Five Essential Steps For Optimal Muscle Growth During Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting and lifting weights are successful combinations

Fasting and weight training will allow you to increase strength muscle mass and decrease body fat without compromising your health as low-fat diets seem to cause. In my own experience, intermittent fasting has provided the most consistent strength, muscular gains and fat burning consecutively. I wish I had tried it sooner! However, here are some essential steps you should take to ensure your results with weight training are the most effective. 

Five essential steps for optimal muscle growth during intermittent fasting

One: Make sure you are getting enough protein

Your body composition will change based on your nutritional intake. But that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the other macronutrients, such as fats, carbs and the most important one — vegetables. Because your eating window will eventually end, it’s essential to get the proper nutrition when you are eating. I have made this mistake myself — not eating enough and fasting for long periods. I did this to lose enough weight for an event, but I wish I had taken the time to pay more attention to eating more food. Eating less won’t automatically guarantee weight loss — but it will most definitely make you feel miserable and leave you starving. Make nutrition your primary aim when fasting. 

Two: You must have a proper strength training program

Always alternate between programs that build muscle as well as strength. It’s always a good idea to target your weight training when you can eat a meal. That might mean activity in the morning or evening. Getting a meal in after your session will replenish glycogen stores. They ensure that you schedule your training sessions when your feeding window is longer. That can sometimes help because you may not necessarily be hungry. So, do allow yourself the time and space to eat more. I save prolonged fasting for rest days — or days when I know, I cannot get to the right food. 

Three: Fasting will help you improve insulin sensitivity

It will lower your inflammation markers. This means that you will be more inclined to use your calories more efficiently & store less body fat. Lowering my insulin levels is probably the best thing about fasting. That means I burn fat, and my body is a lot more susceptible to accumulating muscle. 

Four: Don’t make cardio your primary focus

Fat loss can occur without cardio or low-calorie diets when fasting by implementing strength training — preferably heavy lifting, combined with an 8-hour feeding window. Great news for all of us who hate cardio! I like cardio, but only if it means I can go for a walk often listen to my preferred music or audiobooks. That’s possibly the best way to study, zone out and provide you with some active recovery time. I would not focus on HIIT until you have allowed fasting and weight training to change your body shape. If you have some stubborn fat stores that won’t budge, by all means, try HIIT. You must start with a baseline rather than wear yourself out with this method three times a week. Instead, do it once and give your body enough time to respond. There is no point in doing more than you should lose body fat. So take it slow and let nature take its course. 

Five: Alternate-day fasting is still a good option

Pick and choose which fasting protocol works best for you and your lifestyle. You will always receive great results with alternate-day fasting. It’s a flexible optional choice for athletes or those that require high consumption of calories for specified training schedules. It’s a great way to stay lean and muscular without compromising your performance. Start with one strategy and test. If it works, stick with it. 

Key take away

I do hope I’ve managed to encourage you to stick with intermittent fasting long term for strength and muscular gains, as well as fat loss. There is no other simple and effective program than this. The positives surely out-way any minor negatives that may occur. I’ve received great results and am still working hard on building strength and conditioning my body beyond what I ever thought I was capable of achieving. 

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