In the last few months, I have been experimenting with intermittent fasting (IF). I started out at around 14% body fat, and was looking for different ways to get leaner. In the past, I would increase the amount of activity in the gym, or I would decrease the amount of calories I’d consume. When prepping for a contest, I would cut calories and increase the intensity and volume of my workouts. I had been eating 5-6 small meals for so long, I thought it might be kind of nice to eat 1-3 larger meals per day. I had always loosely followed IF, as my meals typically fell between 8am-8pm. I began decreasing the window of eating time, 3-4 days per week. Some days, I would fast until noon and eat until 8pm. Other days, I would eat between 8am and 4pm. Once or twice a week, I would push the fast to 20 hours, and then eat one large meal.
At first, I saw great results. I reduced my body fat to 12%. Without breaking for food every 2-3 hours, I was able to focus more on writing/work. But as time went on, I noticed that I was starting to lose muscle. In my leaner state, my body was breaking down muscle during the longer fasts. I also started losing strength in the gym. I slowly increased the window of eating time back to 10-12 hours per day, and started eating 3-4 meals. I’ve found that this has helped me gain muscle again, and with the help of BetaTOR, I’m staying lean!
Here are a few takeaways that I noticed with my experience of IF :
Overall, IF can be a great tool for getting leaner, improving insulin resistance, and for decreasing overall inflammation. I felt that it also helped me improve my mindset and it increased my discipline. While I lost muscle with the longer fasts, I have been able to gain muscle with shorter fasting periods…and I’m not eating meals out of a Tupperware! BetaTOR has really helped me gain muscle and strength back!
Thank you for reading! Until next time, train hard, y’all!
- Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia