14 days ago I filmed a Live Lean TV episode to answer your questions about my thoughts on intermittent fasting. Well like I mentioned in the video, at the time, I couldn’t tell you my thoughts because I never tried intermittent fasting before.
As you know, I’m not a dude that just talks about the latest research. I actually experiment with real world action. In other words. I test it on my body.
First off, let me set the record straight:
Intermittent fasting IS NOT a diet.
Intermittent fasting IS NOT starving yourself.
Intermittent fasting DOES NOT tell you WHAT to eat.
Intermittent fasting DOES NOT give you a green light to eat whatever you want.
Intermittent fasting IS NOT a weight loss miracle. It’s just a tool.
Consistently over consuming BAD food will wreck havoc on your hormones, and when you’re consistently in a caloric surplus, YOU WILL gain fat even when doing Intermittent Fasting.
So keep the quality of your food as healthy as possible regardless of what meal cadence you decide on.
Intermittent fasting (also known as IF) simply consists of two periods of when you eat and when you don’t eat.
I always started my eating window AFTER my workout. Yes this means I workout fasted with no food in my system.
Did working out fasted affect my strength gains?
Looking back on my lifting journal, I actually was right on schedule with my progression of lifts.
Plus, we all know carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. But when you’re working out fasted, the carbohydrates your body would typically burn for energy are not available.
Therefore the body begins to immediately burn stored fat for energy.
But to ensure my body was burning stored fat rather than muscle, I supplemented with 10 grams of BCAAs pre-workout.
I also boosted my energy by adding in a cup of black coffee or a zero calorie pre-workout supplement.
…and since my workouts typically take 50 minutes, I break my fast at 12pm with my post workout shake that I store in my locker.
Damn that’s good!
Once I got home I follow up my protein shake with a big ass meal.
There are many reasons why I do this.
#1. This is when your insulin sensitivity is at it’s highest (this is good thing)
This means your body is primed to use the calories and carbs to build muscle and replenish depleted glycogen levels DIRECTLY in the muscle and liver without spilling over and being stored in the fat cells.
This happens to most people that eat a lot of carbs who aren’t insulin sensitive.
Their glycogen levels are already filled with sugar, so the sugar from the carbs spills over into the fat cells (not good a thing).
Then the fast kicks in and you do it all over again.
That’s intermittent fasting using the 16/8 method.
So all in all, I didn’t starve myself.
I was still consuming the same amount of calories as I did before I started intermittent fasting.
But I was just eating it in a smaller window.
I admit, getting in all those calories in a shorter window has been some what of a challenge.
It doesn’t mean you can’t build muscle, it just may not be optimal in building muscle.
…when you’re in a fast, you’re giving your body more time to burn stored fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.
I now skip “breakfast” and I workout fasted.
My calories are the same.
My macros are the same.
And the quality of food I eat is the same.
I just have a smaller window to eat.
I did eat 5-6 meals a day to get to my current physique (which is about 7-8% body fat) and maintain it 365 days a year.
But I was getting tired of always cooking and watching the clock to see when my next meal was scheduled.
Intermittent fasting in my opinion is easier.
During my research, I also read that intermittent fasting was a good way for lean guys to get even leaner.
And I have to say, I like the results so far. I do feel tighter and my energy levels are also good.
I was hungry during the first few days. I did feel less energy in the morning. But for me this was just temporary.
I now get more done in the morning and feel great during my workouts.
…to see if i continue to progress.
But that’s just my story. You have to experiment yourself. You have to test what tools work best for your body.
…you will be miserable. You will be hungry. And you will feel low energy. For me, this was temporary.
It takes will power. You either have it or you don’t. It’s up to you to make that decision.
So once again, my Intermittent Fasting journey continues.
Keep it lean!
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1. How many meals do you eat a day?
2. Do you have the will power to try intermittent fasting.?
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.