Intermittent fasting (IF) is a style of dieting that revolves around restricting your eating for extended periods of time, and then eating your day’s worth of food during pre-determined time. Now the question was asked “Does Intermittent Fasting kill muscle?” Here is a great video response from ATHLEAN-X™ .
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For instance, you might fast (eat nothing) for 16 hours per day, and eat during the remaining 8 hours. Or you might fast for 20 hours per day and cram all your calories into a 4-hour window. Some protocols even call for eating one day, and fasting the next.
Intermittent fasting is certainly one of the most talked about methods of eating to lose fat. It has gained it’s popularity mostly by those who have had some success with it…in the short term! The issue with intermittent fasting and even some of the other diet methods talked about in this video is that they are questionable long term solutions at best.
In fact, a recent study was published that questioned whether intermittent fasting actually killed muscle or led to accelerated muscle catabolism. Given the nature of the diet, it’s easy to see where this research has come from. Going long periods without eating (up to 18 hours) flies in the face of sound long term nutrition principles and respect for one’s metabolism.
I’m not even talking about metabolism in reference to metabolic rate, but rather just the brain’s preference for consistent supply of nutrient rich (glucose rich) blood, preferentially in the form of food rather than through secondary compensatory means that the body has of producing glucose in times of need.
Other diet techniques and protocols similar to intermittent fasting in their “fad” nature include fat elimination diets, the Atkins diet, and juice diets. While all may in fact deliver short term fat loss results, most will never be sustainable for the long haul. They will wind up leaving you fat again and looking for the next short term solution.
In order to burn fat and build muscle most consistently, you need to follow a healthy and balanced diet consisting of fibrous carbohydrates, starchy non-refined carbs, high quality protein, and healthy fats. No macro or micronutrient should ever be entirely excluded from your diet if you want a long term solution.