I’ve been reading for years now about intermittent fasting strategies and the several health benefits related to it. I have played with the 16/8hours method (16 hours fasting window / 8 hours consumption), for a long time and I felt great applying this strategy. I still believe it is the best way to keep healthy, lean, strong and happy.
Often in the studies, seminars, podcasts and articles I am interested in, I would find some practitioners which would recommend longer fasting periods. I was always reluctant to try this due to the fact I was convinced I would lose muscle mass, so I’ve chosen to believe the strategy for me would be the 16/8.
A few weeks ago, Andreia (my Wife Dietitian) and myself were reading a website which we found out about some really interesting supplements, and the owner of this company was gave his take on fasting for 3 to 5 days. So I’ve decided I would do a 3 day fast as I wanted to experience how it would be for the mental challenge component.
Here are the results:
I did not see any other difference. The only issue I encountered on the first day was missing my morning black coffee. Other than that, I was cruising all the way to dinner time. I have to admit that having my wife in my corner helped me big time. She did not cook any delicious dinner for herself which would have tempted me. Yes, the 72 hours is just with water. Nothing else.
During my normal morning rituals, I felt great but later mid morning, I felt a bit tired with different energy levels than I normally experience. I believe my body was depleting all the glucose available, before kicking into nutritional ketosis. By the mid afternoon I started to feel the energy kicking back in and I could really sustain the same feeling of no hunger or desire for food all the way to dinner time. I must say that at this stage, it was weirdly comfortable and for me to say that, is big statement simply because I am big eater. At this point, I could really see myself finishing the fast.
Why not through in a workout and see what happens!
I trained a few clients in the morning for about 15 sessions and noticed had a gap in my the diary so I decided to have a workout. I was really intrigued in regards to my performance and see how I would feel. I did a back and chest workout in 20 minutes which is all it takes at Intense Health. I felt incredibly good throughout that workout and have got some great quantification over that workout. I noticed that I had really good force outputs, surprisingly elevated energy levels and ketones were definitely high. What was really fascinating was that after the workout, I felt even better and that great feeling lasted all the way to the end of a normal 14 hour day. I really felt like going for 5 days but the only factor that held me back was that I was so curious in how my body was reacted without food for 72 hours only.
The Results (Body Composition) After The Fast
|Sunday 06/05 Measurements (Start)
|Wednesday 09/05 Measurements (Finish)
|Body weight: 94.4kg.
|Body weight: 90.2kg
|Arm relaxed: 38.5cm
|Arm relaxed: 38.5cm
|Arm Flexed: 43.5cm
|Arm Flexed: 43.5cm
|Skin fold (Calliper) Sunday 06/05 Measurements
|Skin fold (Calliper) Wednesday 09/05 Measurements
|Sub scapular: 12.3mm
|Sub scapular: 11.3mm
The Results (5 Days Post Fast) After Incorporating a Regular Routine
|Body weight: 91.2kg.
|Arm relaxed: 39cm
|Sub scapular: 10.3mm
|Arm Flexed: 44cm
|Skin Fold (Calliper)
Summarising all my findings and results, I have found that I lost a very minimal amount of muscle mass throughout the challenge. Furthermore, after incorporating my normal routing post five days of the fast, it could be argued that I even gained muscle mass whilst my body fast percentage remained low. It must be noted that the benefits of the 72 hour fast can only be sustained if a proper nutritious and healthy lifestyle is conducted post-fast.
Would you like to join me next time?
Marcelo Mesquita / Co Founder of Intense Health Clinics.