Intermittent Fasting for Men
Carmen Van Rensburg - Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Carmen Van Rensburg is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a wealth of experience, spanning over 12 years in the field. She has demonstrated expertise in devising exercise-based rehabilitation services that promote wellness and recovery. Her instructive techniques in conducting safe and effective exercise sessions have significantly aided individuals in various areas. These include weight loss, improving muscle strength, optimizing cardiovascular function, enhancing body composition, increasing flexibility, and facilitating recovery from chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries.
16.08.2023

Why Intermittent Fasting for Men May Be the Best Diet Plan

Diets Intermittent fasting Male health Meal plans
Table Of Contents

INTRO

There is no denying that it can be challenging to stay on track with a healthy diet. The same old meal plan can get dull, and portion control is often ignored when you’re too tired or hungry to weigh every dish ingredient. 

But the truth is, finding a balanced meal plan that works for your lifestyle can make all the difference in keeping you motivated, energized, and satisfied throughout the day – while still giving you great results! 

This is why intermittent fasting may be the best option for men who want to lose weight while maintaining their health without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. This article will look at some of the advantages of intermittent fasting for men and provide an overview of how to incorporate this diet into your lifestyle.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work for Men?

Have you heard about intermittent fasting? It’s an eating plan that involves alternating periods of eating and fasting. While it has gained recent popularity, various cultures have practiced fasting for thousands of years for religious and cultural reasons. Surprisingly, you already fast every day without even realizing it – when you sleep, you’re in a fast state for around eight hours.

With intermittent fasting, the idea is to extend that fasting period a little longer. You can skip breakfast and have your first meal later in the day, opt for an early dinner, or even go a whole day without food. This change in your eating pattern allows your body to regulate essential factors like blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol levels between meals.

One of the benefits of fasting, particularly for men, is its potential to support weight loss. For example, a study conducted on fasting revealed that participants experienced a reduction of three to five percent in body fat over a span of three to twelve months.

Incorporating intermittent fasting into your routine allows your body to balance and regulate its internal processes, potentially benefiting your overall health and well-being.

Intermittent Fasting for Men

Why Could Intermittent Fasting Be the Best Diet Plan for Men on a Weight Loss Journey?

Skipping meals in an attempt to reduce calorie intake can actually slow down your metabolism and hinder weight loss progress. However, if you condense your food-free periods into specific intervals, you might be surprised to see the pounds start melting away. This is the basic idea behind intermittent fasting, a popular diet method.

What sets intermittent fasting apart from other diets is that it’s supported by scientific research. For example, a comprehensive analysis conducted by the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2017 highlighted that intermittent fasting could be just as effective, if not more effective, than daily calorie restriction for improving body composition.

  • One of the most incredible things about intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t require counting calories. Instead, it focuses more on setting specific periods for eating and fasting. 

Additionally, many people find intermittent fasting helps suppress hunger better than traditional low-calorie diets.

Indeed, additional studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may contribute to more remarkable weight loss outcomes. For example, a study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine found that individuals who practiced time-restricted feeding experienced more significant fat loss while preserving more muscle than those who consumed the same number of calories but over 12 hours instead of eight.

One of the advantages of intermittent fasting is its potential to help maintain muscle mass during weight loss. 

  • Typically, when people lose weight, around 75% of the loss comes from fat, while 25% comes from muscle. However, with intermittent fasting, this ratio can shift so that approximately 90% of the weight loss comes from fat, while only 10% is attributed to muscle loss.

By preserving a more significant proportion of muscle mass during weight loss, intermittent fasting may support a healthier body composition and help individuals achieve their desired aesthetic and fitness goals.

By restricting your food intake and allowing your body time between meals, your metabolism will speed up and shift into a fat-burning state rather than breaking down muscle tissue for energy. This makes intermittent fasting an effective way to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass.

Intermittent fasting also helps reduce appetite and improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. By keeping your body’s hormones in check, you can better control hunger pangs and eat less overall. This will help you lose weight without feeling deprived or constantly hungry throughout the day. 

Finally, intermittent fasting is an easy-to-follow plan that doesn’t require calorie counting or cutting out entire food groups like other diets. It’s an excellent option for those who need more time to keep track of every single calorie they consume each day.

Intermittent fasting has significant health benefits for men

Weight Loss 

It can help promote weight loss by reducing overall calorie intake and increasing fat burning.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Fasting can enhance insulin sensitivity, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Enhanced Fat Burning

It triggers the body to utilize stored fat as an energy source, promoting fat burning.

Increased Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Levels

It may lead to higher levels of HGH, which can support muscle growth, fat loss, and overall body composition.

Autophagy 

Fasting stimulates autophagy, a cellular process that helps remove damaged cells and promote cellular repair and regeneration.

Reduced Inflammation

It can reduce inflammation markers in the body, which is beneficial for overall health and disease prevention.

Cardiovascular Health

It can improve cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and cholesterol.

Simplicity and Convenience

IF offers a simple and convenient approach to managing eating patterns without needing complicated meal plans or calorie counting.

What Does the Research Say About Fasting and Testosterone?

Only recently, a comprehensive review of studies on the effects of intermittent fasting (IF) on reproductive hormone levels in men (and women) needed to be included. However, a recent review conducted until June this year shed light on this topic.

In the past, the effects of fasting on testosterone levels were investigated in four clinical trials. These studies utilized 8-hour time-restricted eating schedules, many of which included resistance training sessions three times a week. The participants in these studies were typically young, lean, and physically active men.

The findings consistently demonstrated that TRE, whether practiced alone or in combination with resistance training, reduced total and free testosterone levels.

Interestingly, the duration of following TRE didn’t seem to influence the magnitude of these changes. Even shorter trials produced similar effects on testosterone levels as longer ones did.

Overall, the results indicate that TRE has the potential to decrease free and total testosterone levels in lean, physically active, and young men. However, it’s important to note that these findings may not necessarily apply to individuals with different characteristics or health conditions.

Examining the Different Intermittent Fasting Schedules for Men and Their Benefits

Let’s take a look at some of the popular intermittent fasting methods:

16:8 Method 

It involves fasting for 16 hours and restricting your eating window to 8 hours. For example, you might skip breakfast and have your first meal around noon, then finish eating by 8 pm. This schedule can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle and preferences.

5:2 Method

With this approach, you usually eat five days a week and restrict your calorie intake to around 500-600 calories on the remaining two non-consecutive days. This method allows for more flexibility regarding when you eat throughout the day.

Eat-Stop-Eat 

This one involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. For instance, you might finish dinner one evening and then only eat dinner again the following day. It’s important to stay adequately hydrated during the fasting period.

Alternate-Day Fasting

As the name suggests, this one involves fasting every other day. On fasting days, you may consume very few calories or none, while on non-fasting days, you usually eat.

OMAD (or easy – One Meal a Day) 

You fast for 23 hours & consume all of your daily calories within a single meal. This method provides simplicity and convenience for those who prefer one large meal over multiple smaller meals.

16:8 Intermittent Fasting and Gout – Many People Are Concerned About This Issue

Gout is arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints, leading to inflammation and pain. It primarily affects the joints in the big toe but can also impact other joints. Given the concerns surrounding gout and intermittent fasting, it’s essential to understand the potential implications.

While research explicitly focusing on the relationship between intermittent fasting and gout is limited, there are some factors to consider:

Fasting, especially for extended periods, can increase the risk of dehydration. In addition, dehydration is known to trigger gout attacks, as it can contribute to higher uric acid levels in the body. Therefore, staying well-hydrated during fasting periods is crucial to minimize this risk.

Intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss, and significant or rapid weight loss has been associated with an increased risk of gout attacks. When the body breaks down fat during weight loss, it releases more uric acid, potentially triggering gout symptoms. Therefore, gradual and sustainable weight loss is advisable to minimize the risk.

Certain purine foods, such as organ meats, seafood, and some vegetables, can increase uric acid levels. Therefore, during non-fasting, being mindful of your diet and consuming purine-rich foods in moderation to help manage gout symptoms is crucial.

Finally, gout management typically involves a comprehensive approach that includes dietary modifications, hydration, medication, and lifestyle changes

Your body will break down muscle to fuel when you fast or follow a starvation diet. Ketone bodies and lactic acid, two molecules that interfere with your kidney’s ability to eliminate uric acid, are formed due to muscle breakdown. Dehydration will make your problem worse.

Also, read – Working Out While Fasting: How to Maximize Results

How to Optimize Your Goals by Fasting by Body Type

You might identify with one of these three extremes or land in the middle. Therefore, could your particular body type impact your success with intermittent fasting? Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough research for medical professionals to provide firm conclusions.

However, W.H. Sheldon, a psychologist, identified three primary somatotypes in the 1940s.

Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs tend to have a lean and slender body type with a faster metabolism. If you are an ectomorph looking to gain muscle or increase weight, fasting alone may not be the most suitable approach. It can be challenging for ectomorphs to consume sufficient calories within a restricted eating window. Focus on maintaining a balanced diet and consuming enough calories to support your goals, even if it means adjusting the fasting schedule or incorporating smaller, more frequent meals.

Mesomorphs 

Mesomorphomorphss typically have a well-proportioned athletic body type with a moderate metabolism. Therefore, fasting can be a viable option, especially if their goal is weight loss or body composition improvements. In addition, they may succeed with different intermittent fasting schedules, such as the 16/8 or alternate-day fasting. However, they must still meet their nutrient needs during the eating window to support their fitness goals.

Endomorphs

Endomorphs often have a larger body frame, with a slower metabolism and a tendency to store more body fat. Fasting can benefit endomorphs as a tool for weight management and improving insulin sensitivity. 

They may benefit from intermittent fasting approaches that help regulate calorie intake and promote fat burning, such as the 16/8 method or time-restricted feeding. However, endomorphs must focus on nutrient-dense foods and portion control during their eating window to support their weight loss or body composition goals.

Also, read – The Full Guide of 14/10 Intermittent Fasting

How Many Calories Can Men Expect From Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting can be an effective way for men to manage their calorie intake. But exactly how many calories should men expect to consume when intermittent fasting? 

The answer depends on several factors, including the type of intermittent fasting practiced and individual dietary preferences and needs. 

  • Generally speaking, most research suggests that consuming no more than 500-600 calories per day is recommended for intermittent fasting to achieve optimal results. However, this number may vary depending on a man’s health status, body weight, and overall goals. 

Note: food choices are just as important as the amount of calories consumed during intermittent fasting. Men should pay attention to what foods they eat throughout the day and ensure a balanced diet with all essential nutrients. This will help ensure optimal health benefits while intermittent.

Why do men lose weight faster than women when they fast?

There is a common belief that men have an easier time losing weight than women. While anecdotes often share stories of men effortlessly shedding pounds by making simple lifestyle changes, women face more challenges despite their efforts. However, it’s vital to examine the actual truth behind these claims!

Men often have an advantage in weight loss due to their higher amount of lean muscle tissue, which naturally burns more calories, even at rest. As a result, when men and women cut the same number of calories, men typically experience more immediate weight loss. 

However, in the long run, the weight loss progress tends to even out between genders. So it’s not a competition to see who can lose weight the fastest, but rather a journey where the most crucial aspect is that both men and women are moving towards their goals together.

Indeed, men often tend to lose weight in the abdominal area, which can make their progress more noticeable, especially when compared to women. This is because men’s fat distribution tends to be more concentrated in the belly region, while women’s fat stores are generally more spread throughout the body. This difference in fat distribution can contribute to the perception that men lose weight more quickly!

Intermittent Fasting for Men

Should Men Over 40 Try Intermittent Fasting?

If you’re a man over 40, you may have experienced the challenge of losing weight despite your best efforts. Weight gain, particularly around the belly area, is a common struggle for many older men. While diet and exercise are important factors, they may only sometimes yield the desired results for weight loss.

Fortunately, alternative approaches such as intermittent fasting (IF) and time-restricted eating (TRE) have shown great promise for men over 40 who aim to shed pounds and enhance their overall health.

By incorporating these methods into your lifestyle, you can effectively manage your food intake and achieve your weight loss goals more efficiently. Intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating have proven valuable tools for many men in this age group looking to improve their well-being.

Also, read – The Complete Guide to Effective Fasting 

Make Intermittent Fasting Easier for Men Over 50

If you’re in the over-50 age group, you might have opinions suggesting that intermittent fasting isn’t suitable for you. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Intermittent fasting becomes even more significant as we age since it directly connects to longevity and lifespan. 

Maintaining muscle mass is crucial for men over 50, and intermittent fasting can support this goal. One fascinating aspect of muscle function is the production and release of myokines, which are signaling molecules generated by muscles during physical activity, such as exercise. These myokines have diverse processes that contribute to overall health and well-being.

One significant benefit of intermittent fasting is its potential to enhance the production and release of beneficial myokines. Regular physical activity, combined with intermittent fasting, can stimulate the secretion of myokines that regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, and promote the growth of new blood vessels. These effects can be precious for maintaining muscle mass and supporting overall health as we age.

Conclusion

If you’re a man looking to improve your diet, try intermittent fasting. This way of life has numerous advantages, including weight loss, improved digestion and focus, and stress reduction. In addition, for men who stick to their plan, intermittent fasting can help boost testosterone levels and increase muscle mass.

With the many proven health-related advantages that intermittent fasting offers for men, it is the best diet plan for you. However, if you find that it doesn’t work for you, don’t worry – there are plenty of other healthy eating plans you can choose from. 

Want to have an easier fasting pass? – Lasta is the best intermittent fasting app for men, assisting them in achieving their health and fitness objectives. With a single button tap, our simple fasting tracker allows you to keep track of your fasts. Lasta allows you to customize your fasting schedule and receive daily reminders easily.

You will also have access to reports that provide valuable insights into your progress, enabling you to adjust your routine as needed and stay motivated. With our tracking technology, you can rest assured knowing that Lasta will help keep you on track with reaching your goals!  

So don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you. Good luck finding your ideal fasting plan!

Carmen Van Rensburg is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a wealth of experience, spanning over 12 years in the field. She has demonstrated expertise in devising exercise-based rehabilitation services that promote wellness and recovery. Her instructive techniques in conducting safe and effective exercise sessions have significantly aided individuals in various areas. These include weight loss, improving muscle strength, optimizing cardiovascular function, enhancing body composition, increasing flexibility, and facilitating recovery from chronic diseases, disabilities, and injuries.

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