Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Success in many sports requires minimal body fat and maximal muscle mass. Intermittent fasting might help athletes achieve this goal— according to an article by Grant Tinsley, Joshua Gann and Paul La Bounty. Athletes must make weight in sports like weightlifting, powerlifting and martial arts. Constant dieting can sap energy and trigger glycogen depletion in the muscles and liver, which makes it difficult to train hard. Intermittent fasting, involving periods of fasting and non-fasting, might help athletes lose weight and maintain energy for intense training. Fasting every other day or even once a week results in a calorie deficit over time that promotes fat loss. Modified fasting allows athletes to consume some calories, which might be more realistic and palatable. Short fasts are best for athletes because they don’t cause significant muscle loss. Athletes can fast on non-exercise days so they have plenty of energy for physical activity. We don’t completely understand how intermittent fasting affects performance. (Strength and Conditioning Journal, 37: 60-71, 2015)

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