Anybody do intermittent fasting?

May 22, 2018
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#1
My doctor has been at me to lose weight and I've heard this is a good thing to do just for general health benefits as well. From my schedule I seem to have a 12 hour period of not eating between dinner and the next mornings coffee (when i dont have a beer in bed), but I was thinking I might try to stretch that out to 16 hours and see how I go.
 
May 9, 2016
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#2
No experience with voluntary fasting for me, but I'll go ahead and post a comment anyway.

Sounds like you're basically going to be skipping breakfast. I know from my experience eating a big breakfast helps me avoid getting hungry late at night, and then doing a lot of late night snacking/eating. So that's something I would watch out for.
 
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Drink more water, walk (actively walk, ie make sure you work your muscles out as you're walking; you should feel tired if you walk for 5 minutes) , eat foods that make you feel full for a long time (like eggs), and take two steps per stride when you walk up the stairs.*

*Consult your physician
 
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Apr 18, 2018
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#5
Yeah, I do it regularly. It works.

However, if you're willing to cut yourself down to 1 meal a day (essentially a ~23-hour gap) that is the ideal pattern. Coffee or tea during the day seem to be fine but avoid anything with calories outside of your main meal.

Also, incorporate some 2-3 day fasts over the course of a month and the weight falls off. Fat is just calories for your body to use when you don't have access to food.

Some cold exposure (a cold shower each day is fine) will encourage your body to gradually convert fat stores into brown fat. This burns even more calories and will reduce total bodyfat storage from another angle.
 
Jan 12, 2009
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#6
Try to control your snacking, whenever you get really hungry drink water, or eat a vegetable like carrots or cucumber.

Your body doesn't like giving up stored energy just like you don't wanna give up money in your savings account. You'd rather get some more money elsewhere before you dip, and your body is like that too.
 
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Jun 8, 2004
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#7
I’ve done it in the past, 5/2 format, really works for me. But that requires planning.

So recently I started a 18/6 fast. It’s super great. I don’t eat breakfast or lunch, only in the evening. Take BCAAs before and after training. First 2 days my body was WTF IS GOING ON with headaches and all, around 1-3PM, but after that it got totally effortless. Benefits I’ve seen:

- Super easy and simple to adhere to. I do it only on weekdays since I love my weekend brekkie.
- Frees my one hour lunch break for sports
- Sports is much more pleasant as I am not burping food
- Food tastes super good in the evening
- Very easy to be on calorie deficit
- I sleep much better (measured with the Oura ring)

Looking forward to fasting tomorrow again.
 
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Mar 26, 2013
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I used to do it when I was really into bodybuilding . It's really good for dieting . I had an 8 hr eating window from 1pm-9pm. Trust me, trying to stuff 2000 cals in 8 hours gets old fast . If you're eating "clean" ,like boneless skinless chicken breast, broccoli , rice .typical "bro food" trying to eat 500 calories of this stuff every 2 hours is a f*ck ton of food . After a while didn't want to see smell or 3ven think about food . It did take a while for my body to adjust to it
 
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May 22, 2018
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#12
I'm trying today and its currently 9:30 am and I haven't eaten since 6:00pm the previous night. I did have black coffee this morning though so I don't know how that affects it. I feel pretty good though. Not too hungry. Being at work makes it easier i think.
 

JORMBO

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I’ve been doing it since September. I only eat at 6pm everyday. During the day I just have coffee or water. I also started doing cardio while watching TV at night. I started at 200lbs and now weigh 173lbs. After the first week I stopped being hungry during the day and now I don’t feel hungry at all ever.

I’ve also started eating healthier too and cut out most junk food. The fasting, eating less/better and cardio is helping me lose weight at a decent pace. My original goal was 180lbs, but since I have gotten used to the diet I decided to extend it to 170lbs.
 
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#17
I have lost a bunch of weight this year from eating less (zero exercise).
I have a late breakfast at 11am. Very late lunch at 5:30 and then a small bowl of cereal at 9pm that night. This means I have a 13 hour gap between my dinner and breakfast the next day. Its hard to say how much of a role that "fasting" element has played in the weight loss though.
 
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May 23, 2016
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#19
Intermittent fasting (IF), as in eating for let's say 6 hours per day is fascinating. The science behind it is pretty much unproven - yes it worked in rodents, but no, rodents aren't people.

If you don't feed a mouse for 2 days, it dies. Humans can last weeks without food. So spending 20 hours a day fasting are much more metabolically expensive for a mouse than they are for you or me.

That said, IF has been shown to reduce obesity and diabetes in larger monkeys and there's a lot of anecdotal evidence of that in people. I'm skeptical that it's via the metabolic benefits seen in mice, and it's much more likely that people just end up eating less.

I do a different kind of IF - diet most days...around 200-500kcals under my maintenance - but once a week I fast completely. No food for 24 hours. It makes me feel awful if I'm bored, but if I'm busy it doesn't affect me in the slightest. Helps me maintain my weight loss, especially if I hit a plateau.

I had bad experiences with other kinds of IF. It's hell on social life. I couldn't do anything. I also had to track my calories anyway because I still managed to over eat. If you're someone like me who can put back 6000 calories without even blinking an eye, then IF isn't for you.

Fasting in general is good for you, but don't buy into the hype. At least not until it's been proven.
 
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Sep 4, 2018
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#20
I used to fast in my 20s when I was broke. I would only drink water and do that for 1, maybe 2 days in a row before I gave in and had rice or noodles. It was ok, I was a pretty skinny kid, but I was active too.

IMO it is a good way to clean out your system. Make sure it is a pure fast and u aren’t like unknowingly drinking a bunch of sugar. Water is always good. Just keep hydrated.
 
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Jun 20, 2018
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#23
My doctor has been at me to lose weight and I've heard this is a good thing to do just for general health benefits as well. From my schedule I seem to have a 12 hour period of not eating between dinner and the next mornings coffee (when i dont have a beer in bed), but I was thinking I might try to stretch that out to 16 hours and see how I go.
I started by accident doing this a decade ago before it even was a thing.. i was basically too lazy to cook and too cheap to buy so i only ate after work.. sometimes in the morning (coffee lol) but rarely lol
Its now years that i lived on one or two meals a day some days nothing, its only hard the first month or so then its just whatever.
Never had weight issues but i also never gained weight as i got older as is usually the case so i guess it works, i also can now confirm (at least for me) that you dont get negative effects even if you do it for years.
 
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#24
Sounds like you're basically going to be skipping breakfast. I know from my experience eating a big breakfast helps me avoid getting hungry late at night, and then doing a lot of late night snacking/eating. So that's something I would watch out for.
I do, and while I didn't consult a physician for this, let me share you what I do. I don't skip breakfasts. I think that it's the most important meal of the day, and no one should skip it. What I do is eat something heavy for breakfast, something that will get me through the "entire day". I then drink plenty of water, then finally eat again by dinner (something a bit lighter). I don't do snacks, but it was mainly because I usually don't get hungry but if I do, I usually just have a salad. It's been three years since, I've no problems with it. I also hear it increases life span, you know!
 
Aug 17, 2018
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#25
Yeah, I do it regularly. It works.

However, if you're willing to cut yourself down to 1 meal a day (essentially a ~23-hour gap) that is the ideal pattern. Coffee or tea during the day seem to be fine but avoid anything with calories outside of your main meal.

Also, incorporate some 2-3 day fasts over the course of a month and the weight falls off. Fat is just calories for your body to use when you don't have access to food.

Some cold exposure (a cold shower each day is fine) will encourage your body to gradually convert fat stores into brown fat. This burns even more calories and will reduce total bodyfat storage from another angle.
This is what I do to eat literally whatever I want and stay lean. Just get 100-150g of protein in every day and you're golden.

A hidden bonus of fasting is autophagy. This is the actual detox/cleanse. Not drinking sugary fruit smoothies twice a day. Autophagy's main benefit when losing a lot of weight is that it tightens up loose skin.
 
Apr 18, 2018
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#26
This is what I do to eat literally whatever I want and stay lean. Just get 100-150g of protein in every day and you're golden.

A hidden bonus of fasting is autophagy. This is the actual detox/cleanse. Not drinking sugary fruit smoothies twice a day. Autophagy's main benefit when losing a lot of weight is that it tightens up loose skin.
Ah, I forgot to mention the bolded but this is important, too. I had a lot of loose skin from being fat. Cold exposure (mentioned in the earlier post) and autophagy took care of that, although I still have stretch-mark scars above my hip-bones.
 

Ailynn

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#27
Intermittent fasting worked great for me! Before my current job (which has odd late hours), I was only eating or drinking anything outside of water between noon and 8:00 pm. Without any additional exercise or abnormal diet, I lost about 20 pounds over 3 months by using this eating schedule.
 
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Oct 17, 2011
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#28
My doctor has been at me to lose weight and I've heard this is a good thing to do just for general health benefits as well. From my schedule I seem to have a 12 hour period of not eating between dinner and the next mornings coffee (when i dont have a beer in bed), but I was thinking I might try to stretch that out to 16 hours and see how I go.
I do it as 16/8 (what you're planning on doing) and here is some advice I can give you,

1. Choose your time wisely, make sure you choose a time where you know you can go 16 hours without eating. Sleeping still counts as fasting, so if you can get a good 8 hours of sleep, you're halfway there. My chosen times are 6PM-10AM fast, and 10AM-6PM eating.

2. You still need to lay off the sugars. The fasting works wonders, trust me, but not if you're ingesting sugars. Stay away from anything containing high-fructose corn syrup (which is A LOT of foods).

3. Be careful not to break fast. Some vitamins will break fast, all foods, even the smallest snack, will break fast. Anything that starts your insulin will break fast. You can still have coffee but it has to be straight black coffee, no sweeteners (caffeine does not break fast).

4. Flavored Sparkling Water does NOT break fast as long as the ingredients do NOT include any kind of sweetener. If you drank a lot of pop (soda) then this is a good alternative to kicking that habit. However it takes a while to get use to tasting carbonation

5. It's ok to eat carbohydrates during your eating period. Sugar is the only thing you're trying to avoid, this includes fructose in fruits, so have as few fruits as you can. Everything else is fair game.

6. After about a month and a half, it's ok to have some sweets again. Don't go nuts or anything, but it's fine to have a cake or pie here and there.

7. If you're going to exercise, do it during the fast or about 3 hours after your fast has started. Exercise speeds up your metabolism and helps remove fat, but is best done during the fasting period when your insulin is at it's lowest. This way every exercise you do only burns fat.

8. It takes so much time to get use to. It will start off difficult, with your stomach in pain during the fasting periods, but you'll eventually get better at ignoring it. You will also have hunger pains though, that doesn't go away.

9. This one is optional but can hasten weight loss harmlessly. Take L-Carnitine (pill or powder) before working out (or after, up to you). It does NOT break fast and helps keep your metabolism up. There are others you can take but L-Carnitine is the most harmless from what I found. Again, this is optional.
 
Feb 2, 2018
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#29
I do IF regularly when i'm cutting.

It's just another tool for cutting weight and for most people it is more easy to skip breakfast than any other major meal or following any other diet that restricts food intake in a more conservative fashion. I would also say that IF is one of the easiest ways to cut weight. All things considered it doesn't really matter, but if you are doing IF i would aim for a 16 hour fast, because hormone levels will mostly change after 13-15 hours of fasting so you may experience some additional minor effects. I recommend doing the fast between 8PM up to 12AM.

Furthermore you should consider eating 95% healthy and mostly unprocessed food to lose weight. By doing so you won't need to do fasts because it is hard to get overweight when eating healthy. But because this is the real world, go with IF.

Edit: Coffee (without milk) is totally ok during a fast.
Try to eat as healthy as possible but you can also eat whatever you want. Sugar is not your enemy. Do the fast, not the math. It doesn't matter if you eat 100g of glucose, fructose or other things. What counts are the calories, when we talk about losing weight. Do not complicate the fast with things like that if you an average person and not some (semi)professional athlete. Just make sure your calorie intake during you eating windows is below your maintenance calories.

Edit#2: Because someone mentioned it...you can take vitamins etc. during your fast. You can put everything in your stomach as long as it does not contain macro nutritients (carbohydrates, fat, protein).

Edit#3: Again, because it's important. IF largely works because of calorie restriction, not because of changes in hormones. You won't see any difference because of L-Carnitine or other things when stepping on a scale.
There are two simple rules. Just two. Rule#1: Eat nothing for 16 hours. Rule#2: Eat below you maintenance calories during the 8 hour long eating window. Profit.
 
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Jan 12, 2009
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#30
Sugar is your enemy because it gives you mad cravings, and the sugary stuff that people tend to eat still leaves you hungry while contributing a lot to calories, making it harder to manage calories. Sugar is fine if you're getting it from apples and carrots, but avoid kettle popcorn.

You can drink coffee with 0 Cal sweeteners btw (the pink packs).
 
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May 26, 2011
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#32
I'm trying today and its currently 9:30 am and I haven't eaten since 6:00pm the previous night. I did have black coffee this morning though so I don't know how that affects it. I feel pretty good though. Not too hungry. Being at work makes it easier i think.
coffee is a hunger suppressant.

fastings not the way to go about losing weight.
should increase meal/snack intake, but severely monitor portion size every time and what each is.

ie. bfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, overnight oats, or greek yogurt - add in berries, cinnamon, splash of honey or agave nectar, etc. play around.
mid morning snack: an apple with almond butter
lunch: grilled chicken breast and side salad, or cucumber with some tzaziki/humus
afternoon snack: handful of nuts
dinner: google it... im not meal planning for you

couple this with some regular exercise - HIIT, simple push ups, jogging a few miles. usually i like to do light jog for 2 min, full sprint for 1 min. for a total of 15-30 min


if cannot exercise, just stick to a healthy diet and portion control as THAT is better than if you were to exercise without changing your eating habits.

also maybe you should start pursuing acting again. get a new agent to find you a Netflix role that will provide a personal trainer and nutritionist.
 
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Jun 5, 2011
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#33
I skip breakfast. Eat dinner no later than 7pm and eat lunch at 11:30am. That is 16.5 hours to burn fat. I try to limit my calorie intake to 1500 to make a deficit.

fastings not the way to go about losing weight.
It is a way. Fasting is just part of creating a deficit, which is how you lose weight. It may not be the best way, but it does work and it not going to hurt you. Just do it for a safe amount of time and know your limits. The human body has evolved to accommodate stretches of time without food.
 
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Jun 8, 2004
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#35
It really gets so much easier once your body gets the concept of 'no, I will not starve in a few hours'.

I just accidentally exceeded my 18 hours fast by some margin. Even did a lifting session at 2PM, with 10g of no carb BCAAs. Now having a glorious Total 0% yogurt with blue berries.

 
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#36
Lol these type of threads won’t sit well during the holiday season where everyone packs on weight for the harsh winters.

Breakfast>Lunch>Dinner

Simple as that, if you want to throw snacks in between those so be it.
 
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#37
I do. I'm not overweight, but I do fast for 1 or 2 days per week. (most weeks - not always)

You may think this is crazy, but I've done 10 day fasts in the past. There is a real euphoria that can come from fasting, and you (at least I can) really feel your body cleaning house.
 
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Meowzers

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#38
Loads of good advice about it on YouTube and I have tried it myself for short periods. I must say, training with weights on an empty stomach is so good.

With that, you're not really burning calories as there's no food to burn so it's using your bodyfat for energy.

Find out your caloric maintenance levels and go a few hundred below it and the weight should come off.
 
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Oct 10, 2012
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#39
Looks like plenty of knowledgeable types have already chipped. I don't have a lot to add beyond don't set yourself a target goal in terms of X amount of weight loss by Y date, because if you hit it, then your motivation will drop off and you'll likely renege, and if you don't then you'll probably give in to despair.
Instead, view it as a system which you can positively checklist as you go along. Record your progress in terms of adherence. If you stick to approaching it like that then the weight loss will just occur. Also, give yourself an allowance of a cheat day one day a week because as with anything you can't expect the world to conform to your wishes. You don't have to use it, but you also don't have to beat yourself up if you find yourself drinking beer and eating pizza at midnight in a Vegas Brothel.
 
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#40
I’ve been doing it for several years as it really works into my work schedule.

I work overnight and sleep during the day.

I have a 12 hour period where I don’t eat. That’s typically sleep plus workout when I wake up. That’s about 7:30a - 7:30p.

I then have my 12 hour period where I eat. Within that I try to eat every 3 hours.

I’ve found that I maintain a good body weight/fat percentage as well as have continuous increases in strength.
 
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#41
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May 22, 2018
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#42
17 hours without food today, and barely feel hungry. But I'm basically just sitting at a computer all day. I've never been a big foodie though, so I don't really care about eating. My poison has always been high calorie foods like hamburgers and pizza. Could eat that shit all day every day.
 
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Jun 8, 2004
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#43
17 hours without food today, and barely feel hungry. But I'm basically just sitting at a computer all day. I've never been a big foodie though, so I don't really care about eating. My poison has always been high calorie foods like hamburgers and pizza. Could eat that shit all day every day.
It’s proper seeing-through-the-Matrix shit when you manage to overcome the hunger conditioning and come to realise that all along, that “hunger” (headaches, hunger pangs, weakness) was your habit doing work, not a physiological necessity.

I had been having lunch for years around 1PM and first my body had a proper fit around 1-3PM when I started to skip lunch. But after learning out of it, no problems.

Good reading: https://www.dietdoctor.com/fasting-and-hunger
 
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Apr 18, 2018
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#44
17 hours without food today, and barely feel hungry. But I'm basically just sitting at a computer all day. I've never been a big foodie though, so I don't really care about eating. My poison has always been high calorie foods like hamburgers and pizza. Could eat that shit all day every day.
Go for 48+ hours and be like "wtf why am I not hungry?"
 
Nov 10, 2013
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#45
17 hours without food today, and barely feel hungry. But I'm basically just sitting at a computer all day. I've never been a big foodie though, so I don't really care about eating. My poison has always been high calorie foods like hamburgers and pizza. Could eat that shit all day every day.
My longest was 48 hrs. After about hour 18 you stop caring. I can easily go longer than 48 but I don’t. I usually do a 24 hour fast once per week and IF 3 days extra. Being around food eventually stops bothering you.

I’ve been down with a UC flare for the past month. I had been porking up a bit and I hit 196 right when the flare happened. I went on a bone broth fast basically while letting it heal. I went from 196 to 170 in two weeks on basically liquid only. I’m back to eating and healed now but I’m about 178 now. Look into bone broths. They have all sorts of good stuff in it that helps you out.
 
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Feb 2, 2018
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#46
Hitting the weights is great fasted, but remember your BCAAs if you do serious training when fasted! Here’s a good read about it:

https://all99life.com/benefits-bcaa-cutting-diet-fasting/

This is the stuff I use - tastes great, two mini tbspoon scoops mixed with cold water, sort of ice tea like:
BCAAs are a pure marketing product. Save your money. You don't need them, ever. Considering the best case, they do nothing. Worst case, they can even be detrimental during fasts.

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/99/2/276/4571468
https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0184-9
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639860/


If you run a diet low in protein (which you shouldn't, if your kidneys have no pre-exisiting conditions) , they can have their benefits and that's also where all of the positive studies come from. But real food or whey should be preferred.




Sugar is your enemy because it gives you mad cravings, and the sugary stuff that people tend to eat still leaves you hungry while contributing a lot to calories, making it harder to manage calories. Sugar is fine if you're getting it from apples and carrots, but avoid kettle popcorn.
I partially agree agree, but nethertheless sugar is not the enemy. If you maintean a healthy lifestyle and eat processed sugar in moderation, it can have many psychological benefits, even when you are trying to lose weight. Moderation is the key and it's very complex topic to discuss about. But like i said, i still agree with you and eating processed sugar to get saturated is just bad.
 
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tomiguelk

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#47
Like someone said above moderation is always the key. If you workout or have an active lifestyle, then you need calories. What you ingest has to be proportional to what you burn. If you want to loose weight then you have to rebalance that equation. You eat less or you burn more calories. Fasting won't get you there if you don't change that.
 
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#48
I'd say you'd see way better results if you cut down hard on the beer consumption rather than any fasting. That and cutting down on meal sizes and avoiding junk food.
 
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#49
The goal of your fasting period should be to empty out your carb storage (glycogen). This "opens up the pathway" for your body to use stored fat. If you have available carbs, then your body will use that. The body stores about 400-600 grams of glycogen and uses it throughout the day.

To echo @ssolitare , sugar is your enemy.

"Burn more calories than you use" isn't exactly wrong, but it's far too simplistic. Alcohol and sugar will still be processed by the liver into a fat cell even if you are in a calorie deficit. Fat storage will still be ignored if your insulin levels are too high. There are factors at work beyond mere calories.

Bringing down your insulin makes your tissue more insulin-sensitive (duh!). That includes your fat tissue. Fat tissue that is sensitive to insulin (and therefore readily available for burning) is the normal state of your body fat storage. We've thrown our bodies out of whack by having too much sugar. Most of our hunger cravings come from sugar, too: your brain gets too addicted to the easy and readily-available energy. It starts to prefer it. When your "blood sugar is low" (not a real thing unless you're actually a diabetic) that's just your brain complaining that it doesn't have a bunch of easy-to-use energy. It's not actual hunger.

The Keto diet abuses uses this facet of your metabolism. Cutting carbs gets you out of this cycle. That's why some call it a "hack" because it seems like it's cheating. It's not cheating. We just have terrible diets in the West, so when you return to something normal it seems like a miracle.

Fun fact: "losing your water weight" refers to your glycogen storage. 1 gram of glycogen is packed with 3-4 grams of water each, so when you empty out your glycogen stores you also lose a few pounds of extra water.
 
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#50
BCAAs are a pure marketing product. Save your money. You don't need them, ever. Considering the best case, they do nothing. Worst case, they can even be detrimental during fasts.

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/99/2/276/4571468
https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0184-9
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639860/


If you run a diet low in protein (which you shouldn't, if your kidneys have no pre-exisiting conditions) , they can have their benefits and that's also where all of the positive studies come from. But real food or whey should be preferred.
Thanks for the thoughtful and well researched reply! It's a rare luxury to get peer reviewed journals to support viewpoints on online forums.

I've tried to summarise the key takeaways

Link 1 - This is interesting, it would suggest that BCAA lessens the need of other proteins. "higher dose of leucine to a smaller amount of protein (6.25 g) within a mixed macronutrient beverage enhanced MPS to the same level as that seen with 4 times as much whey protein (25 g)."

Link 2 - This is a meta study, but a comprehensively done one. The general gist seems to be that if you don't get EAAs in your diet, just loading up on BCAAs won't do you good. "A physiologically-significant increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis requires adequate availability of all amino acid precursors. (...) We conclude that dietary BCAA supplements alone do not promote muscle anabolism."

Link 3 - No adverse effect found for weight training fasted: "hypertrophic resistance training, unlike aerobic training, was not affected, at least in terms of body composition and markers of immune and inflammatory systems, when performed in a fed compared to a fasted state during Ramadan."

Very much appreciate the research. You wouldn't happen to have any IF studies at hand? :)
 
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