Blood Sugar

Why I Stopped Extended Fasting: A Muscle Centric Approach to Fasting and Metabolic Health

by Mike Mutzel


Intermittent fasting (IF) and prolonged fasting are wonderful tools that can improve blood sugar health and support longevity. However, both fasting and calorie restriction can accelerate muscle loss and compromise exercise performance.

Since new research finds low muscle mass after age 45 is independently correlated with mortality—this can be a problem!

Here’s why you may want to consider focusing less on fasting and more on these type of exercises and high-protein during your feeding windows:


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Study Mentioned:

Williamson, E. & Moore, D. R. A Muscle-Centric Perspective on Intermittent Fasting: A Suboptimal Dietary Strategy for Supporting Muscle Protein Remodeling and Muscle Mass? Front. Nutr. 8, 640621 (2021).

Show Notes

00:00 Fasting is counterproductive to preserving and building muscle.

00:40 Extended fasting may have metabolic health benefits for people who are morbidly obese or sedentary.

01:30 Insulin helps build and preserve muscle.

05:00 If you have little body fat, excessive fasting may impact lean muscle mass.

06:00 The more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be.

07:12 If you feel weaker, try decreasing your fasting and increase your exercise.

08:00 Muscle mass is inversely correlated with all-cause mortality.

08:30 Quick weight loss can include loss of lean muscle tissue.

10:45 If you are fasting, you may want to increase your protein intake.

  1. I couldn’t agree more. About 2.5 years ago I started intermittent fasting along with dietary changes (eliminating gluten and dairy). I dropped from 195 to 155lbs in the span of 5-6 months. I maintained intermittent fasting until several months ago. I stopped because I was not seeing any muscle gains and my weight was stagnant. I wanted to weigh a little more. I’m 5’11” with lean athletic build but wanted to add more muscle mass. Since I stopped intermittent fasting I have add 10-12 lbs of muscle.

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