February 26, 2019 | John Paul Catanzaro
I worked hard for every ounce of muscle that I’ve built over the years and I’m not keen on losing any of it. That’s why I’m not a fan of intermittent fasting (IF), at least not for my purposes.
Sure, IF can provide great health benefits, such as weight loss, cellular cleanup and repair, cognitive enhancement, and more (check out this Precision Nutrition Ebook), and IF can be quite useful in certain cases as I mention in Lean and Mean, but it doesn’t work for me. I shrink in no time and my energy and strength plummet.
I’m not the only one that experiences an “anti-anabolic” effect from IF. Check out this article series by John Kiefer on the subject:
Intermittent Fasting: Part 1
Intermittent Fasting: Part 2, The Fight’s Over
Intermittent Fasting: Part 3, Go Eat Yourself
Alternate-day fasting may be a better option if you plan to do IF for a long period of time (see Don’t Leave a Presentation Before the Q&A).
Perhaps the best option to derive the positives of IF with very few negatives is to do it only once a week: Pick a non-training day with no social engagements and sip on bone broth all day long. It’s not a complete fast because you’re still getting nutrients in, but your calorie load will be down, you’ll give your digestive tract a bit of a break, and it should help to clean up some cellular debris without sacrificing much in size, strength and/or performance. You should rebound just fine the following day, and you may even feel better in the process.
I may use that strategy here and there during the “lean” days of summer, but for now, I will only fast while I sleep. That works for me!