For some time there has been a total inversion of the currents of thought with regard to the principles of weight loss and the basics of muscle anabolism.
The fundamentals of “traditional” dietetics suggest losing weight by exploiting also the specific dynamic action of food (ADS), or energy expenditure attributable to digestive, absorption and metabolic processes.
In practice, with the same calories introduced, increasing the division of meals it is possible to burn more energy to process them. This allows you to reduce the amount of time “on an empty stomach” avoiding the “hunger” and keeping the metabolism speedy.
Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones
Some argue that this practice also favors the containment of an unwanted hormone, cortisol (also called “stress hormone”) and maintenance of thyroid function (TSH and T3). Obviously, this system works as long as the caloric amount, the nutritional distribution and the glycemic load-gauges of the meals are appropriate.
At the same time, in the context of muscle growth, it is (or was) a common opinion that to promote anabolism it was necessary to “feed” continuously (and “as much as possible”, avoiding the increase of fat) muscle fibrocells, in order to cancel any form of catabolism and promote proteosynthesis, ESPECIALLY thanks to the insulin stimulus.
And yet, today someone challenges!
What is Intermittent Fasting
Recently it is proposed (in “mille sals”) a totally opposite weight loss system which, according to what is rumored, has excellent results: intermittent fasting. This principle is already heavily inflated and, to be sure, rather confused. It goes from the “caveman’s diet”, which involves a huge binge with one or two days of fasting, at the most reasoned “system 16/8” (where 16 are the hours of fasting and 8 those in which 2 or 3 are consumed meals).
The cardinal principle of intermittent fasting is to create a fasting “window” (time lapse) with a duration that affects the overall caloric balance and hormone metabolism.
How does it work
It seems that in conditions of food abstinence, in addition to a total insulin calm (remember that insulin is the parabolic hormone par excellence but also responsible for fat storage), there is a significant increase in another rather “interesting” hormone: l ‘IGF-1 or somatomedin (some also mention an increase in testosterone).
The long deprivation of food is then responsible for the secretion of GH (somatotropin), also called “growth hormone” or, more sympathetically, “hormone of wellness”. Unlike insulin, GH, while increasing hypertrophy, does not cause an adipose deposit, but the opposite! That is, it promotes the lipolysis necessary for weight loss. In practice, GH improves “all-around” body composition.
Always in bodybuilding, to increase muscle and decrease fat, it is essential to periodize the diet and training by pursuing distinctly first one and then the other goal; today, since the intermittent fasting results in an improvement of the body composition bilaterally (by increasing muscle mass and weight loss) it seems to be the only real solution to all problems.