Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Catabolism

Forums Nutrition Intermittent Fasting and Muscle Catabolism

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    Hi Guys

    First off, thanks for such a great resource: thought provoking as well as a fine set of exercises. Which brings me to my point…

    It only takes an hour of reading on the internet to find out that the bodybuilding/MA priorities for fat loss are:

    1. Eat Properly

    2. Eat Properly

    3. Eat Properly

    4. Strength Training

    5. Cardio

    Nutrition is so important that these guys eat 6 meals a day, never more than 3 hours apart, have a special pre-workout cocktail, spike their insulin with high GI foods and protein directly after their workout to increase muscle sensitivity to glycogen uptake, follow that by a meal about an hour afterwards being careful not to partake in anything that contains fat or fibre (which inhibits the nutrients getting to the muscles) but contains a good whack of carbs, take the vast majority of their carbs in the first three meals of the day… the list goes on.

    All this to prevent muscle catabolism while burning fat!

    The problem is I’m lazy. Actually I tell people I’m too busy, either way the rigmarole of preparing so many small, delicately balanced meals is too time consuming. So I am interested in giving IF a shot.

    My goal though is to lose bodyfat, not weight. I see no merit (personally) in hitting a target weight and still being flabby.

    So…. can someone please explain to me how IF doesn’t catabolise muscle when you are not eating for such a long time? I was under the impression (and please correct me if I am wrong) that when you sleep your body goes into a catabolic state which is broken by having breakfast. If breakfast isn’t until 17:00, doesn’t that mean a person is losing muscle all that time?

    Thanks to all and keep up the fine work



    Best place to get a really good answer to that question is please let us know what you find.


    Thanks for the tip. Had a really good look at the site, lots of interesting stuff; but you know how to contact him or post a question? I couldn’t find any contact info.


    You should also take a look at Mike O’Donnell’s blog The IF Life.


    Who says that short-term catabolism is a bad thing? When you damage muscles from exercise, wouldn’t you want the body to consume them in order to rebuild new muscle fibers? Seems logical to me.

    Further, a high-fat diet is protein sparing. Catabolism is a normal physiological process and the body-builder mentality of avoiding it at all costs is not healthful.


    I follwed the Warrior Diet for about a month which allows for some eating during the day of veggies and other low-GI foods. I worked out in the morning on an empty stomach. It was a little weird at first but I got used to it and set a few personal records in weight and met-con during the process so losing muscle wasn’t a big deal. I also took protein shake after working out. Ultimately, I would eat about 500 calories in a 20 hour period of low-GI berries and veggies and protein shake after the workout and then from 6-10 PM, I’d eat maybe 2000 calories of protein, veggies, fats, and lastly some healthy carbs.

    If you’re curious I chronicled to experience on my blog (link in profile).


    protein input should be based on muscle mass and activity level.

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