- Diet & Weight Loss
My Intermittent Fasting Lean Bulk
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a technique used to lose weight, gain lean muscle whereby you don’t actually have to be on a diet by controlling the periods when you eat and when you don’t eat (only consume water). It has different results for everyone depending on your level of activity and how healthy your diet is to your body fat composition and insulin resistance level. A person who has a higher body fat( an overweight or obese person) I feel would be better served by a proper diet and workout program first before they could see real dramatic results from using intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting works well for those who have that stubborn layer of stomach fat that is preventing them from being shredded. Intermittent fasting is helpful if you are already lean and you want to stay lean all year round with minimal effort whilst eating what you want.
The Two Main Ways to Use Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting lifestyles are designed to fit in with your lifestyle and activity levels, so each person has to adapt each intermittent fasting protocol to their lifestyle. There are two common approaches to intermittent fasting, the daily shorter fasts or the longer (24 hours) but less frequent fast which are done a couple times per week.
Daily intermittent fasting – Is done every day, or on most days of the week, in this type of approach one has an 8 hour window in which to consume their daily meals. This means that you fast for 16 hours of your day. You do this by skipping breakfast and having your first meal around lunch time, and your last meal at around 8pm. You can eat 3 meals evenly spaced in that 8 hour window or maybe two large meals during that eight hour window.
Weekly 24 hour fast – this is a method whereby you fast for 24hours straight for 1-2 days per week, Note that this does not mean you will not consume food during that day it only means if you have a meal at 7pm on Wednesday then you will fast till 7pm on Thursday. This is the more difficult fasting method when compared to the daily intermittent fast.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting reduces blood glucose and insulin levels, it also keeps your metabolism strong which is good for burning calories so they are not stored in your body as fats, it is useful for maintaining lean muscle mass and it increases hormones such as growth hormone, glucagon and adrenaline which aid in torching body fat and also it decreases blood pressure.
Personal Experiences with Intermittent Fasting
At the beginning of the 2rd quarter of 2012 I tried intermittent fasting for the first time after learning of it from the site Leangains.com. I used the daily intermittent fasting model that is advised by the lean gains guide to intermittent fasting. I am a student and I also love to work out so that I can build a lean muscular body. I did not want to use the usual bulk in the winter cut in the summer approach, I found that irritating. I wanted to work out, and gain lean mass (even if it was slow) while staying lean all year long.
I also did not want to be on a strict diet that is required to get shredded, so intermittent fasting seemed the perfect solution for me. Also I have never liked the bodybuilding method of eating every couple of hours in order to bulk up, I wanted to eat a few big meals per day, not carry a lunch box everywhere I go.
At the beginning it was hard for me to adapt to intermittent fasting, I was used to eating 4 to 5 times a day now in a bid to gain more muscle. I was experiencing hunger pangs, and I was getting really dehydrated, and I was also feeling weak because of the lack of energy. It got better after my body adapted to the change in my meal scheduling; I started feeling normal after the first week. At first I would eat a lot during my 8 hour window because I was so hungry, but as time went by I started to lose food craving and I started eating less. If I ate good food, it satisfied me; I was full and had no cravings for sweets and junk foods.
I was also working out in conjunction to the intermittent fasting, but instead of my usual 5 day split, I opted for a 3 day compound exercise routine since I felt that since I was bulking I would be better served by the whole body compound exercise routine. The 3 day workout was so that I did not use up too much energy as I felt a 5 day split would be too taxing, it was also to allow ample time for all my muscle to recover because compound exercise engage almost all your muscles.
I managed to gain some weight from the experiment but I felt that I would have gotten better results if I did some things a little different like, eating better, not over eating during my feeding period to begin with an so forth.