Intermittent fasting has become a worldwide trend lately. Some follow it for weight loss, while others follow it to attain a lean body. Other than weight loss which is the primary benefit of fasting, it also has countless other pros such as improved heart health, brain health, and cell repairment.
But, can you build muscles while fasting?
Health enthusiasts usually have this question! To put the minds of people at ease, yes, bodybuilding can be carried along with fasting. However, when you are trying to burn extra fat while gaining muscles, you need to be careful.
Bodybuilders have an indispensable habit of eating frequent high-protein meals during the day. If you are one of those who need to eat every 2-4 hours, it is advised not to fast. There are many other aspects to this. Keep reading to find out!
Can I fast while building muscles?
Well, intermittent fasting is a cyclic regime in which you fast for a fixed time and eat within another time window. So, whether you can fast or not if you are building muscles depends on factors like:
- What kind of exercises are involved?
- How frequently do you exercise?
- The fasting types you follow.
- How many calories do you consume?
There are some ways through which you can bulk up while fasting.
How to bulk up while fasting intermittently?
There are certain things that you need to follow extremely carefully while fasting and building muscles simultaneously.
Here are some key points that will help you better!
Don’t go for 48-hour or alternate-day fasting
If you are a hard-gainer, it is ideal to avoid 48-hour fasting and alternate-day fasting schedule. The average calorie intake of a hard gainer should be around 3600 per day.
It is around 150 per hour. As it can be tough for you, adding a fasting window can make it impossible. Instead, you can try the 16:8 method.
Focus on resistance training
If you have a fasting regime and a goal of attaining heavy muscles, you need to focus on High-Intensity Interval Training and Resistance Training. Both of these have proven to provide remarkable benefits when it comes to muscle gain.
As per a group of US researchers, resistance training includes weight lifting, squats, lunges, dips, presses, pushups, etc., along with 8-12 hours of eating window can enhance muscle strength and endurance.
If you are worried about fat loss, a study shows that a 16:8 diet can lead to greater fat loss while not affecting muscle mass or muscle strength.
Workout in the fasting window
To some of you, it may seem like an unlikely option, but it is actually pretty helpful. If you get up early to work out, you can burn more fats. This can help in getting a more shredded physique.
Though this is a preferable option, if you are not comfortable with it, you can choose another one. You can go for fasting during the day, consume your first meal of the day, and then work out.
Both of these methods work great in terms of gaining muscles.
Choose your food elements wisely
Food is the central element of fasting. It is not about how long you have to eat. It’s about what and how much you eat.
If you follow the 16:8 fasting routine, you have 8 hours to eat to fast for the next 16 hours. This does not mean that you can pack yourself with unhealthy fats, empty calories, or sugar-rich foods.
These foods can help you bulk up, but that will be fat mass. You need to ensure that most of your calorie intake comes from proteins such as protein shakes, chicken breasts, fish, legumes, poultry, pork, or tofu. On top of this, you can consider taking healthy fats too, such as nuts, seeds, Avacado, Pasteurized Eggs, etc.
The combination of these food elements keeps you energetic as well as filled.
No matter which fasting method you are choosing, it is best to keep exercising. The need for exercise is indispensable as you have to consume every hour.
But, in intermittent fasting, you have to make up for the fasting hours too. As you will be consuming a massive amount of calories in your eating window, you will be required to exercise a lot.
It is ideal to eat before you workout and after your workout to get accurate results.
The Fasting Schedule
You can create a schedule at your convenience while keeping your goal in mind. But, it is necessary to ensure that your calories intake is enough based on your body-building goal. If you are a hard gainer, here is a typical schedule that you can follow!
Calories required: 3500-3600 per day.
Fasting type: 16:8
- Wake up at 8 in the morning after an 8 hour fast.
- Workout fasted or continue fasting for 8 more hours.
- Consume your first meal at 4 pm, make sure it is packed with 1000 calories.
- Workout for 2 hours (5-7 pm)
- Take your post-workout meal (at 7 pm). Make it 1500 calories.
- Consume third meal at 9 of 750 calories
- The final meal of the day at 11 pm (750 calories)
Conclusion: Final Words
If you have any myth keeping you from fasting while body-building, you need to filter that out of your brain. There will be no muscle loss or feeling of starvation if you will fast in a proper way.
Yes, it can be a bit tough, but if you keep all the necessary tips in mind, you can make it, and you will surely love it.
If you feel any challenges in diet management, meal planning, calories intake, or results tracking, you can use various intermittent fasting apps.