a go?

    I tend to think that my best bet is to consume a moderate amount of protein throughout the day so that there's an ongoing supply of it. So, like, I need roughly 90 grams a day and I'll eat 5-6 times, aiming for ~15-20 grams per meal, although it's probably more like anywhere from 10-30 depending on the meal.
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    Originally Posted by kharneth View Post
    I am very confused by your advice.

    For one, I don't need help with controlling my appetite; that's a non-issue for me.
    Then there is ZERO reason for you to do IF. As Suffolk clearly said, the only reason to do IF is help control appetite and LIMIT calories.

    Then, he went on to cover the 'down' side to IF... there is good evidence and theory which support the idea that not getting regular protein intake is bad for muscle growth however. So you don't need to balance your appetite and and protein intake. You get regular protein, so you're good to go - without IF.
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  5. #5
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    What he said ^

    I wasn't aware of your specific goals so I just told you what IF could be used for. If appetite control is not an issue, there is no reason to use IF.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    It’s just an eating schedule.
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    If you’re interested in it I say try it and see how it goes. Isn’t that part of the fun of being on this journey. I can say, from personal experience, that I feel that my body uses calories more effectively when I do IF. Yes anecdotal and subjective, but when I was forcing myself to eat 4,000 calories/day it sucked. I ate a big breakfast early and ate throughout the day to make sure I could hit my goal. I didn’t feel as good and sh!t a lot more. I would also feel like crap after eating a big meal because I felt that my entire digestive tract was already completely full. Compare that to when I do IF(which I do most of the time) I can knock down a giant meal and still feel great, as if my system is freed up and can easily handle the load it just received. I know a lot of people say IF helps with weight loss and I can see why because your appetite can be diminished, and once you push through the first hunger pangs of the morning(if you get any at all) you can easily forget that you should eat because your body seems to stop telling you to eat. But I don’t think that automatically means it can’t be used to main or gaintain. Try it out and report back with results, though you need to commit to at least 2-3 weeks because about what it takes to get into a good routine, at least in my experience.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    I can say, from personal experience, that I feel that my body uses calories more effectively when I do IF.
    Well, it doesn't...
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Well, it doesn't...
    Well, maybe it does. I know people like to think they have all the answers, but human bodies are extremely complex, and you can add to it the fact that there are tons of differences between people. Our digestive system is not designed to have foods being processed at every step of the process for the vast majority of the day. From that perspective it makes sense that giving time for them to empty at least occasionally is a good thing. And yes, just because something makes sense doesn’t make it true I understand that. Still, from my experience I feel a lot better doing IF even I eat the same amount of calories and my bowel movements are 10x better. Energy levels are better, body feels better, etc. So I don’t really care what you believe.



    Edit to add - maybe the phrase “use more effectively” was a poor choice of words. There are lots of factors like energy required for digestion, inflammation from the process, and lots of other things like the synergy of various organs and hormone levels that all come in to play...so yeah it’s not like the protein calories are creating more muscle or anything like that, but the whole system operates better imho.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    Well, maybe it does. I know people like to think they have all the answers, but human bodies are extremely complex, and you can add to it the fact that there are tons of differences between people. Our digestive system is not designed to have foods being processed at every step of the process for the vast majority of the day. From that perspective it makes sense that giving time for them to empty at least occasionally is a good thing. And yes, just because something makes sense doesn’t make it true I understand that. Still, from my experience I feel a lot better doing IF even I eat the same amount of calories and my bowel movements are 10x better. Energy levels are better, body feels better, etc. So I don’t really care what you believe.
    The amount of silly nonsense here is quite startling.

    What does "Our digestive system is not designed to have foods being processed at every step of the process for the vast majority of the day" even mean?

    Nobody asserted that you should literally be eating constantly. There are more options than JUST fasting or JUST eating every 10 minutes..... you're using strawman arguments.

    If YOU PERSONALLY feel better doing it, cool.

    But it has nothing to do with 'using calories more effectively'... that is a vague non-scientific statement which holds no real value whatsoever...
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    Originally Posted by kharneth View Post
    Apparently it can induce a great increase of growth hormones, among other things.
    Not to the extent that it influence muscle growth significantly. What's worse: IF reduces 24h MPS which does affect muscle growth negatively.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Not to the extent that it influence muscle growth significantly. What's worse: IF reduces 24h MPS which does affect muscle growth negatively.

    Also worth noting: having more GH in absence of protein (which is the actual substrate required to build muscle tissue) is pretty meaningless... there's literally less raw materials to use.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    The amount of silly nonsense here is quite startling.

    What does "Our digestive system is not designed to have foods being processed at every step of the process for the vast majority of the day" even mean?

    Nobody asserted that you should literally be eating constantly. There are more options than JUST fasting or JUST eating every 10 minutes..... you're using strawman arguments.

    If YOU PERSONALLY feel better doing it, cool.

    But it has nothing to do with 'using calories more effectively'... that is a vague non-scientific statement which holds no real value whatsoever...
    Just lmao at how angry some people get when you suggest IF May have benefits other than just appetite control. Also it’s hilarious that you simultaneously used a straw man while attacking me for using a straw man. Calm down bro.
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post

    There is good evidence and theory which support the idea that not getting regular protein intake is bad for muscle growth however.
    I misunderstood the usage of the word "however" in this statement, I thought you were introducing the next paragraph/statement in a contradictory manner.

    That's precisely what I'm so skeptical about. I've read that you can only absorb so much protein at any given time/meal. So, consuming 100 grams of protein in a single meal would likely be less effective than consuming 25 grams of protein 4 times a day.

    I'll probably just stick with eating 2-3 times a day since I have a hard time eating large portions anyway, and eating big meals makes me feel bloated and tired.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    Just lmao at how angry some people get when you suggest IF May have benefits other than just appetite control. Also it’s hilarious that you simultaneously used a straw man while attacking me for using a straw man. Calm down bro.
    Yeah it's sure annoying that I use science to back up my claims and not just my personal 'feelings'.


    Also, tell me: where did I strawman you? I'm dying to know.

    You said, "From that perspective it makes sense that giving time for them to empty at least occasionally is a good thing"

    Well, you're implying that NOT fasting somehow automatically means you have to eat in a manner where your digestive system isn't 'emptying'... therefore, you'd have to basically eat extremely often.

    So no, I did not strawman you, at all.


    And also, if you do IF, you're still eating in a certain window, during a 24 hour period.

    If you knew anything about bowel transit time, you'd know that food stays in your system much longer than 24 hours... so this 'emptying' you're talking about already happens.

    By delaying your first meal a few hours, what kind of magic are you expecting to happen? It doesn't do anything.... you're just skipping traditional breakfast.

    Traditional IF schedules are 16-8 fasting:eating... explain to me the possible benefit of waiting 3-4 hours compared to a traditional 12:12 or 13:11 schedule?

    Where in this 3-4 hour of additional fasting do these benefits happen then? And why?
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    I tried it but not for muscle growth...I did it to heal an ulcer. Water only during fasting hours, no coffee or tea.

    Did it work? According to the scope it did, healed fast according to my doc. At the time nexium was by prescription only and didn’t help me. The fasting (along with raw cabbage juice) sped things up that otherwise could have taken many months and more meds.

    I wouldn’t recommend it for muscle growth however I’m not an expert in this field.
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    Just lmao at how angry some people get when you suggest IF May have benefits other than just appetite control. Also it’s hilarious that you simultaneously used a straw man while attacking me for using a straw man. Calm down bro.
    That's because we have science in one corner, and "I feel that my body uses calories more effectively when I do IF" in the other corner.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Yeah it's sure annoying that I use science to back up my claims and not just my personal 'feelings'.


    Also, tell me: where did I strawman you? I'm dying to know.

    You said, "From that perspective it makes sense that giving time for them to empty at least occasionally is a good thing"

    Well, you're implying that NOT fasting somehow automatically means you have to eat in a manner where your digestive system isn't 'emptying'... therefore, you'd have to basically eat extremely often.

    So no, I did not strawman you, at all.


    And also, if you do IF, you're still eating in a certain window, during a 24 hour period.

    If you knew anything about bowel transit time, you'd know that food stays in your system much longer than 24 hours... so this 'emptying' you're talking about already happens.

    By delaying your first meal a few hours, what kind of magic are you expecting to happen? It doesn't do anything.... you're just skipping traditional breakfast.

    Traditional IF schedules are 16-8 fasting:eating... explain to me the possible benefit of waiting 3-4 hours compared to a traditional 12:12 or 13:11 schedule?

    Where in this 3-4 hour of additional fasting do these benefits happen then? And why?

    You said “ There are more options than JUST fasting or JUST eating every 10 minutes.”


    I never said you had to pick one. And yes, I know food stays in your system than 24 hours. Just so I understand what you’re saying... are you saying there are no benefits to doing intermittent fasting as opposed to consuming your calories over the course of a 18 hour window? If you’re saying it isn’t optimal for muscle gain I can understand your point, though I would just add that when you’re getting into that it’s quite possible for most people to maintain or even gain muscle while doing IF even if it isn’t optimal. Not saying a person should or shouldn’t do it, just that it can be done because the vast majority of people are nowhere near their peak and can make improvements through lots of different approaches. And no, I don’t care to argue this with you. You are obviously firmly planted in your beliefs, and I’m sure you are correct regarding a lot of things(but again I don’t really know your views on the topic). But even if I point out studies that contradict your view you’ll just brush them off, and if there was a study that supported your view you’d be more likely to accept it regardless of method. And yes I would do the same, because that’s how people are. However, I’m not the one pretending that I have everything figured out, and I’m more likely to recommend someone try an approach for themself. I could go find 20 studies to show Opie and have 10 of them tell him one thing while the other ten tell him something completely different. If we’re lucky we have a long road of exercise and diet ahead of us, and I think people should be more eager to try things for themselves. Try a different diet, try a different routine, try a different eating schedule. I think it’s better than reading studies all day, and makes the journey more entertaining and enjoyable.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    You said “ There are more options than JUST fasting or JUST eating every 10 minutes.”
    Yes, and then I pointed out specifically where you implied that it was either a matter of fasting OR eating in such a way where your digestive system 'didn't empty' at least occasionally.

    If someone was eating in a way where they didn't allow portions of their digestive system to empty, they literally would be eating constantly. So yeah, you did actually imply someone would have to be eating EXTREMELY often if they weren't fasting, which isn't true.

    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    Just so I understand what you’re saying... are you saying there are no benefits to doing intermittent fasting as opposed to consuming your calories over the course of a 18 hour window?
    Where did you get this number 18 from? Where was this ever brought up? If someone sleeps for 6-8 hours a night, you'd be literally talking about someone eating IMMEDIATELY after waking up and IMMEDIATELY before going to bed every day, and sleeping only 6 hours.

    WHEN did I ever suggest that?

    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    If you’re saying it isn’t optimal for muscle gain I can understand your point, though I would just add that when you’re getting into that it’s quite possible for most people to maintain or even gain muscle while doing IF even if it isn’t optimal.
    I never said that either. My comment was that your statement of 'using calories more efficiently' has zero logic behind it.

    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    But even if I point out studies that contradict your view you’ll just brush them off, and if there was a study that supported your view you’d be more likely to accept it regardless of method.
    There are no studies which support the idea that someone 'uses calories more efficiently' or effectively with IF.

    If you think there are, show me. Show me a single study which states that claim.

    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    However, I’m not the one pretending that I have everything figured out, and I’m more likely to recommend someone try an approach for themself
    So, by me saying you're wrong on 1-2 fundamental points, that's me 'pretending I have EVERYTHING figured out'?

    No, actually I just have SOME common sense things figured out, and this is one of them.

    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    I could go find 20 studies to show Opie and have 10 of them tell him one thing while the other ten tell him something completely different. If we’re lucky we have a long road of exercise and diet ahead of us, and I think people should be more eager to try things for themselves. Try a different diet, try a different routine, try a different eating schedule. I think it’s better than reading studies all day, and makes the journey more entertaining and enjoyable.

    OK?

    Where did I suggest anything different?

    My whole argument was against your nebulous statement about energy utilization..

    If you LIKE doing IF, cool... do it.

    But don't try and make silly claims to support your reasoning. You're allowed to follow a diet if you enjoy it without making up a bunch of pseudoscience to try and back it up.

    Simply liking it is enough reason to do it, that is my point.
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    Cliffnotes

    IF helps with calorie control for some people

    There is no hormonal benefit

    It is not optimal for MPS

    Weekly/monthly calorie intake will
    determine fat loss/gain and meal timing will not
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough

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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Yes, and then I pointed out specifically where you implied that it was either a matter of fasting OR eating in such a way where your digestive system 'didn't empty' at least occasionally.

    If someone was eating in a way where they didn't allow portions of their digestive system to empty, they literally would be eating constantly. So yeah, you did actually imply someone would have to be eating EXTREMELY often if they weren't fasting, which isn't true.



    Where did you get this number 18 from? Where was this ever brought up? If someone sleeps for 6-8 hours a night, you'd be literally talking about someone eating IMMEDIATELY after waking up and IMMEDIATELY before going to bed every day, and sleeping only 6 hours.

    WHEN did I ever suggest that?



    I never said that either. My comment was that your statement of 'using calories more efficiently' has zero logic behind it.



    There are no studies which support the idea that someone 'uses calories more efficiently' or effectively with IF.

    If you think there are, show me. Show me a single study which states that claim.



    So, by me saying you're wrong on 1-2 fundamental points, that's me 'pretending I have EVERYTHING figured out'?

    No, actually I just have SOME common sense things figured out, and this is one of them.




    OK?

    Where did I suggest anything different?

    My whole argument was against your nebulous statement about energy utilization..

    If you LIKE doing IF, cool... do it.

    But don't try and make silly claims to support your reasoning. You're allowed to follow a diet if you enjoy it without making up a bunch of pseudoscience to try and back it up.

    Simply liking it is enough reason to do it, that is my point.

    Food stays in your stomach and small intestine for hours and hours...so no....you do t have to eat every few minutes to prevent it from emptying. Same with the rest of your digestive tract, as you actually pointed out yourself.


    I already said that my choice of words was poor when I said “use calories more effectively” but for some reason you and some others are still stuck on that. But again I’ll ask, do you think there are any health benefits seen from IF fasting?
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    The important thing here is getting quality nutrition and protein in before and after your training sessions.
    The protein should be IMO the more important macro and carbs especially after training.
    There is not right or wrong but what works for you.
    Everyone will be different in the way they respond diet manipulation so i would recommend you experiment and keep a diet journal recording exactly what your eating for an accurate account on what your doing.
    Pictures and measurements might also be helpful while your trying IM fasting.
    Good luck to you.
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    But again I’ll ask, do you think there are any health benefits seen from IF fasting?
    There really don't seem to be any. It's basically just skipping breakfast, but weirdly glorified.
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    Originally Posted by jtaylor2010 View Post
    Food stays in your stomach and small intestine for hours and hours...so no....you do t have to eat every few minutes to prevent it from emptying. Same with the rest of your digestive tract, as you actually pointed out yourself.


    I already said that my choice of words was poor when I said “use calories more effectively” but for some reason you and some others are still stuck on that. But again I’ll ask, do you think there are any health benefits seen from IF fasting?
    Your question is not specific enough.

    You need to define fasting and the windows you’re talking about, and define the specific person and health situation you’re talking about.

    A 700 pound person who happens avoid trigger foods by delaying their first meal might see a benefit from fasting because they ultimately eat less...

    But a professional athlete who trains early in the morning might be greatly impaired if they tried IF.

    So no, I do not think there is a UNIVERSAL set of health benefits to fasting. It is context specific.

    What I will say is this: in a healthy person with no specific condition that would impair their ability to normally digest food within 1-2 hours of waking up or something similar, the act of prolonging your morning fast by a couple hours will have zero meaningful effect on health in and of itself... there is zero scientific evidence to support that.

    Think about what you’re asking... you’re asking me if there is a specific health benefit I just not eating for 4 extra hours.

    No, there is no reason to suspect that.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 02-15-2021 at 12:20 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Not to the extent that it influence muscle growth significantly. What's worse: IF reduces 24h MPS which does affect muscle growth negatively.
    Serious question: for someone who's already fairly well developed but simply does prefer the the method for calorie control when aiming to lose fat, is this effect of less-than-optimal MPS going to be a big deal for that person, long-term?

    I completely agree that this is treated as one of those short-cut, "magic formula" diets and that it doesn't change the basic equation for body composition. I do however prefer eating bigger meals in a smaller window, and am usually not hungry throughout the day, so its utility for timing holds value in my assessment. Also, I can't deny the research that shows this to be less than optimal for MPS and optimal training performance.

    So, admitting that it's less than optimal, is someone realistically going to lose noticeable LBM if they train with the same, appropriate volume and intensity and are eating most of their calories (even while hitting their nutritional minima) in one meal?
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Serious question: for someone who's already fairly well developed but simply does prefer the the method for calorie control when aiming to lose fat, is this effect of less-than-optimal MPS going to be a big deal for that person, long-term?

    I completely agree that this is treated as one of those short-cut, "magic formula" diets and that it doesn't change the basic equation for body composition. I do however prefer eating bigger meals in a smaller window, and am usually not hungry throughout the day, so its utility for timing holds value in my assessment. Also, I can't deny the research that shows this to be less than optimal for MPS and optimal training performance.

    So, admitting that it's less than optimal, is someone realistically going to lose noticeable LBM if they train with the same, appropriate volume and intensity and are eating most of their calories (even while hitting their nutritional minima) in one meal?
    Depends what you consider a 'big deal' I suppose.

    If you don't like eating early in the day, simply having a protein shake in place of a full meal is likely enough to offset most of the negatives around the MPS drawbacks from IF.

    if you're getting ONE meal... that is definitely not ideal...

    The most important thing is total calories and protein, followed by the distribution of protein feedings throughout the day into even-ish intervals...

    You could also do:

    Morning - Shake 20+% of daily protein
    Midday - Small meal/snack 20+% of daily protein
    Afternoon - Small meal/snack 20%+ of daily protein
    Night - Larger meal 20%+ of daily protein

    Example...

    Meal 1 - Protein Shake
    Meal 2 - Greek Yogurt with fruit and nuts
    Meal 3 - Salad with lean protein included
    Meal 4 - Larger dinner with more lean protein, potatoes, veggies, healthy fat source
    Last edited by AdamWW; 02-18-2021 at 01:33 PM.
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    peep my avi, IF all the way.
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    Originally Posted by fishnbrah View Post
    peep my avi, IF all the way.
    The fact that you've got a good physique doesn't mean that IF is any better than any other caloric deficit, it just means you like it more.
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    Originally Posted by kharneth View Post
    Anyone have any experience with intermittent fasting in conjunction with weigh lifting, specifically for the purpose of gaining weight and developing muscle, not losing it.

    I've heard plenty of times that intermittent fasting can be a useful way to lose weight, but I've recently heard that it is useful for developing muscle, however I am very skeptical. Apparently it can induce a great increase of growth hormones, among other things.

    Would anyone recommend combining intermittent fasting with weightlifting and a diet that includes a caloric surplus with the necessary macros?

    Specifically, I'm considering fasting 16 hours a day and eating only between 1pm and 9pm. My typical dietary habit involves eating small meals every 2-3 hours.

    IF works for me, but I can't lift tons as it makes me light headed.
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    Originally Posted by stonewench View Post
    IF works for me, but I can't lift tons as it makes me light headed.
    That sounds like it doesn't work to me...
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