This past Saturday we kicked off a two-month long Paleo / Body Composition challenge at 626.  While many of the members will be adhering to a Paleo diet – a choice I believe is well suited for most of them, I will be experimenting with intermittent fasting (the two aren’t mutually exclusive by the way).  I’ve been intrigued by this protocol for a while and since I’ll get a before and after body composition measurement as a part of this challenge, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.


After researching the topic a bit, I’ve decided to adhere to Martin Berkhan’s recommended regimen over at leangains to maintain the benefits of fasting while still adequately fueling my body for muscle growth.  Martin recommends an approximate 16 hour fast followed by 8 hours for feeding.  On his site he has four protocols outlined, I’ll be adhering to the “Fasted Training” system.


Under this protocol I’ll be performing the bulk of my training around noon each day in a fasted state.  15 minutes prior to my workout, I’ll consume 10g of BCAAs.  This pre workout protein intake will stimulate protein synthesis and metabolism.  Martin provides a sample schedule on his site for this regime that looks like this:

  • 5-15 minutes pre-workout: 10 g BCAA
  • 12 PM: Training
  • 1 PM: Post-workout meal
  • 4 PM: Second meal
  • 9 PM: Last meal before the fast


The post workout meal is intended to be the largest of the day with meal size decreasing as the day progresses.  The percentage composition of carbohydrates in each meal is intended to decrease throughout the day.  Macronutrient cycling is utilized both on a daily basis (as mentioned) and day to day  – primarily with a reduction in carbs and increase in fat consumption on rest days (maintaining protein intake on all days).


My recent body composition measurement revealed a basal metabolic rate of 1840 kcal, which should be multiplied by 1.2 to determine my resting, daily caloric needs (no activity at all).  This yields a required intake level of 2208 kcal for me.  I’m going to play around with different multipliers to account for daily activity and desired additional input for muscle growth.  For now, I’m using 1.5 x my resting requirement on training days and 1.25 x on rest days.  These multipliers yield intake requirements 3300 kcal and 2760 kcal respectively.  I’m going to shoot to consume 40% of daily calories during my first meal, but expect this will be difficult to achieve.


Ideally, I’ll maintain this fasting protocol for the full two months and collect before and after body composition data.  As I progress, I’ll post updates on how well I’m adhering to the protocol and how tough it is adjusting to an 8 hour eating window.  If you’ve experimented with fasting before, let me know in the comments.