View Full Version : Intermittent Fasting

02-12-2011, 12:36 AM
I was just wondering what people's opinions were about intermittent fasting. IF has been really useful to me personally. I recently lost about 50 pounds, and mentally IF helped a ton. I'm a fan of a little dietary hedonism, so IF allowed me to indulge my primal urges while still getting great results. In my case, a 1600 and an 800 calorie meal is way more satisfying than six 400 calorie snacks for the same caloric intake. Now that i've started training heavy again, i've put back on 14 pounds (from 190 to 204) while cutting bodyfat from 17% to 14%. That may not sound lean to you, but 14% is by FAR the leanest i've ever been. I was just wondering what other members' though/opinions/experiences/questions were.

02-12-2011, 04:52 AM
How is your strength doing on IF?

02-12-2011, 05:57 AM
I think its worth it when the fat loss is the goal. I use to do 24 hour fasts after 24 hour monstorous feast I got super lean but was super weak.

02-12-2011, 11:33 AM
@clone - my strength is doing great! i didn't have access to a gym last semester, so during the initial cut i lost some strength simply because of that, but no more than would be expected (bench dropped from 375 to 315, squat dropped from 515 to 405, deadlift dropped from 525 to 425) after a 4 month layoff, regardless of eating, and definitely less than i thought i would after dropping 50 pounds. I actually ended up STRONGER pound for pound, despite not lifting for 4 months. now that i'm training again, my lifts are increasing faster than they ever have (with the exception of newbie gains when i just started lifting). my bench is about the same as it was when i started my cut, and i'm pulling just as much as when i started, despite only being back in the gym for about 6 weeks. i'm doing front squats instead of squats because of some hamstring issues, but i'm hitting lifetime PRs on front squats now. basically, my strength is as good now at ~204 after just 6 weeks back in the gym as it was at 240 with about a year of solid, consistent training behind me.

@dechrist - that's not the kind of IF i had my success with. i did a 16-20 hour fast with a 4-8 hour eating window. i'd be interested to hear more about alternate day fasting. how did you set your training up with that?

02-12-2011, 07:06 PM
Love IF - I have been doing the Leangains thing for about 6 months (16 hours a day no food) and it is great. I was cutting originally and it is so easy to eat low calories when you are allowed big meals, and now I am bulking and I think this helps the fat/muscle ratio with gains

And strength wise I notice no difference when on IF or not

02-12-2011, 07:07 PM
I would do 4 low carb days and 2 high carb days including an all out cheat day and than following the cheat day id fast for 24 hours and resume my regular diet.

02-12-2011, 08:23 PM
I think the advantage(s) of it are largely behavioral and not physiological. It can certainly be applicable for many folks. I used some principles from it for a few month period last fall and it was refreshing to see firsthand I didn't catabolize and waste away fasting through the morning. Now, these days [when my calories are restricted] I regularly wait 2 or so hours to eat and this makes the rest of the days dieting easier. I wouldn't have dabbled with this little gap of fasting had I not previously done a little bit of IF.

02-13-2011, 12:16 AM
@behemoth - i agree that the main advantages are behavioral, but i also think there are physiological benefits. the majority of your calorie intake on workout days is directly post-workout (if you set it up leangains style), so you can take advantage of the nutrient partitioning, and also a relatively higher percentage of calories burned at rest should be from fat following IF vs. a traditional approach from elevated GH levels and depressed insulin. studies have also shown increased insulin sensitivity, which is especially good towards the end of a bulk, and that an elevation of catecholamine levels may actually slightly increase resting metabolic rate. i'm not disputing you that the biggest advantage is behavioral, but i'm the nerdy type and the sciency stuff is actually what initially attracted me to IF in the first place.

02-13-2011, 02:13 AM
Not to hijack a thread, but how would IF do during a carb loading phase after a carb cycle? As in, carb cycle for my normal 12 days, then reload for 48 hours...if I IF and only feast for say...6 hours, going heavy carb to replenish my stores, then IF afterwards, or is there really any point in doing so? My idea is to try and at least KEEP the weight about the same after the cycle, and then going back in to another cycle but also replenishing myself with carbs.

02-13-2011, 01:20 PM
it would depend how many grams of carbs you were looking for in the carb load (500-600 vs. 1000+), because that would make the feasibility an issue. I carb cycle with my IF, with protein around 250 grams per day, carbs less that 30 on low days, 200ish on medium days, and 500ish on high days, and just trying to keep fat up on low days and down on high days. so on a high day i'm eating right around 3200-3500 calories depending on fat intake and having no trouble doing it. as you adjust, the first couple fasts are tough because your hormones (specifically ghrelin) are set to you current eating pattern, and eating 1000-2000 calories in multiple meals within a short time span can be tough if you're used to grazing through the day. after a week or two your body adjusts and the IF lifestyle feels completely effortless and natural. i'd say give it a go and see how it works for you.