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  #1  
Unread 12-08-2017, 01:33 PM
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Liberty Liberty is offline
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Default Alternating short fasts and bulking

I recently went down a bit of a rabbit hole reading about Valter Longo's research into short fasts / "fasting mimicking diet" (4-5 days low calorie, extremely low protein) helping to regenerate beta cells in the pancreas and reverse some effects of diabetes (triggered by dropping and then boosting IGF-1).

Leaving aside whether this would actually work (which I am not at all convinced of yet) I'm wondering how someone could set it up to maintain muscle mass over multiple fasts.

Assume a woman who stays in the 22-27% BF range the entire time. And assume she can put on muscle at an average rate.

She fasts for 4 days, probably loses about .5lb muscle (assuming a 3:1 fat:LBM loss during starvation).

What should she do next -- how should she eat and train -- in order to replenish the lost muscle as fast as possible so she can do another fast + bulk, rinse and repeat? How quickly could she realistically replenish that .5lb muscle (and 1.5lb fat)?

I'm academically curious at the moment; I'm not going to run out and fast tomorrow (though of course anything that might help my diabetes catches my interest, I'll be honest). Just wondering given what Lyle's written about the need for a Transition Phase, and short cut/bulk cycles in general not being effective if you make them TOO short. I know you can't flip the cut/bulk switch instantaneously, but how fast can you flip it when your goal is maintenance within a small window?
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Unread 12-08-2017, 07:08 PM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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Extremely low protein for many days? That's crud
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Unread 12-08-2017, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPecsPeter View Post
Extremely low protein for many days? That's crud
I wouldn't call four days "many days," but that could just be me. (Edited to add: if you're doing it four days once a month. Four days a week would indeed be crud.)
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Last edited by Liberty : 12-08-2017 at 07:41 PM.
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Unread 12-08-2017, 09:28 PM
w1cked w1cked is offline
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I wouldn't call four days "many days," but that could just be me. (Edited to add: if you're doing it four days once a month. Four days a week would indeed be crud.)
You'll lose lbm on 4 days if you're in reasonable shape. Don't.
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Unread 12-08-2017, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by w1cked View Post
You'll lose lbm on 4 days if you're in reasonable shape. Don't.
Oh yes, that's a given. That's why I'm asking about bulking to rebuild the lost LBM.
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Unread 12-09-2017, 01:53 AM
Determinism Determinism is online now
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A few points:
- Fasting seems to have an LBM sparing effect. I don't know the exact ratio fat vs protein loss, but it's not as bad as the math may indicate.
- Rebuilding lost muscle is much easier than building new muscle. No need to go overboard or overestimating.
- There seems to be a dogma that once you don't drink your Whey shake, you immediately lose all your gains. Completely irrelevant for anybody not competing.
- The first 3 days, your body hardly knows what's going on. Hormones down-regulate after 3-4 days or so (see UD2.0).
- People seem to think that losing glycogen (and looking deflated) and/or losing strength means that they've lost LBM. That's frequently not the case.

In fact, my personal opinion is that fasting is vastly superior to any other diet where you tease your body with small portions of food all the time. Although a case can always be made which protocol is most optimal, I'm convinced that for most people in most circumstances it's irrelevant.
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Unread 12-10-2017, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Determinism View Post
A few points:
- Fasting seems to have an LBM sparing effect. I don't know the exact ratio fat vs protein loss, but it's not as bad as the math may indicate.
- Rebuilding lost muscle is much easier than building new muscle. No need to go overboard or overestimating.
- There seems to be a dogma that once you don't drink your Whey shake, you immediately lose all your gains. Completely irrelevant for anybody not competing.
- The first 3 days, your body hardly knows what's going on. Hormones down-regulate after 3-4 days or so (see UD2.0).
- People seem to think that losing glycogen (and looking deflated) and/or losing strength means that they've lost LBM. That's frequently not the case.

In fact, my personal opinion is that fasting is vastly superior to any other diet where you tease your body with small portions of food all the time. Although a case can always be made which protocol is most optimal, I'm convinced that for most people in most circumstances it's irrelevant.
I just tried two 1 month diets. One diet with 2 complete fasting days and ~ 200 over maintenance other 5 days. About 3500 weekly deficit.

Tried average daily deficit of 500 second month.

Like you, fasting worked way better. Itís easier to go a full 40 hours without eating versus daily restriction, which sux.

Moral of story - do whatever works for the dieter. No such thing as one size fits all.
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Unread 12-10-2017, 09:03 AM
Determinism Determinism is online now
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Originally Posted by patriots2 View Post
I just tried two 1 month diets. One diet with 2 complete fasting days and ~ 200 over maintenance other 5 days. About 3500 weekly deficit.

Tried average daily deficit of 500 second month.

Like you, fasting worked way better. It’s easier to go a full 40 hours without eating versus daily restriction, which sux.

Moral of story - do whatever works for the dieter. No such thing as one size fits all.
Nice experiment. To me it seems that if you keep fasting, your body just accepts it as a fact and doesn't bother you that much during the day. In contrast, when you eat a small portion, some animal awakens inside of you ready to murder pigs, attack lions and make you eat your freaking hand when it doesn't get what it wants. So yeah, fasting it is.
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Unread 12-10-2017, 09:31 AM
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In my (very limited) experience, I find complete fasting and eating small amounts to be the same physically, but complete fasting is way easier mentally. If I say "I'm hungry because I haven't eaten but at X time I'll eat and then I'll be full" I can mostly get on with my life. If I eat some food and am still hungry afterwards it's like "NO WAIT! SOMETHING IS WRONG! OBSESS ABOUT HOW HUNGRY YOU STILL ARE!"

It's interesting that Dr. Longo's whole "fasting mimicking diet" was developed as a way to get the same physiological benefits (eg reduced IGF-I) as fasting while still letting people eat some food, because he was finding it was easier to get people to eat a little bit than to fast completely. (Or, if you are more cynical, he developed it because you can't patent a fast.)

Anyway, thanks for the input, everyone. It's kind of hard to find decent info about fasting online. If I see the word "toxins" one more time ...
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Unread 12-10-2017, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Determinism View Post
Nice experiment. To me it seems that if you keep fasting, your body just accepts it as a fact and doesn't bother you that much during the day. In contrast, when you eat a small portion, some animal awakens inside of you ready to murder pigs, attack lions and make you eat your freaking hand when it doesn't get what it wants. So yeah, fasting it is.
What have your results been like?

The fasting test took me from 10.8 - 8.2% Dexa with about 4.5 lb fat loss. Which was about inline with weekly predicted fat loss of 1 lb.

The daily 500 cal deficit got me nowhere. 0.5 lb loss.

Variation could be due to poor caloric intake estimations. Would have needed to be off by 500 per day (under reporting) on straight deficit days, which is probably what happened. That’s what’s great about zero cal/fasting days, difficult to report zero calories incorrectly.
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