Should you do yoga when practicing intermittent fasting? In this article you will find out what…
In addition to traditional approaches, new frontiers for weight loss and body re-composition have been studied. An extremely debated but equally effective and flexible strategy is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a validated dietary approach, which involves a longer or shorter fasting period and a feeding period.
Many tend to be frightened by the word fasting, thinking of interminable suffering or an approach that “catabolizes” muscle mass. But none of this is true.
The body knows how to behave in a natural cycle of nutrition and fasting. That is what biochemistry teaches us about university texts. During fasting, reaching metabolic flexibility, we do not suffer from hunger. We do not suffer from energy losses nor do we run the risk of “burning” muscle mass.
There are fine mechanisms that allow our body to preserve our muscle mass even during a fast. Some studies have shown that by changing the frequency of meals from a regular diet to a diet with fasting intervals, there has been no loss of lean mass.
It appears that a small portion of amino acids consumed during fasting is good to provide energy. This is largely replaced in the first meal after fasting, leading to muscle overcompensation.
But what is the purpose of intermittent fasting? And why propose it in a discipline like calisthenics?
Intermittent fasting brings benefits in terms of blood sugar control and an increase in insulin sensitivity. This is a key factor in weight loss and the fight against diabetes.
Fasting has an active role in the regulation of cancer cells and old cells, increasing the processes of apoptosis and cellular autophagy.
Intermittent fasting is more sustainable in a busy life. In fact, you have to think less frequently about cooking or eating, keeping a clearer and more peaceful mind.
It also avoids the desire of taking a nap, improving productivity throughout the day. In addition, you can benefit from greater satiety: some studies show that a reduction in the frequency of meals can lead to a better regulation of appetite.
Intermittent fasting can improve long-term weight control compared to a traditional dietary approach.
Intermittent fasting also leads to a body recomposition effect if properly set. The potential for strength’s increase and muscle growth, was analysed in two groups, one subjected to intermittent fasting (IFD) and the other to traditional nutrition (ND). The IFD group observed on average, a greater increase in muscle mass and a greater reduction in fat mass. In addition to this, there are numerous other studies that observe benefits related to reduced meal frequencies and more or less prolonged fasting.
By evaluating the assumptions, in particular the advantages in improving strength, in body recomposition and in better control of body weight, we can consider this approach very valid for our purpose. In fact, as we have seen, body fat strongly influences the performance in calisthenics. With the same muscle mass, an athlete with a lower percentage of fat has more chances of winning.
The benefits are also in terms of health for non-agonists and in overweight or obesity conditions, that want to approach this sport. An intermittent fasting approach is therefore desirable which allows at the same time to:
- start a controlled weight loss;
- do not lose muscle mass or increase it slightly;
- do not affect the training performance;
- improve blood parameters and overall health.
Endurance phases in calisthenics and intermittent fasting
Endurance training is the one that sees the least benefits, due to its more glycolytic nature, which always requires high levels of muscle glycogen. Calisthenics-style endurance training is actually a workout in which the intensity is quite high (lactacid effort) and training times are limited. For this, it is difficult to achieve a depletion of muscle glycogen such as to affect performance.
So, while doing calisthenics we can adapt the intermittent fasting also to this type of style, benefiting from it with the necessary precautions and a certain flexibility.
Although this method is much more effective than the normal “all-day-fed” diet, you cannot ignore a correct energy balance. You have to do a calibrated composition of macronutrients in the diet, and a careful choice of foods, for which a professional in the sector is still of considerable importance.
The wish is to arrive at a future in which people’s awareness will be such as to do without these professional figures so noble. Their role completes the vicious circle installed by the food industry. Comparable to that of the electronic cigarette in the tobacco market.
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