You skipped break­fast or worse, lunch and start­ed your meals quite late. Admit it, has it hap­pened? You will be sur­prised, but we have all used inter­mit­tent fast­ing at least once, even if there was no goal to lose weight.

16/8 is a nutri­tion sys­tem that implies that you eat ful­ly dur­ing the day for 8 hours, and then abstain from eat­ing for exact­ly 16 hours. That is, in prin­ci­ple, it works if you haven’t had time to eat, because the chances of overeat­ing in the remain­ing time before bed are already less than if you stretch out your feast for the whole day in the morn­ing. Con­ve­nient for weight loss.

Fasting reduces muscle mass

But for progress in gain­ing mus­cle mass, inter­mit­tent fast­ing is not the most ben­e­fi­cial thing due to the fact that you deprive your mus­cles of con­stant access to amino acids for con­stant mus­cle pro­tein syn­the­sis.

In sup­port of this, an excel­lent study by Strat­ton et al found no ben­e­fit of inter­mit­tent fast­ing over reg­u­lar break­fast diets for exer­cis­ing indi­vid­u­als. Strength gains and body com­po­si­tion were equal in the two groups of ath­letes in a caloric deficit on the two diets. No mir­a­cle hap­pened.

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How to effec­tive­ly struc­ture your diet to max­i­mize mus­cle growth if you are not just los­ing weight, but want to build a fig­ure?

At the Japan­ese Insti­tute of Sports Sci­ences, sci­en­tists led by Jun Yasu­da con­duct­ed a study on uni­form pro­tein con­sump­tion in equal dos­es through­out the day for 12 weeks. The results were pub­lished in The Jour­nal of Nutri­tion.

Two groups of ath­letes divid­ed equal amounts of pro­tein into three meals through­out the day. Only one group had equal amounts of pro­tein in all three meals, and the sec­ond group had a light break­fast with almost no pro­tein.

A group of ath­letes whose pro­tein was dis­trib­uted even­ly across all meals gained 2.5 kg of pure mus­cle mass in three months. Those who ate almost no pro­tein for break­fast gained only 1.8 kg of mus­cle.

It is clear and proven that the 16/8 sys­tem com­pro­mis­es max­i­mum mus­cle growth poten­tial. Now it’s time for you to decide for your­self whether you need such a diet.

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