Study: Here’s What Intermittent Fasting Does To Your Muscles

So I just came across this recent study1 on the combined effects of intermittent fasting and weight training.

This study is helpful because it highlights something very important you must do if you want to hold onto your muscle mass while doing intermittent fasting for losing man boobs.

Let's take a brief glance at the study and at the end of the article I'll give you some pointers on how to boost your intermittent fasting results from the findings of the study.

In this 2017 study, two groups of men were put on a resistance training protocol.

One group did a 20 hour fast on non-training days, and the other group did no fasting.

The non-fasting group gained 2.3 kg of lean mass, while the fasting group neither gained nor lost a significant amount of lean mass. The difference here is likely because the fasting group had a lower daily protein intake (1.4 g/kg/day in the non-fasting group VS 1.0 g/kg/day in the fasting group).

If they had the same protein intake, then judging from all of the other studies on the topic that I have looked at, I'm willing to bet the fasting group would have gained a decent amount of muscle, perhaps matching or even surpassing the amount of muscle gained by the non-fasting group.

It's interesting to note that the above lean mass and protein values were just AVERAGES. When you look at the RANGE, you get an idea for how lean mass varied between individuals in each group.

In the fasting group, lean body mass ranged from −4.0% to +4.6%.

In the non-fasting group, lean body mass ranged from −2.5% to +3.9%.

Looking at the range, we can see that the guy who got the biggest muscle growth in the fasting group, gained more muscle than the biggest gainer in the non-fasting group.

And Forget About Muscle Growth For A Minute

If all intermittent fasting did was help you burn fat while merely MAINTAINING muscle mass, then that right there is a HELL OF AN ACHIEVEMENT!

Conventional weight loss methods, like doing cardio, and going on low calorie and low fat diets, are known to make you lose SUBSTANTIAL amounts of muscle.

You lose muscle, your metabolism goes down, you have to work harder and harder to keep losing more fat, then you have to work so hard, you give up, and gain all the fat back.

Sound familiar?

With intermittent fasting, you maintain your muscle mass while burning fat, your metabolism stays up, so it doesn't get that much difficult to keep burning more fat. The chances of “yo-yo dieting” are substantially reduced.

Here's Another Interesting Finding In This Study

The fasting group experienced a greater increase in both strength and endurance than the non-fasting group.

I've always said this makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.

If you are starving, your body makes you stronger, so you get better at hunting for food, so you can eat and survive.

A lot of people talk about how alert, aware, and clear-minded they feel deep into the fast. That's your body fine-tuning your hunting ability.

Also, being stronger makes you better able to build muscle. You'll grow more muscle if you can dip your entire bodyweight, than if you use an assisted dip machine and lift only HALF your bodyweight.

So in this study, the intermittent fasting group got stronger, but their muscle growth was limited by a lack of protein (since muscle is largely made of protein and you can't build muscle without protein).

The Take-Home Message From This Study Is This

If you are fasting intermittently, make sure you take enough protein on both your fasting and non fasting days.

Good protein sources include eggs, raw milk from organic grass-fed animals, meat, and fish. I also advise taking a good whey protein supplement after your workouts.

You should seek to consume 2-3 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight if your goal is to build muscle.

Another thing you can do is take a good turmeric supplement.

Studies show that turmeric is a powerful inhibitor of protein degradation in skeletal muscle, meaning it prevents muscle breakdown.

Various studies have looked at all sorts of mice with different conditions that cause muscle wasting, including diabetic mice2, mice with sepsis3, mice with cancer4, aging mice5, and have found that curcumin in turmeric blocks muscle wasting in ALL of these conditions.

And turmeric will help you beyond just preserving muscle mass while fasting. It will also:

  1. Further accelerate fat loss (e.g. where intermittent fasting only SHRINKS fat cells, turmeric KILLS fat cells so they can't grow back).
  2. Make it so you lose man boobs (since turmeric is a potent estrogen blocker).

So get started on intermittent fasting for consistent body fat reduction that preserves muscle, take plenty of protein on your fasting days, use the advanced tactics from my intermittent fasting program for better results with your man boobs, and add a good turmeric supplement to seriously ramp up your results.

You'll find my advanced tactics on intermittent fasting for losing man boobs, here:

And you'll find my current favorite turmeric supplement here:


  1. Tinsley, G. M. et al. Time-restricted feeding in young men performing resistance training: A randomized controlled trial. European journal of sport science 17, 200-207, doi:10.1080/17461391.2016.1223173 (2017).
  2. Ono, T., Takada, S., Kinugawa, S. & Tsutsui, H. Curcumin ameliorates skeletal muscle atrophy in type 1 diabetic mice by inhibiting protein ubiquitination. Exp Physiol 100, 1052-1063, doi:10.1113/EP085049 (2015).
  3. Alamdari, N., O'Neal, P. & Hasselgren, P. O. Curcumin and muscle wasting: a new role for an old drug? Nutrition 25, 125-129, doi:10.1016/j.nut.2008.09.002 (2009).
  4. Siddiqui, R. A. et al. Attenuation of proteolysis and muscle wasting by curcumin c3 complex in MAC16 colon tumour-bearing mice. Br J Nutr 102, 967-975, doi:10.1017/S0007114509345250 (2009).
  5. Receno, C. N., Liang, C., Korol, D. L. & DeRuisseau, K. C. Curcumin Supplementation Effects on Aging Skeletal Muscle. The FASEB Journal 31, 1021.1022-1021.1022, doi:10.1096/fasebj.31.1_supplement.1021.22 (2017).

2 thoughts on “Study: Here’s What Intermittent Fasting Does To Your Muscles”

  1. Hello garry !

    My name is martin,i am 17 years of age and i have been weightlifting for almost a year with good results,however. I haven’t been able to manage to get the body i want and to get rid of my ginecomastia as much as i’d love to.I have recently started to do intermitted fasting (the 16:8 method). I have been wondering if i could do this every single day,as it isn’t difficult at all and IF i could push it sometimes to longer than 16 hours.

    I have also had a dilema about when to do my exercising.I go to the gym 3 days a week,this is where i lift heavy weights.I have downloaded the application for HIIT exercises called “Seven” and i have yet to know when i could do these things without working more than i should/have to.Currently i do the exercise from the APP the same day i go to the gym.I heard HIIT is good for ginecomastia but im not sure what days i should do it if at all. Currently doing gym and workouts as close to morning as possible.

    Thanks in advance !


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