So, you want to put on some lean muscle mass? You’ve got your workout set up, but as anyone would tell you, that’s only half of the muscle building battle, the other half being a good diet. And one of the best diets for putting on lean muscle mass is a little something called intermittent fasting. Here, we’ll be detailing what intermittent fasting is, how to do it, and how it can help you build lean muscle mass.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a form of dieting where you fast for 16 hours, and have an 8-hour eating window (though you can adjust these times for a bigger/smaller eating window). A typical day of intermittent fasting goes as follows; you wake up in the morning, you don’t consume any calories (meaning no breakfast), maybe take some black coffee or sparkling water for appetite suppression (it’s recommended that you do this 2-3 hours after you wake up, to avoid getting hungry), and about four hours after you wake up, you break your fast and start your eating window. You can adjust these times to better fit your schedule if needed. The great thing about this diet is that it doesn’t focus on what you’re eating, but rather when you’re eating.
How does it build lean muscle mass?
Intermittent fasting has benefits for both fat burning and muscle building. When you wake up in the morning, your cortisol levels will be at their peak. This helps stimulate you, get you up and out of bed, and also helps with fat burning. So when you postpone your meal till a few hours after you wake up, you’ll be limiting the amount of calories you’re taking in in the morning, which will put you into a calorie deficit, where you’re losing more calories than you’re taking in, which of course leads to fat loss.
Of course, as everyone knows, if you want to build muscle, you have to make sure your muscles are being fed the proper nutrients. Intermittent fasting helps to make sure that your calorie intake stays around the basic level required for muscle growth and maintenance, and doesn’t exceed it, which could lead to weight gain. It also helps that intermittent fasting frees up time that you might otherwise be spending trying to prepare “clean” food to be used for training. However, due to the dietary restrictions of intermittent fasting, in particular your carb intake, it’s better suited for cutting rather than bulking.
So there you have it, our guide to intermittent fasting and its effects on muscle growth. If you’d like to learn more, or just want to see an example of its results, check out Corey Gregory and Greg O’Gallagher on Instagram or Youtube. They have plenty good information, personal experience, and tips to make it easier for you.