Does Intermittent Fasting Calories Help With Muscle Growth?
You would ideally want to lose fat without losing muscle mass. This balance of maintaining muscle mass while losing fat is easier said than done. One approach to IF is to plan your meals throughout the day, so you don’t go under your maintenance calorie intake.
Splitting meals is more effective than eating several calories and proteins at once.
Note on maintenance calories:- The minimum calories needed to maintain body weight. To lose muscle, you will have to eat less than your maintenance calories.
It is hard to gain muscle or even maintain muscle mass when you’re fasting. However, IF lets you maximize your opportunities for hypertrophy.
Popular Methods for Intermittent Fasting Calories
You can fine tune your diet in a way that best works with your body. There are several ways of planning your meals around IF.
Here are some of the most popular methods worth discussing.
The 16:8 Diet
16:8 diet is when you fast for 16 hours a day, leaving an eating window of only eight hours. This method works best if your fasting window includes the time you spend sleeping. It is recommended to finish eating before 7 PM because the body’s metabolic effects tend to slow down.
16:8 diet is relatively simple to follow. You only have to skip breakfast and not eat anything after dinner. This could be difficult to do if you’re fond of breakfast. However, breakfast skippers should have no difficulty following this diet plan.
It is worth noting that you will feel the pangs of hunger more since you’re going without food for 16 hours. However, you can drink zero-calorie beverages to suppress hunger.
Make sure to consume nutritious meals during your eating window. You must also regulate your total caloric intake for the day depending on your goals.
IF does not give you a free pass to eat your way to bliss. Try avoiding processed foods if they are high in sodium (as in the case of chips and other ‘quick’ snacks).
The 5:2 diet
It’s a less aggressive approach to caloric intake. You are only restricting your caloric intake for two days of the week. You can eat normally during the five days of the week.
On the fasting days, you should only consume 500 calories. Success with weight loss depends on your fasting period.
The 5:2 diet works really well at weight loss because you’re not going for prolonged periods without food. However, it is only effective if you eat within your daily maintenance calorie intake.
24 Hour Fast
Eat Stop Eat, or alternate-day fasting, is when you fast once or twice for 24 hours every week. There is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest it works. Eat Stop Eat can change metabolic function in a way that supports fat loss. Just make sure to stick to your normal meal plan during the rest of the days
Alternate-day fasting may be difficult for some people to abstain from food for 24 hours.
You are allowed to drink water, tea (without sugar), and other zero-calorie beverages to suppress your appetite.
Fasting Every Alternate Day
In this method, you will fast every other day.
You can mix and match different diet plans during your fasting window to see what works best. For example, you could restrict your diet to about 1000 calories during the fasting days. Or you could restrict your daily calories to 500 calories. Or you might choose not to eat anything at all. Fasting every day can be difficult for many people, so this diet model may not suit them.
Health Benefits of Periodic Fasting
When done right, IF does several things to your body. The benefits far outweigh any risks, including the prevention of chronic disease and heart disease. There don’t appear to be any negative effects associated with periodic fasting.
Below are just a few health benefits that merit a discussion.
Helps You Lose Fat
Unless you eat much more during your eating window, you should easily cruise to your target weight.
Moreover, IF has been shown to improve hormonal function to help with weight loss.
It increases HGH levels, increases noradrenaline, and lowers insulin levels. These are all important in the breakdown of fat so it can be used for energy.
In other words, IF not only reduces your intake of calories for the day, but it also temporarily increases your metabolic rate (and burns more calories as a result).
Reduces Insulin Resistance
Reduction of Oxidative Stress
The theory of aging suggests that oxidative stress is a major reason people age. It involves free radicals, also known as unstable molecules. Free radicals can damage other parts of the cells, such as DNA, proteins, and cell membranes, by a process known as oxidation.
Moreover, intermittent fasting calories can also help accelerate the cellular repair process. As discussed earlier, IF can help initiate autophagy, a cellular waste removal process. It involves breaking down dysfunctional proteins that build-up inside the cells over time. Autophagy can protect against several health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease.
What’s the Evidence from Animal Studies?
A growing body of studies and scientific evidence suggests that intermittent fasting calories can lead to good health. The studies indicate that intermittent fasting calories influences metabolic changes in the body that are a significant driver of health indicators that can improve mental health and help a persona achieve a healthy weight.
One research paper published in New England Journal of Medicine by authors Rafael de Cabo and Mark P. Mattson has cited numerous scientific references to support this theory.
Research also indicates that IF can improve mental health. One study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that fasting in teenage boys improved various tasks such as working memory and spatial planning.
How to Stay on Track to an Intermittent Fasting Calories Program
Here are a few tips to help you stay on track to an intermittent fasting calories program:
- You can manage your hunger by drinking lots of water and beverages with zero calories, such as sugarless tea
- Try not to think about food during your fasting window. Distract yourself with work or watch a movie.
- Choose low-calorie and healthy foods such as raw vegetables and fruits with high water content.
- Season meals using garlic, herbs, and spices because they are full of flavor yet low in calories.
If you’re a beginner to intermittent fasting calories, we recommend trying the 16:8 diet because it’s easier to follow and gives you a wide eating window. Just make sure not to overeat during your eating window.
How many calories should I eat when intermittent fasting?
How many calories can you have while fasting?
Just make sure to remember that IF in itself will not burn any calories. You should supplement the diet by increasing the intensity of your exercise regime. Also, try doing more cardio.
Note for bodybuilders: Regardless of your approach to intermittent fasting calories plan, you will lose both fat and muscle if you’re under your maintenance calorie intake. Try not to go to extremes and gradually restrict your calorie intake while sticking to a protein-rich diet. The fasting period you are required to take depends on your goals.
Disclaimer:- Please consult with your medical doctor before starting any Intermittent Fasting Calories plan. This is especially important if you have a medical condition. Discontinue fasting if time-restricted feeding is proving to be unhealthy for you.