Is intermittent fasting good for bodybuilding

Intermittent fasting: what is the real benefit of intermittent fasting?

So you can lose weight and get fitter with part-time fasting

Eat whatever you want and still lose weight - sounds like a dream ?! But it can become reality very quickly: Intermittent fasting is the magic word! Here you can find out what's behind the new fitness trend, whether it will work and how you can find out whether the method suits you!

Intermittent fasting aka intermittent fasting: what is it anyway?

Intermittent fasting is also under the term intermittent fasting known. The name is derived from the Latin "intermittere", which means something like to interrupt, to suspend. And that already reveals what's behind Intermittent fasting stuck: a Eating rhythm in which normal eating and fasting phases alternate. The method combines the advantages of fasting on your body and your health - just without the negative side effects such as fatigue, weakness or cravings.
Proponents of the Intermittent fasting argue that this form of diet is that most natural ever for our body: After all, many, many years ago, people would not have had food available always and everywhere, but had to get by for longer periods without food or get some first. In today's times, on the other hand, we have an oversupply of food and can get something 24/7 at snack machines, petrol stations and the like. Our body has "forgotten" what fasting is. The solution: Intermittent fasting - because the method imitates the natural eating habits of our ancestors.
Intermittent fasting is therefore also no time-limited diet, but can be integrated into everyday life as a permanent lifestyle.

Also interesting: Everything about the Paleo Diet.

How does intermittent fasting work?

Depending on the concept, they differ different methods of intermittent fasting a little, but the basics are the same for everyone: fixed periods of time in which you can eat what and how much you want, alternate with those in which you fast strictly. Important: The fasting period must always be longer than the period in which eating is allowed. The minimum is a twelve-hour fast: Only then should the body's own glycogen stores in the liver and muscles be used up and the body will switch on like in the "real" therapeutic fasting Fat burning around. In this phase, however, you have to be really strict and really are not allowed to eat or drink anything. Only Water, black coffee, and unsweetened and green tea. Even the small sip of milk in the morning coffee is taboo, as it would raise blood sugar and stimulate insulin production.
All the better: everything is allowed during the eating phase! Intermittent fasting is therefore not a diet with prescriptions, WHAT you can eat, but WHEN you can eat. Of course, I still recommend that you follow the rules for a healthy diet, especially if you are doing intermittent fasting Lose weight want to use.
It is also up to you how many meals you eat in the allowed hours. However, not too many are recommended and, above all, you should cut off snacking. Ultimately, this decision remains with Intermittent fasting but left to you.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

From health benefits, better skin, higher mental performance and weight loss to increased muscle growth - the Intermittent fasting some miracle effects are said to be. I will tell you in detail what these are here.

Lose weight quickly thanks to part-time fasting

Let's get to the first point: losing weight. Because that's by far the most common reason people choose to fast part-time. And according to studies, this way should also be damn effective: First of all, as already mentioned, avoiding food by at least twelve hours keep the body on Fat burning switched. And in contrast to permanent fasting, your metabolism does not throttle itself on the back burner because he thinks he is facing a famine. After all, you feed him every few hours or days so that he learns that something always follows.
Fasting and thus skipping individual meals also saves calories. Sure, you will then probably eat slightly larger meals during meal times and perhaps eat more than usual at the first meal after the fasting period, but one or the other calorie will fall by the wayside. And as you all know, losing weight works by the simple equation consume more calories than you take in, equal weight loss.
But even if you eat exactly the right amount of calories, as always, there are some reasons that you should go along with it Intermittent fasting Breaks down fat. Because the principle has a positive effect on your metabolism - in two different ways:

  1. Low insulin levels:Insulin is used to absorb sugar in the blood and, to put it simply, determines when the body stores fat and when it doesn't. It is also said to block fat burning and can lead to food cravings. Chronically elevated insulin levels are in closely related to obesity and many diseases of civilization such as diabetes. Intermittent fasting lowers the level of insulin in your body, so nothing stands in the way of fat loss.
  2. Metabolism increased by 14% thanks to norepinephrine: Norepinephrine is an endogenous stress hormone that makes you more aware. From an evolutionary point of view, for our ancestors fasting meant that it was time for them Foraging and hunting is - for this they needed 100% vigilance and physical performance. Norepinephrine does just that - measured in numbers, the hormone increases your metabolic rate by up to 14%!

In addition, you shouldn't underestimate what the psychological component to the success of the Intermittent fasting Contributes: Since there are no bans and in principle any food is allowed, there is no feeling of foregoing that often fuels cravings in diets.

Intermittent fasting & muscle building

Even in bodybuilding circles, the principle of Intermittent fasting made waves in recent years. And here, too, the positively influenced hormone level plays a role again:

  1. Up to 500x more growth hormones: (Interval) fasting leads to a greatly increased release of growth hormones, which - as the name suggests - are of course also significantly involved in muscle growth (and fat loss). A win-win situation for bodybuilders: They want to gain mass, but as lean as possible - muscle and not fat. You lay her Training at the end of your fasting phasebecause the growth hormones are then at their maximum. They can also eat shortly afterwards - and the post-workout diet is essential for building muscle.
  2. Increased testosterone level: Testosterone is THE muscle building hormone par excellence - and Intermittent fasting ensures that it rises properly. Here you can find out how testosterone and muscle building are related and how you can increase the level in other ways.

Intermittent fasting makes you healthy & keeps you young

But intermittent fasting not only has some advantages for your figure goals, but also for your health and general fitness. Prominent example: Intermittent fasting should be a real one Anti aging miracle be. Background: If we eat regularly, the body needs permanent energy for digestion. If you now relieve them, he can use his energy for other tasks, for example for combating oxidative stress and inflammation or for cell renewal. This not only keeps skin and hair young, but also prevents Alzheimer's and cancers.
But that's not all: Intermittent fasting promises a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, the body's ability to regenerate more quickly after psychological and physical stress, improved blood values ​​(e.g. lower cholesterol levels) and - according to studies - generally a longer lifespan. Researchers attribute these positive effects primarily to the increased production of growth hormones and improved insulin sensitivity to.
But: Not all of these health effects are really 100% confirmed, because many experiments have been carried out on rats. Here the researchers were able to prove how positive they are Intermittent fasting affects health, but it is questionable to what extent the results are transferable to humans.

What types of intermittent fasting are there?

There are many different variants for Intermittent fastingwhich differ mainly in the duration of the respective eating or fasting phase. In principle, however, you can completely flexible try it out and determine for yourself which rhythm you can get along with and what works for you.
Nevertheless, I will briefly introduce you to the most common forms of part-time fasting:

The 16: 8 intermittent fasting

Definitely the best known and most widely used method of intermittent fasting is this 16: 8 intermittent fasting. The name actually reveals how the principle behind it works: 16 hours are fasted, in the remaining 8 hours you can eat whatever you feel like. An example: If you have breakfast late, for example after morning exercise at 11 a.m., you can have your last meal at 7 p.m. Or - if that seems pretty early to you and you like to eat late for dinner - you can simply cancel breakfast so that your first meal would be your lunch. The 16: 8 intermittent fasting can be easily integrated into everyday life and is especially the right thing for those who don't like breakfast. Also for that Entry into intermittent fasting this "light version" is perfect.

The 36:12 intermittent fasting

Who may have been with the Intermittent fasting is familiar or directly wants more, it can also do with the 36:12 concept to attempt. Here, too, the basics are already in the name: 36 hours of fasting, 12 hours of eating. In plain English, this means that you fast every other day. An example: On the first day you eat normally within 12 hours, for example from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The following night and on the second day it is fasting and on the third day you can eat again from 8 a.m. So you get a fasting period of 36 hours and a meal period of 12 hours. This method is nice much harder than the one mentioned above, because you don't eat anything for a long time. For athletes who train very intensively, this method is less suitable, especially if you want to build muscles, because here no regular protein and calorie intake is guaranteed. If, on the other hand, you want to lose weight, do little or no sport and have a rather passive everyday life (office job, many trips by car, ...) you could do this Intermittent fasting help.

The 20: 4 intermittent fasting

A much more blatant twist on the above 16: 8 intermittent fasting is this 20: 4 intermittent fasting. You can imagine: You are not allowed to eat anything here for 20 hours and limit your food intake to just four hours. Experts - and I totally agree! - are of the opinion that this form not feasible in the long term is. On the one hand it takes away a lot of flexibility and spontaneity in everyday life, on the other hand it is just that very high-calorie, concentrated load of food in just four hours controversial and can sometimes even have adverse health effects, such as digestive problems or nausea. I advise against athletes and people with high psychological or physical stress at work or in everyday life, for you a more continuous supply of food throughout the day makes more sense.

The 5: 2 intermittent fasting

The 5: 2 intermittent fasting In contrast to the other methods presented, does not relate to an hourly limitation of the eating and fasting phase, but to whole days. The nice thing: You can eat normally on five days, on two you fast - and not the other way around! If that seems too blatant for you, there is the somewhat more moderate version: Here, on the two days of fasting, food is not completely foregone, but simply that Amount of calories significantly reduced (Men: 600 calories daily, women: 500 calories daily). Strictly speaking, it is then no longer a “real” intermittent fasting, since it is allowed to eat, but this prevents the Metabolism on the back burner switches. Important: You should do the two fasting days or days with very low energy intake in no case directly after each other lay.

There is also a light version of this method: Das 6: 1 intermittent fasting. Works in exactly the same way, but people eat 6 days and fast only one.

The 1:23 intermittent fasting

The absolute extreme form: you limit your food intake a single meal a daythat you record within an hour. The remaining 23 hours are called fasting. Although I'm generally a fan of trying everything out for myself to see how each method suits you, I would 1:23 intermittent fasting enjoy with care. For the majority of you, it will probably not be the right option, as a very large meal is consumed in one fell swoop and this puts an enormous strain on digestion. The consequences: tiredness, malaise, the feeling of being somehow bloated up to indigestion and stomach pain. It's especially tricky for athletes because it's at a meal often not enough protein is recorded. Not to mention vitamins and the like.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

Summarized here again Benefits of intermittent fasting at a glance:

  • Promotes fat loss
  • Is considered an anti-aging agent
  • No feeling of renunciation, strict diet rules and prohibitions
  • Learn again to pay attention to your own feeling of hunger
  • Digestion is relieved
  • No counting calories or demonizing a single macronutrient
  • Office and everyday use
  • No great planning or special prior knowledge necessary
  • Reduces cravings
  • Many health benefits such as lower risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, better blood counts, longer life expectancy, less inflammation in the body
  • Increased mental performance, clarity
  • Permanent diet on request

Disadvantages of intermittent fasting

As always, the same applies to intermittent fasting: Not all that glitters is gold. That's why I want you to Disadvantages of part-time fasting under no circumstances withheld:

  • Freezing due to low blood pressure
  • Hunger, moodiness
  • Listlessness
  • Digestive problems such as gas, heartburn, or constipation
  • dizziness
  • Tiredness and increased yawning
  • restlessness
  • Tremble
  • sweat
  • Reduced performance in sports due to low blood pressure
  • There is a risk that the lack of rules for the eating phase will offset all the positive effects of the fasting period through uncontrolled or unhealthy eating
  • Less spontaneity and flexibility in everyday life (for example, spontaneous invitations to eat during the fasting phase or if you bring your own cake to the office)
  • Fasting too often (more than three days a week) can lead to a protein deficiency, especially in athletes, or at least to insufficient protein intake for building new muscles (in the worst case even muscle loss)
  • An extremely concentrated food intake in a short time alternating with periods of fasting can put a lot of strain on the body (especially the heart)
  • Disputed whether 16 hours are really enough to Intermittent fasting compare to normal fasting; possibly no ketogenic metabolic state arises here

Also interesting: ketogenic diet.

Who is intermittent fasting suitable for?

As long as you are healthy and have no previous illnesses, intermittent fasting is in principle suitable for everyone. Of course, it is particularly recommended Willing to lose weight or those of you who are you Keep weight though want yourself but don't chastise it want and still want to enjoy their favorite chocolate or a beer after work.
Noticeable: Especially men respond extremely positively to that Intermittent fasting - but more on that in a moment.

Who is intermittent fasting not suitable for?

Some of you should stay away from it Intermittent fasting or at least clarify with your doctor beforehand whether this method is okay for you. These include:

  • Pregnant women or those who want to have children
  • For acute or previous eating disorders
  • If you have low blood sugar or diabetes
  • When taking blood sugar-lowering drugs
  • If you are underweight
  • High-performance athletes
  • For chronic stress

Should also be careful Athletes in the competition season or people in professionally demanding contexts. For them, an even intake of calories distributed throughout the day can make more sense.

Differences between men and women

I've already teased it briefly above: For men, intermittent fasting is more effective in almost all areas. It is believed that this is due to the natural differences in hormonal balance between men and women.
But please don't get this wrong: That definitely doesn't mean that the ladies among you should stay away from the crowd Intermittent fasting should leave! First, every body works individually anyway; second, the fact that it works for menbetteryeah that doesn't work for womennot goodis working!
It merely explains why one is common for women slightly shorter fasting window recommended, as a rule 14 instead of 16 hours and rather no “harder” variants like fasting for days.

Also interesting: detox cure.

Myths about intermittent fasting in check

As with almost every fitness topic, that is also circulating Intermittent fasting some myths on the net. I took a closer look for you which you can cross out of it and what might be there after all:

  1. Skipping breakfast is unhealthy and makes you fat.
    A popular belief: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So it has to be unhealthy, like with 16: 8 intermittent fasting omit - right ?! No. Firstly, there are now enough studies that say that those who don't like breakfast don't have to squeeze in if they can't get anything down in the morning; Overall balance who decides calories. Third: Intermittent fasting does not automatically mean that breakfast will be omitted - you can decide individually when to start your fasting period. If it suits you better, you can have breakfast as normal and accordingly not eat anything in the evening or eat the last meal of the day very early.
  2. Lots of small meals keep the metabolism going.
    For fat loss in particular, one often hears that 5-6 smaller servings spread over the day are perfect because they keep the metabolism busy and the blood sugar level stable. But also here applies again: No matter how many meals you eat if you are in a calorie deficit at the end of the day, you lose weight - regardless of whether you have eaten two, three or ten meals! At the Intermittent fasting is still mostly recommended to refrain from constant snacking, so that the insulin and blood sugar levels go down and digestion doesn't have to work all the time.
  3. Fasting = no protein = muscle breakdown.
    Frequent criticism of the Intermittent fasting: The fasting periods would lead to no or not enough protein being absorbed and the body therefore making use of its own reserves, keyword muscle breakdown. But even that cannot be said like that: First of all, it is precisely the great advantage of the Intermittent fastingThat there is no permanent fasting, but only for a certain fixed period of time and, secondly, you can easily take in enough protein during the eating phase. Nevertheless, there is a bit of truth in this statement - with hardcore variants like that 1:23 intermittent fasting it can lead to bottlenecks really easily. But there are enough alternatives - the 16: 8 method, for example, is perfect, even if you want to build muscle.
  4. Fasting leads to the yo-yo effect.
    Last but not least: many fear Intermittent fasting would signal a famine to the body, so that it switches to an economy mode and not only consumes fewer calories, but also bunkers each calorie extra. The result: Despite eating less, you not only lose weight, but in the worst case even gain weight. Hello Jojo effect! But I can give the all-clear here, folks: the concept of Intermittent fasting it is precisely that the body learns to get enough food regularly despite phases of renunciation. And: studies have shown that the body only after 2.5 days of complete fasting switches to economy mode and shuts down the metabolism. You have such a long period of fasting in one go (!) Intermittent fasting not at all! Even with the 5: 2 method, it is expressly emphasized not to lay the two fasting days one after the other. Means: From the 60 hours of continuous fasting are you far away!

More information: Further nutrition myths and fitness myths.

Instructions for intermittent fasting: How to make the transition

Intermittent fasting all in all doesn't sound bad to you and you want to try it out ?! Then here are the instructions on how to easily master the changeover:

  1. Resigned initially for a week on sugar and simple carbs such as bread, pasta or baked goods made from white flour. This should reduce your blood sugar or your insulin to a (low) normal level and level off there.
  2. In the second week you lower yours Meal frequency: For example, if you have eaten five small meals so far, you will now only eat four.
  3. In the third week you continue in the same way - in the above example you reduce from four to three meals.
  4. Then in the fourth week (or earlier if you've only eaten three meals anyway) you scale down to two meals. Do this step only if you are comfortable with it, otherwise you can stay with three meals.
    At the same time you screw the Slightly high proportion of protein and fats and put on "Good" long-chain carbs (for example in whole grain products, fruit or vegetables). This ensures long-lasting satiety and a steady rise in blood sugar.
  5. As soon as you have reached the two (or even three) meals, you continue to extend the fasting period. Begins with twelve hours and increase each week by an hour until you prefer yours Intermittent fastingMethod.

Also interesting: stick to your diet - the best tips.

Tips for correct intermittent fasting

So that you can optimally integrate intermittent fasting into your everyday life and not stop immediately, I have a few helpful tips for you here:

  • Give yourselves time. The concept can be difficult, especially at the beginning, and you may be very hungry. Then just drink lots of water, tea, and unsweetened coffee moderately. After the time the body learns to draw from its reserves - you “only” have to go through them Getting used to it through, then it’s easy, I promise!
  • Helpful in this context: You can at Intermittent fasting to be able to vary your fasting phase, but I advise you to always about the same times to choose - this reinforces the habituation effect of the body and makes it easier to persevere.
  • Experience shows that this takes Feeling hungry after about a week, then the performance also feels (again) increased during sport. Mental clarity is achieved after around two weeks.
  • If you choose long fasts like the 5: 2 method or the 36:12 method, keep that Stress on the fasting days as low as possible.
  • Drives best at first exercise during the eating phase or shortly before on End of Lent: The growth hormones are at their maximum and you can supply your gains with the all-important post-workout meal after training.
  • If you have a headache during the transition, one can help Pinch of salt with water and drink plenty - Alternatively, vegetable broth is also possible.
  • Even if you shouldn't make any exceptions: If it does happen, that's okay - just get back to your rhythm. A renewed fasting is much easier than the first.
  • When choosing the right one Intermittent fasting method The following applies to you: Compare your favorite with your everyday life so far and try not to deviate too blatantly. In other words, if you've been spreading six meals over the day, for example, don't set up straight away 20: 4 intermittent fasting um - your insulin sensitivity is very likely to be too low, so you will quickly notice side effects from the low blood sugar level.
  • The change is particularly easy if you are already low-carb or not having breakfast anyway.

Intermittent fasting: recipes for the eating phase

Before you get a shock and think that there are fixed meal plans and prescribed dishes - don't worry, it stays that way: Intermittent fasting allows you to eat what you want. But: So that you can still achieve your goals and benefit optimally from the benefits of intermittent fasting, I of course advise you to pay attention to a healthy, fitness-appropriate diet. Matching recipes based on as recommended long-chain carbohydrates, plenty of protein and enough (healthy) fats I picked you out here:

By the way: many supporters of the Intermittent fasting swear by that instead of breakfast Bulletproof Coffee recipe. Give it a try if you haven't already done it!

Conclusion intermittent fasting: That really works

Although the ghosts on Intermittent fasting divorce, there are some arguments in favor of trying the method: whether higher mental performance, a push at Lose weight, increased Muscle growth or just something for your own health do - there are few diets or nutritional concepts that have so few "rules" as intermittent fasting! It offers you a lot of freedom and - apart from the prescribed meal times - the greatest possible flexibility.
While there are some fixed forms such as that 16: 8 intermittent fasting, but you can just as easily set your own time frame for when to fast and when to eat.
Approach the change slowly and step-by-step so that you don't get blown away. After getting used to it, part-time fasting will become easier and easier for you and you can even do it as lasting lifestyle maintained.
Women should be a little more careful when it comes to fasting periods, which are often enough 14 hours.
Otherwise: Just give it a try, but give yourself up to do it at least two weeks Time - and then decide whether you want to give it all a chance in the long term. Even if science cannot yet give 100% positive feedback - you have nothing to lose, it's definitely worth a try, isn't it ?!

How do you feel about Intermittent fasting? Have you already tried it? Write to me about your experiences!

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