Participants were given a digital scale and asked to track their weight for 12 weeks. Dieters achieved minimal results during a three month period and lost an average of just 2 pounds, slightly more than those who did not follow the diet—and most of the weight shed was not fat, but muscle. I’ve been a personal trainer and nutrition coach since the mid-2000s and intermittent fasting is without a doubt the most effective diet for weight loss and slowing aging . Intermittent fasting, also known as time restricted eating, is the “in” diet right now, but a new study revealed surprising results. It’s also an easy hack to avoid unnecessary snacks and late-night meals that add calories. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Overall, it is unlikely that you need to take dietary supplements during your fasting periods. The program required them to consume all their food in a 4-hour period on 4 days each week. Having said that it is equally important to keep other factors such as age, physical activity … Talk to a Dr. Berg Keto Consultant today and get the help you need on your journey. Nevertheless, adding exercise — especially weight training — to your intermittent fasting program can help you maintain muscle. Guide Learn everything you need about intermittent fasting, in our popular main guide. Furthermore, the researchers noted that fasting caused less fat-free tissue loss compared to a daily calorie restriction. Intermittent fasting also changes hormone levels to help with weight loss, including increasing growth hormone levels and the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine. This is likely because intermittent fasting is a broad term, describing several specific types of eating. This may range from 4–12 hours, but an 8-hour eating period is common. Many different religions have regular periods of fasting. All of these reasons don’t necessarily mean that it is impossible to gain muscle with intermittent fasting, but that it may not be the easiest diet for gaining muscles. This is true of weight loss caused by both intermittent fasting and other diets. Here’s how to prevent muscle loss while fasting. However, one study of intermittent fasting and weight training provides some preliminary information about muscle gain (8). It's no question that fasting is an effective way to lose weight. University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center researcher John Shepherd worked in collaboration with primary investigator Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist, and graduate student Dylan Lowe, both from the University of California San Francisco, and other colleagues on the Time-Restricted Eating (TREAT) study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. You’ll need to spike protein synthesis throughout the day. It has been estimated that creatine increases the strength gains from weight training by 5–10%, on average (28, 29). Fifty of the participants in the TRE group underwent in-person testing to measure fat and muscle mass, blood sugar levels and energy expenditure. There is very limited research on whether or not it is possible to gain muscle during intermittent fasting. It involves eating patterns that cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Additionally, you may have to make a bigger effort to get enough protein when eating less often than with a normal diet. This article tells you everything you need to know about the effects of intermittent fasting on your muscles. The intermittent fasting group had lost an average of 14 pounds of fat compared to 12 pounds in the normal dieters. If you choose to use intermittent fasting as a tool for weight loss and health, there are several things you can do to maintain as much muscle as possible. Intermittent fasting could make it difficult to get enough calories to build muscle, especially if you are eating nutrient-dense foods that fill you up easily (12). While the ideal rate of weight loss may vary, many experts recommend 1–2 pounds (0.45–0.9 kg) per week. Dr. Berg talks about intermittent fasting and muscle loss. The very low-calorie days could be considered a form of modified fasting, particularly if you only consume one meal. Based on these results, it may not matter whether or not you exercise fasted if your goal is weight loss. It will probably not make your exercise more effective, and it’s even possible that exercising fasted will decrease your performance. During the study, researchers observed 116 overweight and obese participants and split them in two groups. The researchers split 34 men who were very experienced with weight training into two groups: a time-restricted eating group (consuming all calories in 8 hours per day) and a normal diet group. A slow and steady rate of weight loss may also help. This may be because the time-restricted eating group consumed less protein than the normal diet group. As discussed, exercising — especially weight training — can help maintain muscle. Intermittent fasting, also known as time restricted eating, is the “in” diet right now, but a new study revealed surprising results. Intermittent fasting is a very popular health and fitness trend. With intermittent fasting, this can’t be achieved. Recently, there has been increased interest in identifying alternative dietary weight loss strategies that involve restricting energy intake to certain periods of the day or prolonging the fasting interval between meals (i.e., intermittent energy restriction, IER). Studies show that intermittent fasting increases several fat burning hormones, and short-term fasts may even boost your metabolism by up to 14%. The article was rated one of the most popular among readers after its release on September 28. 11 Myths About Fasting and Meal Frequency, Time-Restricted Eating: A Beginner's Guide. Overall, it is likely that intermittent fasting will not cause you to lose more muscle than other weight loss diets. However, whether or not you exercise during fasting periods is up to you. Research has shown that you are more likely to lose lean mass, including muscle, when you lose weight quickly (20). There are a few other scientifically based reasons why intermittent fasting may not be optimal for gaining muscle. This mild stress on your body may strengthen it to fight off larger threats, such as disease, in the future (31). All these help generate a great weight loss for many who adapt to this IF diet. However, as discussed in this article, short periods of fasting are probably not a concern for muscle loss (7, 16). A controlled trial published in 2009 showed that people who followed an eating pattern that closely resembled the 20/4 intermittent fasting method lost more weight than those who ate the same amount of calories but consumed them in several meals throughout the day (1). This article lists the 6 most popular intermittent fasting methods. This is especially true if you are trying to lose fat. Intermittent fasting can also increase your metabolic rate by as much as 3.6-14%. Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Loss. Here are the most common types (1): Time-restricted eating (also known as time-restricted feeding) restricts all calories to a certain number of hours each day. However, other studies have shown no loss of lean mass (5, 6). Although intermittent fasting is very popular, there is sometimes confusion about what it actually is. Mistake #6: Trying to build muscle with intermittent fasting. Research. Creatine supplements are particularly helpful if you exercise. It’s also very simple to follow since … As the name implies, alternate-day fasting consists of alternating between fasting days and non-fasting days. All other participants were scattered throughout the nation and only monitored weight change. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts, and you may wonder whether it aids weight loss. Intermittent fasting may cause muscle loss more than weight loss, study says Popular diet trend not a more effective form of weight loss It is believed that you lose weight through fasting because it is harder for you to eat as many calories during a small feeding … One of the biggest downfalls of intermittent fasting is that it’s not optimal for maximum muscle gain. Intermittent fasting is a popular dietary strategy that uses fasting periods longer than a typical overnight fast. Intermittent fasting is an effective way to lose weight and improve health. It involves eating normally for five days per week and eating about 25% of your normal amount of calories two days per week (2). Intermittent fasting has many potential benefits, including helping a person to lose weight. However, some people enjoy exercising fasted. The 16/8 intermittent fasting plan is one of the most popular styles of fasting for weight loss. This means that if you are performing intermittent fasting, you should try to not drastically reduce your calorie intake all at once. In fact, some researchers believe that intermittent fasting may be more effective for maintaining lean mass during weight loss than non-fasting diets, but more research is needed on this topic (7). “Intermittent fasting needs to be thoroughly studied given the surprising loss in muscle in this particular study.”. Intermittent fasting can help aid weight loss, unless you overeat in your window, eat unhealthy foods, and more. Intermittent fasting alongside calorie restriction can help in weight loss. There are many misconceptions about intermittent fasting and meal frequency. GH is called a protein sparer. What’s more, some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting are probably due to the fact that your body is not receiving any nutrients (30). One 8-week study examined the combination of intermittent fasting and weight training three days per week (16). One 4-week study followed 20 women performing fasted versus non-fasted exercise on a treadmill. Several studies have also looked into this. While you won’t lose muscle with IF, it’s very difficult to build with long periods of fasting. For this reason, studies of intermittent fasting and weight training have not used fasted exercise (8, 16). Additionally, if you get enough protein in your feeding period, fasting for 16 hours does not appear to be detrimental to your muscles, compared to a normal diet (16). However, the normal diet group gained 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of lean mass, while also increasing their strength. Examples include the month of Ramadan observed by Muslims and various fasts associated with Orthodox Christianity (3). All rights reserved. There are several different types, but what they have in common is fasts that last longer than a normal overnight fast. Regardless of which type of diet you follow, getting enough protein is important. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Low-carb recipes Recipe collection Whether you’re looking for strict keto, moderate or liberal low-carb recipes, here you have over 700 delicious low-carb recipes to choose from. Explained in Human Terms. While exact definitions vary, programs involving fasting for one or more days every 1–4 weeks are often considered periodic fasting. This could mean that intermittent fasting is not best for muscle gain. They had not previously performed weight training on a regular basis. Then at noon the next day I’m allowed to eat again. While protein supplements aren’t necessary if you get enough protein from foods, they can be a convenient way to ensure that you get enough. A different review study from 2011 showed that intermittent fasting resulted in a weight loss of 4 to 8% from baseline after three weeks (10). I’ll eat my last meal at 8pm then go directly into the fasting period. While IF is great for fat loss, it doesn’t work very well for making significant muscle mass gains. Creatine is a molecule that is found naturally in your body. A 2016 study looking into the effects of intermittent fasting in athletes found that, when combined with resistance training, the 16/8 intermittent fasting method “could improve some health-related biomarkers, decrease fat mass, and maintain muscle mass in resistance-trained males.” What’s more, a couple of studies have shown this specifically in relation to intermittent fasting (8, 16). The men followed either a normal diet or a time-restricted eating program. Time restricted eaters (TRE) were instructed to eat their meals during an 8-hour window between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. and abstain from caloric intake from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the following day, giving them a 16-hour fast. With touted benefits from weight loss to … Aiming for a slow rate of weight loss and consuming enough protein can help you maintain muscle during intermittent fasting. Intermittent Fasting 16/8 Weight Loss Plan. Both groups were assigned the same number of calories and amount of protein each day, and just the timing of the meals differed. Other research on alternate-day fasting has shown that 25–40 minutes of exercise on a bike or elliptical three times per week can help maintain lean mass during weight loss (17). Some research shows that intermittent fasting works - at least in the short term. Fasting probably does not add benefits, and it could compromise your optimal exercise performance. By collaborating with Shepherd’s Shape Up Study, the TREAT study was able to track changes in muscle, visceral fat and other regional body composition measures in 50 local participants. While research has shown that this can help you lose fat, some worry that intermittent fasting may also cause muscle loss. Tips to start include having a goal, choosing a suitable method, and creating meal plans. According to Shepherd and the researchers, even more significant was reduction in lean mass in the TRE group. It is possible that adequate protein intake is particularly important when using intermittent fasting, since your body will go for longer periods of time without receiving nutrients (1). Weight loss enthusiasts are flocking to this healthy eating plan thanks to its excellent weight loss results over short periods of time. If your goal is to get as big as humanly possible, you’ll need to be in a caloric surplus, consuming protein every 3-5 hours. This article…. In addition to the rate of weight loss, the composition of your diet can play an important role in maintaining muscle during intermittent fasting. By the end of the study, neither group had lost lean mass or strength. MyUH Overall, it seems that exercising while fasted may be a matter of personal preference. The 16/8 method. Two of the most important supplements to consider are protein and creatine. This guide explains the benefits and how to do…. Fasting and resistance training for weight loss. Intermittent fasting probably does not cause more muscle loss than other weight loss diets. Overall, performing exercise is highly recommended for maintaining muscle during intermittent fasting (8, 16). In some studies, people who followed this diet did lose weight and … This article takes a close look at the old proverb and…. When hearing the word ‘’fasting’’ most people think of starvation, but that is not the right way to look at it. Does Intermittent Fasting Boost Your Metabolism? Shepherd provided expertise on body composition on this study. But while it reduces risk of diabetes and rejuvenates cells, it can also cause bloating, diarrhea, caffeine dependency, reduced energy, hunger pangs, heartburn, brain fog, and headaches. However, it is possible that training fasted could impair your exercise performance, particularly for serious athletes (19). Protein intakes of around 0.7 grams/lb of bodyweight per day (1.6 grams/kg) may be appropriate during weight loss (23, 25). Your diet should always match your goals. Especially if you are physically active, protein supplements may help improve muscle size and exercise performance (26). By the end of the study, the time-restricted eating group had maintained their lean body mass and increased their strength. Intermittent Fasting the Best for Weight Loss. However, the time-restricted group lost 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) of fat, while there was no change in the normal diet group. Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle transformation, so the foods you eat, and the way you eat them can help you permanently shed those stubborn pounds. Nearly all studies of intermittent fasting have been conducted for weight loss purposes (1). Some research has also shown that consuming protein regularly throughout the day could benefit your muscles (13, 14). Move over keto, there’s a new eating plan creating controversy: Intermittent fasting (IF), which Forbes named one of the hottest diets of 2020. This is likely because weight loss is the topic of interest in most studies on these diets. If required, information contained on this website can be made available in an alternative format upon request. Both groups lost the same amount of weight and fat, and neither group had a change in lean mass. Get Adobe Acrobat Reader, Calendar In addition to protein, creatine supplements can support your muscles. In this article, we dive deep into the average weight loss intermittent fasting creates as well as hear from an intermittent fasting influencer to learn more about her weight loss journey. “The weight loss on average was very modest, about 2 pounds in 12 weeks for the TRE group compared to no statistically significant loss for the CMT group.”. Intermittent fasting gained popularity over the last couple of years, for a good reason - from a medical standpoint, intermittent fasting has many benefits.However, the less known fact is that you can use intermittent fasting for both muscle gain and weight loss!. This article reviews whether mayo is safe when…, Apples are highly nutritious, but you may wonder whether they can really keep the doctor away. In this study, 18 young men completed an 8-week weight training program. If you are trying to maintain or gain muscle during intermittent fasting, some dietary supplements may be helpful. Shepherd and Weiss are working together on additional studies to further assess body composition during dietary interventions that may reduce cardiovascular and cancer risk. Mayo is a popular condiment for sandwiches and often used as a base for salad dressings and sauces. More interesting still, especially if you’re worried about intermittent fasting and muscle loss, the proportion of lost weight that came from fat was exactly the same in both groups. “Both groups lost weight but there wasn’t a significant difference in weight loss between the TRE and the CMT groups, and that was surprising,” said Shepherd. Those in the consistent meal timing (CMT) group ate three structured meals during the day. This article debunks the 11 most common myths. Research has shown that weight training can help prevent muscle loss when you are losing weight (15). 6 Popular Ways to Do Intermittent Fasting, How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight, What Is Intermittent Fasting? Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular diets these days. In order to gain muscle, you must eat more calories than you burn, have enough protein to build new muscle tissue and have a sufficient exercise stimulus to cause growth (9, 10, 11). It is at its best a healthy lifestyle informed by human evolution and the study of metabolism. For those tracked in-person, 65% of the weight they lost was due to lean mass loss, more than double of what is considered normal. However, if you want some of the benefits from intermittent fasting but want to optimize muscle mass, I would advise a different type of fast. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away — Fact or Fiction. However, you need to consider when you want to take the supplements, as this could interfere with the results of your fasting. The popular 5:2 diet is very similar to alternate-day and periodic fasting. Because of this, some studies have shown that small amounts of lean mass (1 kg or 2 pounds) may be lost after several months of intermittent fasting (1). Rather than cutting out all calories, simply restrict carbs and fats during your fasting window, but continue to evenly distribute your protein intake throughout the day. Directory In doing the fast correctly and ensuring that it is aligning with your mind, body and soul–you can expect a good weight loss of anywhere between 2 to 6 kgs a month with excellent inch loss and increase in energy levels and brain function. Emergency Information If you choose to do this, it is recommended that you get 20+ grams of protein soon after exercising to support muscle recovery (19). Intermittent fasting probably does not cause more muscle loss than other weight loss diets. Even among those who use intermittent fasting, there is debate about whether or not to exercise when you are fasted. Some supplements, like creatine, may even be more beneficial when taken with food (33). This means you fast every other day. All in all, intermittent fasting is a simple way to fast, so your body can boost metabolism and burn fat. Here, an RD shares big fasting diet mistakes. Increase the Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting To say intermittent fasting is a popular weight-loss trend would likely be the understatement of the year. I’m also a big of the 16/8 intermittent fasting ratio for fat loss. Periodic fasting (also known as whole-day fasting) consists of occasional fasts, separated by days or weeks of normal eating. Intermittent Fasting for Rapid Weight Loss Dieters achieved minimal results during a three month period and lost an average of just 2 pounds, slightly more than those who did not follow the diet—and most of the weight shed was not fat, but muscle. There are several different types of intermittent fasting, including time-restricted eating, alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, the 5:2 diet and religious fasting. But studies have primarily been conducted on mice, and not people. Intermittent fasting isn’t just a weight loss strategy or a hack that bodybuilders use to lose fat quickly while maintaining lean muscle mass. This shows that weight training three days per week may help maintain muscle during fat loss caused by intermittent fasting. It is a myth that you will lose muscle mass if you do intermittent fasting simply because intermittent fasting spikes growth hormone (GH) and GH protects your proteins. Time-restricted eating is a form of fasting that limits eating to a certain number of hours each day. Several studies have shown that following a diet with enough protein can help preserve muscle during fat loss (23, 24). “There have been encouraging studies previously, but this is one of the few randomized control studies,” said Shepherd. Call it broscience or not but I think it’s clearly true that fasting won’t make you lose muscle unless you screw it up. Intermittent fasting, in which eating is restricted to a specific window of time, is a popular health fad. You may wonder if you should take protein, creatine or other supplements such as BCAAs during your fasting periods. However, if preserving muscle is your top priority, you may want to shoot for the lower end of this range (21, 22). Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. This is primarily due to a concern that these periods will negatively affect your muscles. While some people eat nothing on the fasting days (true fasting), it is more common to have one small meal on the fasting day (modified fasting). Dr Jason Fung intermittent fasting program for improving diet and to lose weight with healthy results from the fasting method and IDM. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/.../healthy-weight/diet-reviews/intermittent-fasting Work at UH, Watch the latest news of the University of Hawaiʻi, New intermittent fasting study finds dieters shed muscle, not fat, 3D scanners give new insight to body shape and health, Study finds Japanese Americans vulnerable to excess body fat, Hula study finds drop in blood pressure in Native Hawaiians, Resilience is 2020 Hawaiʻi Word of the Year, Windward CC ʻohana deliver holiday meals to students, Glowing bacteria in Hawaiian bobtail squid cause changes throughout host. Fasting works - at least in the TRE group underwent in-person testing to measure fat muscle. 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