Originally Posted by DetroitBreakdown
This is a fascinating topic. I've never been attracted to fasting, mostly because I assumed that it would have a negative effect on metabolism, putting you into some kind of starvation mode. This discussion makes me want to research it more.
I don't really view it as a weight-loss strategy for me, but the side benefits sound interesting. I also think it sounds liberating and likely to produce a different mindset.
Can anyone with experience talk a bit more about exercising while fasting? I would be concerned about muscle loss, and wouldn't want to disrupt my routine too much, or make it harder to get back to "normal."
Also, can anyone comment if there are any effects that would interfere with daily activities, especially work?
I have exercised and lifted weights while fasting, it really is no different. Sometimes it is better because 100% of your energy is going into the workout, instead of into food and digestion.
Without going into too much detail. When you are fed you are in an insulin dominant metabolism. When you are fasted you are in a growth hormone dominant metabolism. Growth hormone is an anabolic hormone, it protects muscle mass and causes fat stores to be released.
Even on long fasts people do not lose muscle or have decreased metabolism. The muscle VOLUME may go down because of losing water and glycogen, but the muscle cells are still there and can regain their volume. Metabolism is the calorie cost of keeping all your cells alive, just because you don't eat doesn't mean it has been decreased.
I keep seeing people say that it is not a weight loss strategy for them, I maybe thought that in the past too. But when you realize counting calories and having 4-6 meals a day is incredibly invasive in your life while throwing in a couple fasts a week while just consciously making attempts to improve your food choices is a great way to lose weight with low overhead.
After trying both calorie counting and fasting, I don't believe one is better than the other. I do believe that fasting is easier. I don't have to worry about protein and nutrient macros every time I eat, I don't have to say no to grandmas cookies etc...
There are a lot of health benefits to fasting as well. Like purging damaged cells, detoxification, increasing insulin sensitivity, balancing your hormones. Its a long list, check out the book Eat Stop Eat!