The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting (Part 2)
Intermittent Fasting is a great way to improve your body composition, as it’s proven to safely and effectively promote fat loss while providing additional major health benefits.
For a reminder on the health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, please click here for part 1
IF to increase fat loss is also enhanced by adding training into the mix!
TRAINING WHILE FASTING ACCELERATES FAT LOSS!
After a typical 8-10 hour overnight fast, our glycogen stores become depleted and we are better able to mobilize and burn body fat for energy.
Combine this with an intense early morning training session before breakfast and you can really tap into those fat stores!
After scanning the literature, I’ve derived two possible explanations as to why combining exercise and IF may be more beneficial than either on their own.
- Increased lipolysis (breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation (using fatty acids for energy).
Male participants consuming 0.8g/kg bodyweight of carbohydrate an hour before cycling had significantly less fat oxidation during the session. Researchers attributed this to the blunting of lipolysis that was caused by the insulin release. From a practical standpoint, this could mean having breakfast after your morning workout.
- Increased blood flow to abdominal region during fasting.
In a 2007 study, participants had a 50% increase in abdominal blood flow after a 72 hour fast. This blood flow was suggestive of increased lipolysis of abdominal adipose tissue (belly fat)!
However, if you’re looking to achieve optimal fat loss from training while intermittent fasting, you are more susceptible to muscle loss. This is because training itself is catabolic, meaning that rep after rep set after set you are continuously tearing away at your muscles. If not careful, you can actually start breaking down muscle to be used as an energy source!
This problem can be avoided by supplementing with BCAA’s during/ right before your workout. Leucine (the most widely studied BCAA) is well known to stimulate protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown.
Because BCAA’s are already in their simplest amino acid form, they bypass the liver and enter the bloodstream directly. This means they can be utilized within minutes after ingestion, unlike other forms of protein like whey and casein.
For this reason, BCAA’s offer muscle sparing and protein synthesis benefits before, during, and after training!
If you are looking for an opportunity to put this theory to the test, stop by SST for any one of our many weekly Butts & Gutt’s boot camps (several early morning options!)
Say goodbye to boring diets and hello to tasty, fat-burning meals with our high-protein recipe cookbook.