Does this feel like a suicide mission?
This was the question I, alongside others, asked when building lean muscle while fasting.
No doubt, bulking up might be the last thing on your mind while fasting.
Well, try getting past that feeling of irritation before carrying some weight.
Thankfully, science solves the dilemma – can you build muscle while you fast?
A randomized controlled trial in 2016 compared the effect of intermittent fasting to calorie-restricted diets in adults with obesity.
After the trial, those on intermittent fasting increased in lean mass by 2.2 percent.
In comparison, those on a calorie-deficient diet only gained 0.5 percent.
Simply put, you can build muscle four times faster during fasting.
Did you know you don’t need the gym to build muscle?
You can build muscle anywhere you want.
Get yourself your FREE copy of my EBook Train Wherever The F*ck You Want to learn more.
Now, we know it is possible to build muscles while fasting.
So, what’s next?
How to build muscles during fasting, of course!
How to Build Muscles During Fasting?
To bulk your mass while losing some weight, you need to focus on the following – nutrition and exercise.
Fasting is only half of the equation – you need to put in the “work.”
Working out while fasting places a high toll on your body.
It becomes more dangerous if you’re not eating “right.”
Fasting while gaining muscle mass depletes your glycogen and water reserves faster than you can say, “Jack.”
First, you need to stay hydrated.
Replenishing your water level enables your body to repair and maintain muscle mass.
In addition, taking a high protein-filled diet is an excellent way to recover muscle mass during fasting.
Exercises are also crucial for building muscles while fasting.
Furthermore, exercises help you to burn more fat during fasting.
Testosterone levels increase by 180 percent during fasting, while human growth hormones increase by 1,300 and 2,000 percent in women and men, respectively.
The increased hormone production helps you to build muscles faster while losing weight – talk about double gains!
The Best Foods to Break Fasting While Building Muscles
As I mentioned earlier, your nutrition is a significant player in gaining muscles while fasting.
Irrespective of the type of fasting, you need nutrient-dense, digestible, and easy-to-digest foods to gain muscles and function effectively.
To help you achieve your muscle gains, here are some foods to try out during fasting:
Always go for lean and minimally processed since you don’t want to increase your fat intake while fasting.
Although a majority of lean proteins are animal-based, plant-based eaters can source legumes and lentils.
For animal-based eaters, great protein sources include shellfish, turkey, chicken, tempeh, and eggs.
Time to stock up on protein powder?
I got you fam! Shop now.
Once again, minimally processed complex carbs are also a need for gaining muscle mass during fasting.
Complex carbs are nutrient-dense and easily digestible.
Note: your carb intake should be minimal when compared to your protein intake.
Complex carbs may include sweet potatoes, non-fat greek yogurt, yams, quinoa, buckwheat, whole-grain rice, and sprouted wheat.
Are you thinking about filling up on those juicy hams or steaks dripping with gooey goodness during fasting?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble – you can’t.
Remember, reducing fat intake results in a higher testosterone level, crucial for building muscle mass.
So stock up on healthy fats during this period, and it should not exceed 30 -35 percent of your daily calorie intake.
So fill your pantries or shelves with oils extracted from olives, avocado, and walnut, egg yolks, nuts (pistachio, peanuts, almonds, cashews, and Macedonia), seeds (sesame, chia, hemp, and sunflower seeds)
Eating your veggies is no longer an option for building muscles while fasting – it is a necessity.
Yeah, thanks, mom.
Aim for at least two palm-sized portions of vegetables.
Combine leafy and cruciferous vegetables for variety and fiber.
Kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are great additions to your diet while adding some lean muscle mass.
Fermented foods like the above-listed improve your gut health and boost the rate of nutrient absorption in the body.
No doubt, you can create a diet for muscle gain while fasting.
Now, how can you gain muscle mass while fasting?
How to Gain Muscle While Intermittent Fasting?
You know what?
I also wish for a jaw-dropping bod like The Rock or Chris Hemsworth.
However, like every other thing in life, we have to put in the “work” to gain muscle mass.
Exercises are a sure-fire way to gain muscles while fasting.
Albeit not all exercises can give you that desired “bod.” For instance, scientific studies reveal the immense impact of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on building muscle fibers during intermittent fasting.
Also referred to as Burst or Sprint training, HIITs are intense workout sessions accompanied by 15 to 30 minutes of rest.
HIITs increase your body stamina, increases your HGH, and improves your body composition.
To get optimum results, you may accompany HIITs with cardio.
Nevertheless, too much cardio leads to loss of fat and even lean muscle mass.
Likewise, weight lifting helps to build mass during fasting.
However, it demands a high glucose intake after a session – you may feel intense hunger after a weight lifting session.
So you may select an intermittent fasting schedule that enables you to eat shortly before weightlifting.
Other Best Ways of Gaining Muscles While Fasting
Restructuring your intermittent fasting is another way of ensuring maximum muscle gain.
For instance, you may opt for alternate-day fasting or time-restricted fasting.
In alternate-day fasting, you may eat only one meal or go without food for a whole day while eating the next day and repeating the cycle.
Alternatively, in time-restricted fasting, all your calorie intake is restricted to a particular time of the day.
The 16:8 intermittent fasting is a popular option for most people.
Other time-restricted fasting includes the 5:2 diet and the Fast 800.
Check out this video I made a while back when I tried 48 hours on a water fast. That right I went 48 hours with nothing but water!
The results of this were pretty crazy.