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Intermittent Fasting

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  • Intermittent Fasting

    Can intermittent fasting breakdown muscle? Is intermittent fasting safe?

  • #2
    Hi RachelThorpe,

    The question of whether intermittent fasting (IF) causes you to burn more muscle mass is a common worry for anyone who begins IF.
    The short answer is no, because your body aims to "conserve protein".

    When you begin fasting, your body initially draws its fuel from carbohydrate and stored glycogen sources. Later on, it switches to fat and ketones.
    There is research dating all the way back from the 1980s which showed that excretion of nitrogen (a proxy for muscle breakdown, this is measured in the urine) did not increase even with fasting for up to a few days even.
    There is also more recent clinical studies where researchers put subjects on alternate day fasting - the results actually showed no loss of lean mass/body composition stayed the same (Templeman et al, 2016. Intermittent fasting, energy balance and associated health outcomes in adults: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.)

    As to whether IF is safe- this depends on the individual's background past medical history. For most healthy individuals with no past medical history, yes, IF is indeed safe. But if you have any concerns pertaining specifically to your own health and situation, then it is best to consult a doctor.


    • #3
      Intermittent fasting is an effective method to lose weight because here you have to follow lifestyle rather than diet. It reduces the insulin levels of the body. There are different protocols are available to follow such 16/8 and 24-hour protocol. In 16/8 protocol it means you have to follow 16 hours of fast and 8 hours of having food. In 24 hour you have to skipped meals per day example- if you are eating food at 8 pm then again you can’t eat food until 8 pm of that day. And yes intermittent fasting is absolutely safe because it is considered as low carb diet.