Category Archives: Muscle Building

Is It Possible to Build Muscle While in Ketosis? – The Facts Explained!

Scientific research shows that it is actually possible to build muscle while in ketosis. The studies suggests that this will only be possible if you make sure that you are consuming a sufficient amount of protein and fat alongside an effective strength training program. The amount required is considered to be 1 gram of protein for every LB of body weight whilst 78-80% of your daily calories should come from fat.

It has been a long held belief within the fitness industry that in order to build muscle mass, you need to consume both carbohydrates and protein together in order to stimulate the protein synthesis which in theory leads to muscle growth. Now it is true that carbohydrates are in a sense anabolic. Anabolic meaning that they cause muscles to grow in optimum conditions. However, consuming a large amount of carbohydrates also causes fat gain as well which is not what we want.

The majority of the general population have known for some time now that carbs cause weight gain and make you store fat. As a result, fitness enthusiasts the world over have turned to Low-Carb diets to lose those extra pounds. However, as a byproduct, we have become concerned that we will not be able to gain muscle either, and even worse we will lose muscle.

I am going to share with you information in this article that will hopefully put your mind at rest. It is indeed possible to maintain and gain muscle mass while in ketosis.

So Can You Build Muscle While In Ketosis?

Before I go into detail regarding how to go about building muscle while in ketosis, I want to put your mind at rest when it comes to the apparent need to consume carbohydrates along with protein in order to build muscle. Most people in the muscle building world believe that you must consume carbs and protein together after a weight training session in order to stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth. Recent science however suggests otherwise. A study in 2007 found that consuming carbs and protein after a workout did not enhance protein synthesis. 10 healthy men took part in a crossover study. They performed 60 minutes of strength training, and then they were fed either 0, 0.15, or 0.6 g x kg of carbs along with  0.3 g x kg of protein hydrolysate during a 6 hr recover period after the workout. 

The result was very interesting. What was found was that there was no difference in the amount of protein synthesis taking place between the various experiments. 

So we can be fairly confident with the fact that you do not need to consume a boat load of carbohydrates in order to being muscle repair and growth.

This was not the only study however that supports this hypothesis. Several studies have shown in a much more direct how the the ketogenic diet not only preserves muscle mass, but also increases muscle growth, especially when combined with a keto/carb-cycling protocol.

Another study carried out in 2014 found that participants on ketogenic diet maintained muscle mass just as well as participants who were on a standard western carb rich diet for a duration of 10 weeks. However, in the 11th week the participants on the keto diet started to eat carbohydrates again for that week. After the 11th week the keto group actually gained more muscle mass than the standard western diet group.

So what were the exact results of the study cited above?…

The study consisted of 26 healthy male participants. Half of the group were put on a standard western diet (55% Carbs, 25% Fat, 20% Protein), and the other half were prescribed a standard ketogenic diet (5% CHO, 75% Fat, 20%) for 11 weeks. However, in the  11th week the keto diet group began to consume carbohydrates again.

From weeks 1-10 both groups showed no difference in the rate of muscle gain. This suggests that for someone engaged with a strength training programme, muscle will not be lost if that person is in ketosis for an extended period of time.

In week 11 however, the keto diet group ‘carbed up’, and ate a higher amount of carbohydrates for that final week of the experiment. The results were surprising yet positive. At the end of the 11th week, the keto diet group gained significantly more muscle mass than the standard diet group. In fact they gained around 2.1kgs more muscle mass than the standard western diet group by the end of the experiment. 

This suggests that the ketogenic diet may more be beneficial for muscle gain than a standard high carbohydrate diet.

Before we go on to talk about an action plan that you can put into practice yourself, I would like to reference one final study. Just to really highlight the findings already mentioned above. So many people these days are afraid of the ketogenic diet when it comes to maintaining or building muscle when there really is no need to be. In face, as we have already found out, a low carbohydrate high fat diet really can accelerate your results when it comes to building muscle.

This final study was very similar to the last one I just outlined. 25 college men were divided into a standard western diet group and a ketogenic diet group for the 11 week duration of the experiment. The main difference with this particular experiment and the previous one I described earlier was that in this particular study, the keto diet and standard western diet groups were both isocaloric and isonitrogenous. This means that both diet groups consumed the same amount of calories and the same amount of protein as each each on each day of the trial. Again, as in the previous experiment the keto group re-fed on carbs in week 11.

All participants also undertook resistance training on a daily basis throughout the 11 weeks.

The results were very interesting when compared to the previous study. For the first 10 weeks the ketogenic diet group gained only 2.2kg of lean body mass whilst the standard western diet group gained an impressive 4.4gk. That’s double what the keto group gained. However, in week 11 when the keto group re-fed on carbs, they gained a further 2.2kg taking their total lean body mass gain for the 11 weeks to 4.8kg. This means that again the keto group gained more muscle mass than the non-keto group by the end of the experiment.

So what can we take from these findings?…

The results from all of the research mentioned above I looks very promising and would lead us to believe that the ketogenic diet has many benefits when is comes to building muscle while in ketosis.

One thin the research shows is that not only do we retain muscle while on a keto diet, but we can actually gain muscle mass while in a state of nutritional ketosis.

Not only this, but if we so wish; we can strategically use carbohydrates in conjunction with a keto diet in order to build more muscle mass than one could on a standard diet.

So how do we go about this? How do we put all the theory into practice in the real world? 

Putting It All Together…

So let’s take a look at how we can take what we have learned from the above studies and use the information in a productive way in order to put together a keto based action plan for building muscle in an accelerated way.

So we now know that you could at the very least maintain your muscle mass (and probably gain a little) on a standard ketogenic diet. 

As a reminder the marconutrient ratios of your daily caloric intake are;

  • Carbohydrates – 5%
  • Protein – 20%
  • Healthy Fats – 75%

The ratios mentioned above are what you would aim for if you were following the standard ketogenic diet for health and fat loss benefits. However, in order to build muscle effectively while on the keto diet we need to tweak the numbers slightly. I have already allured to these numbers at the very beginning of this article, but I will go through them again and in more detail here.

We need to increase the amount of protein consumption to 1 gram per pound (LB) of body weight. Because we are increasing the protein intake, it is possible that glucose and insulin levels will still spike slightly due to a process called gluconeogenisis where the liver turns excess protein into glucose. This in turn could cause a little bit of fat gain.

To combat this, we also need to increase the amount of fat consumption from 75% of total daily caloric intake up to around 78-80%. This will help the body produce more ketones and keep the body in fat burning more.

As usual, your daily carbohydrate intake should be less than 50g.

With the keto macro ratios outlined above, you should have not problem building and maintaining muscle mass while in ketosis. However, due to the excess calories being consumed, some people may worry that they will gain excess fat during the process. This is totally understandable as it is very easy to gain fat during a bulking program. 

So how do we do we definitely make sure we don’t gain excess fat while building muscle on keto?…

The solution? Intermittent fasting!

What I recommend is that you take two days of the week and fast for 18-20 hours. There are many benefits of intermittent fasting and you can learn more about those benefits by reading our extensive and in depth article on the subject that I also wrote for Asia Fitness Today. You can read the article here and learn more about the amazing benefits of fasting (opens in a new window).

Needles to say fasting will keep your fat level down whilst preserving muscle mass. There are so many other health benefits to fasting which I don’t have time to mention here. As already mentioned, out in depth article about intermittent fasting goes into much more depth about that particular subject area.

Do This to Turbocharge Your Muscle Gain on Keto!…

In order to get the maximum muscle building efforts, we are going take what we learned from the studies and mimic the protocol.

So, I suggest you go for 2 1/2 months on the muscle building keto diet I mentioned above with the tweaked numbers. Also remember to do the intermittent fasting for two days of the week as already discussed.

However, for the last two weeks of the 3 month cycle (weeks 11-12), take a break from the keto diet and re-introduce carbohydrates again. At the end of week 11, go back to the keto diet and intermittent fasting for another 3 month cycle.

Rinse and Repeat!…

Now, it’s important to remember that when you re-introduce carbohydrates for weeks 11 and 12, that you continue to eat clean and healthy. Eat healthy carb based foods rather than processed and refined carbs such as white bread, candy and pizza. Weeks 11 ans 12 are not weeks off. They are weeks of carb back loading. Try incorporating foods such as;

  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potato
  • Rye Bread
  • Quinoa
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Oat Porridge

I recommend that in weeks 11 and 12 when you re-introduce carbs again, you follow the macro ratios similar to the standard western diet groups in the experiments as discussed. 

So week 1-10 you will be doing your keto diet along with 2 days of intermittent fasting. Weeks 11-12 I recommend you consume your macros in the following ratios (remembering to lower out fat intake again).

Standard Western Diet Macro Ratios for Weeks 11-12

  • 55% Carbohydrates
  • 25% Fats
  • 20% Protein

Now I know what you are thinking! By now you are probably asking yourself what your daily caloric intake should be in order to build muscle and lose fat. I realise I have given most of the macro ratio numbers in percentages in this post. Those percentages do of course relate to our daily caloric intake.

I will be totally honest with you here, and then direct you to another one of my articles where you can learn more about your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and how to work out what your daily caloric intake should be.

Personally, I don’t worry that much about my daily caloric intake. Controversial I know! 

I go by instinct and ‘eyeball’ my macro ratios. Now in the beginning it would certainly be helpful for you to track your ratios using any popular tracking app on your phone. 

However, I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I make sure my ratios and as close as possible and I train hard in the gym. I find that this works well for me. Over tracking your numbers can become very taxing mentally and you want to try to avoid become OCD about the numbers.

The body is very cleaver! Follow the rough guide in this article, then follow your instinct.

Workout Efficiently to Build Muscle… the Right Way!…

Of course, muscle growth is also very much dependent on you partaking in an effective exercise regime which focuses on breaking down the muscle fibres in your body. This type of strength training  causes the muscle tissue to grow in size as the fibres repair themselves.

It is important to focus on training the large muscle groups such as chest, legs and shoulders for example. Also, you will get the best results by making sure that you train to total failure on each set. This means that at the end of each set, you are not able to physically perform even just one more repetition of that particular exercise.


Utilised in the correct way and along with effective and efficient resistance training, the keto diet can absolutely accelerate your muscle growth while providing you with many other health benefits as well.

At the end of the day it all depends on your own goals and aspirations. What’s more, we are all only humans and we have to live life. Take the information in this article and use it as a guide. Strive to do your best everyday. No one can ask any more of you.

Good luck with your health and fitness goals!…

This article has been reproduced with permission and courtesy of Nick at The Muscle Expert.

Introduction – What is Intermittent Fasting?

Many people ask us; are there any benefits to intermittent fasting?

In short, yes there are many benefits to intermittent fasting, some which may surprise you too. As you continue to read this article, you will learn all about what fasting can do for you in the short and long term.

First though, let’s take a look at what intermittent fasting actually is, before we go into more details about the benefits of a fasting program.

Many people may already be aware of what intermittent fasting is, and they may even be familiar with some of the most common health benefits when following this particular protocol. However, when it comes to intermittent fasting there are far more benefits to be had than you might have first thought.

Following any form of fasting program can drastically improve ones health both physically and mentally. Not only this; your lifestyle and productivity in general can take a huge upturn as a result.

Just in case you are not aware of what intermittent fasting is, I will briefly give a short overview here. Essentially, intermittent fasting is a protocol in which you abstain from food, and certain fluids for a prolonged period of time. Any food or drink that contains calories and stimulates a metabolic response in the body is avoided for that duration of time.

There are many different forms of fasting in which your fasting and feeding windows last for various lengths of time. Some of the most common protocols are;

  • 16-8 – With this format you don’t eat or drink calories for 16 hours, and then you consume all your caloric intake for the day within the 8 hour feeding window before fasting for 16 hours again. This is one of the easiest methods to do begin with when getting started with the fasting lifestyle.
  • 18-6 – With this method, you fast for 18 hours and then you consume your daily caloric intake within a 6 hour window.
  • 20-4 (AKA The Warrior Diet) – You can probably guess this one by now! You fast for 20 hours and consume you daily caloric intake within a 4 hour window. This protocol is a more advanced strategy and it is only best to attempt this once your body is used to fasting.
  • OMAD (One Meal a Day) – Some die hard intermittent fasting fans consider the OMAD diet the ‘holy grail’ of fasting! With this method you do what it says on the tin and you eat only one substantial meal a day. This particular protocol is particularly powerful because after about 19 hours of fasting, your body begins to reap some of the more elusive benefits of fasting. This includes benefits such as autophagy and anti-ageing which we will discuss more in depth later.

Now we have a general understanding of this time based protocol, we will now look at some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting. There will be some common ones in the list that you will already be aware of. However, some of them will surprise you I am sure!

Fat Loss

Perhaps one of the most well known benefits of intermittent fasting is fat loss, and this is one of the main reasons that many people decide to begin a fasting program in the first place.

It is true that fasting is more effective than many other diet programs out there including the dreaded calorie restricted eating plan that millions of people fail with every year.

“How does fasting actually work in terms of fat burning though; and why is it superior to many other methods?”

Calories in vs calories out theory for fat loss that the vast majority of people are familiar with is fundamentally flawed. The theory assumes that all calories are equal. However, we know this not to be true. We can not oversimplify how different foods a processed in the body and the hormonal effect they have.

Most people believe that the only way to loss body fat is to either reduce the amount of calories you take in through food or increase the amount of calories you expend through exercise.

The diagram above is a great analogy that depicts how most people view the calories in, calories out theory for fat loss. It is in fact a myth!…Or at the very least an over simplified explanation. There is no such thing as one big container in your body that stores calories. In reality your body doesn’t really know what a calorie is. In actual fact, weight gain is more like a two compartment problem. The analogy I am going to share with you now was made popular by the world leading fasting expert Dr Jason Fung. Dr Fung has a great visual way of explaining how the body actually gains and loses weight.

Take a look at the diagram below.

The picture above shows how fat gain is actually a two compartment problem. Whenever you eat a balanced meal, the carbohydrates and/or sugars in that meal are turned into glucose. Imagine that this glucose is then stored in the ‘fridge’ (aka your liver). It is very easy to store glucose in the liver, and likewise it is very easy to take glucose out and use it as energy. Just like when you go to your fridge in the kitchen, you can easily fill that fridge with your food shopping. You can also just as easily take food out to eat it. It is quick, easy and convenient. However, there is only a limited amount of space in that fridge and similarly there is only a very small amount of space in your liver for glucose from food. Therefore, if you keep eating those 6 high carbohydrate meals a day, you soon run out of space in your liver and so the excess glucose overflows and gets pushed into fat cells instead. The situation now is that you gain body fat which can be very hard to lose if you don’t understand an effective method for doing so.  This entire process is moderated by the fat storage hormone insulin which is represented in the above diagram as the traffic cop.

Most people eat far too much far too often which causes the pancreas to secrete a large amount of insulin. This insulin then tells the body to store glucose energy from food in the liver. If the very limited space in the liver runs out, then the insulin continues to store that glucose energy, but in the fat cells instead, causing the person to gain weight.

Therefore, the key to efficiently burning body fat is to avoid spiking insulin, thus allowing the liver to deplete of glucose which in turn forces the liver to burn body fat for fuel instead. There are a few methods of reducing insulin secretion, but one of the most effective is intermittent fasting!

Let us look at what happens when we abstain from eating and drinking calories for a prolonged period of time.


So to continue with our analogy, what we need to do is to stop going food shopping (eating), consume all our food in the fridge (deplete the liver of glucose), which then forces us to break into those freezers in the basement for food (burn body fat).

The second image down shows this process in graph form. Notice how as the consumption of carbohydrates is reduced, fat oxidisation (AKA fat burning) increases exponentially. So now we can see how intermittent fasting allows our body to access its own fat stores by depleting the body (in particular the liver) of Glucose.

Reduced Hunger

As your body gets accustomed to fasting and you start to burn your own body fat for fuel, you will find that your hunger massively decreases. This is because over time your body becomes what is called fat adapted as we develop metabolic flexibility. The Mitochondria are the bodies ‘power plants’ which are responsible for converting the caloric energy from food into energy that the body and its cells can use. The longer amount of time you engage with an intermittent fasting program, the more effective your body becomes at burning fat. In fact, the amount of Lipase Enzymes available in the body that are responsible for oxidising fat for energy are significantly increased. Your body is now aware of your fat stores and it knows it can tap into this fuel source at any time it needs to. This means that you don’t get as hungry as often and also your metabolism increases because your body now knows that there is a larger fuel source available to you; not just the little amount of glucose that is stored in your liver.

In summary, if after about 3 weeks to a month of intermittent fasting you notice that your hunger levels have massively decreased, you have lost a lot of body fat and you feel mentally focused, then you are most likely fat adapted to a certain degree.

In the video below, one of my favourite intermittent fasting experts on YouTube explains fat adaptation and intermittent fasting further.

Cures Insulin Resistance and Improves Insulin Sensitivity

When a person is carrying excess body fat, this generally means that their body is not as efficient at processing Carbohydrates and sugars. This is often due to the person in question consuming a high Carb/sugar diet over a long period of time. You see, fat gain is a time dependant phenomenon. Consuming a diet that spikes Insulin levels excessively over a prolonged period of time leads to a condition known as Insulin Resistance.

The main job of insulin is to open up liver and fat cells to allow glucose from the blood stream into them after eating food. If a person continues to consume foods and liquids that spike insulin excessively, then the liver cells soon become full and begin to over flow with the glucose. Therefore the pancreas tries to overcompensate for this by secreting even more insulin whilst pushing glucose into fat cells instead as discussed in the weight loss section earlier. This precisely is how insulin resistance causes obesity.

To make this process easier to understand, observe the picture above. The inflated balloon represents a liver cell that is overflowing with glucose due to a carbohydrate and sugar heavy diet. Because this cell is full, the pancreas releases even more insulin to try to get the excess glucose out of the blood stream. However, because the liver is overworked, the insulin starts to put the glucose into fat cells instead.

The simple solution to this Insulin Resistance problem is to abstain from food, or partake in a very low carbohydrate and sugar free diet for a period of time as previously discussed in the weight loss section. This allows the body to burn off the stored glucose in the liver and fat cells which will in turn allow the body to respond normally to insulin again.

Improved Gut Health

Digestion is a very energy intensive process for the body. Fasting gives a chance for the gut to rest, and cleanse itself. Not only this, but a study from 2014 discovered that fasting promotes Bacterial Clearance.

The image below shows the title of the study, and you can click on the link below the image and checkout the study for yourself if you wish.


In summary, the research found that when mice were put through alternate day fasting they were able to clear Salmonella twice as fast as the non-fasted mice. The bacteria just passed through the intestines and was not absorbed into the body. The fact that is study was performed on mice rather than human subjects does not really discredit the research that much. The reason that researchers use mice in studies like this is that they know the the results are pretty much the same as to what it would be in humans. So it’s all good news for your body and its guts if you do intermittent fasting on a regular basis. You inner workings are going to be much healthier, and your gut will fight off bad bacteria much more efficiently.

Not only this, but the process of intermittent fasting also promotes the growth of good bacteria. The stress (good stress) that fasting puts on your gut causes the immune system to up its game and so more good bacteria is colonised. In turn this causes;

  • Better resistance to bad bacteria
  • Improve symptoms of IBS
  • Cures acid reflux
  • Improves indigestion
  • Regulated bowel movements
  • Many more….

Good for Your Heart Health and the Cardiovascular System

Intermittent fasting is very effective for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack an other related health issues.

It was commonly believed that an over abundance of so called LDL “bad” cholesterol was the primary cause of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease due to a diet that was too high in fats. This however, is simply not the case. In fact cholesterol is essential to the body’s ability to function. Cholesterol is so important to the body that is is produced by nearly every single cell in your body. You NEED Cholesterol to survive! In fact, over 75% of cholesterol is made by your body and not ingested through your diet.

“If Cholesterol is really that bad for you then why is 75% of your total Cholesterol made ‘in house’ by your own body?”


It is in fact the oxidative stress that an over abundance of glucose in your body has on your your arterial walls that cause Cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

In simplistic terms, if you consume too much sugar or carbohydrates over a long period of time, then inflammation and tiny cracks start to appear in the walls of your arteries. As a result, the LDL Cholesterol turns up at the site of the damaged artery and acts as a band aid by forming a coating over the inflammation. This, by the way is a good thing. It is the Cholesterol’s job to repair the damage. The only reason the LDL turned up in the first place was because of the inflammation of the artery that was caused by high glucose levels in the bloodstream.

“Blaming LDL Cholesterol for Blocking an Artery and Causing a Heart Attack is Like Blaming Firemen for Causing a House Fire Just Because They Are Always At The Scene!”

– The Muscle Expert

Therefore, when you fast, you give your body a chance to burn off the glucose which in turn reduces inflammation all over the body including your arteries. This then means that LDL cholesterol does not need to try repair the damage which could end up inadvertently blocking your arteries. Another powerful reason for giving intermittent fasting a try!

Decreased Cancer Risk

It is becoming more commonly known that cancer cells feed and thrive on sugar in the body. When you fast or consume a low carbohydrate and sugar diet, you literally create an environment in your body in which cancer cells can nor thrive nor survive.


The global cancer statistics as shown above is worrying. This devastating illness impacts millions of people a year worldwide. There are many lifestyle factors that can be a catalyst for cancer. Some of them being;

  • Over consumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet and obesity
  • Absorption/ingestion of carcinogens

And many more!


“More Than 40% of Cancer Cases Can Be Prevented!”

NBC News

Some causes of cancer are sadly either genetic, or as a result of old age. It is an unfortunate fact that as we age we become more at risk of many forms of cancer. However, as we can see from the NBC News statistics, almost half of the cancer cases we see today could be prevented through healthier and smarter lifestyle choices. We can also see from the above chart that smoking, obesity and alcohol are the leading causes of a fair amount of cancer cases.

As already mentioned, cancer cells feed on glucose. In fact cancer cells are 10x more receptive to glucose and insulin which in turn means that they are 10x more likely to thrive and multiply in a glucose infested body. On the flip side, cancer cell do not feed on fat and oxygen (fat oxidisation) for fuel at all. Therefore, if one intermittent fasts intensely and regularly, their glucose and insulin levels will drop and as a result significantly reduce the chances of cancer cells thriving in the body.

Less Risk of Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease

There are a few theories as to how fasting can help prevent, or relieve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other related neurodegenerative  diseases. Nothing is 100% proven yet, however promising signs are beginning to emerge in recent research.

A study carried out by the Department of Food and Nutrition at Hoseo University in South Korea found that intermittent fasting may help prevent age related memory loss and mental deterioration.


The concepts discussed in the study its self are fairly complex and make for very heavy reading. In essence though, the research looked at the effects of fasting on a group of rats with a form of Alzheimer’s disease in comparison to a group of rats without the disease. interestingly, positive results were observed.

“Intermittent fasting may be an effective intervention to protect against age-related metabolic disturbances, although it is still controversial.”

– Department of Food & Nutrition, Obesity/Diabetes Center, Hoseo University

A popular theory as to how fasting helps prevent and reduce symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases is to do with how the brain utilises glucose for energy.

It is known that degenerative diseases in the brain are mainly caused due to a high amount of dying brain cells. One theory is that with Alzheimer’s and related conditions, what has happened is that the brain is no longer able to use glucose for energy. For some reason the mechanism that the brain uses to use glucose has malfunctioned. Yet for most people it is glucose that their brains primarily run on. However, If you fast for a period of time, the body begins to produce ketones out of oxidised fat, which then can be used as an alternative fuel source by the brain. In many ways, the brain actually prefers ketones as a fuel source as it is a cleaner and more efficient form of energy. The one switches to using ketones for fuel rather than glucose, then a lot more of the brain cells are able to survive resulting in a reduced risk and/or relieved symptoms of many neurodegenerative  diseases.

Improved Immune System and Decreased Risk of Illness

Intermittent fasting can also drastically increase the efficiency of your immune system which may help reduce the frequency and severity of some illnesses you encounter.

In short, fasting kills off white blood cell responsible for fighting illness and disease. Now this may sound like a bad thing, but actually what happens is that this encourages the T cells to produce even more white blood cells which gives a healthy boost to your immune system. . I am going to let fasting and keto expert Thomas DeLauer explain in this in more detail.

Boost in Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

It is now known that insulin inhibits the production of testosterone and human growth hormone when it is released. Not only this, but healthy natural fats are essential for hormonal balance and testosterone production in both men and women. For this reason, when one undergoes prolonged fasting and the body is functioning primarily on fats, testosterone levels are significantly increased. In fact, every time we eat, for 3-5 hours afterwards out testosterone levels are significantly reduced.


The European Journal of Endocrinology released a study that proved the effectiveness of fasting in boosting testosterone and HGH levels. The research found that fasting increased the levels of Luteinizing Hormone in the brain which signals to the sex organs to produce more testosterone. The study also found that Lutenizing Hormone increased by 20% in obese individuals and a massive 67% in non-obese individuals when fasting. This is a significant increase which can have many positive effects on your life.

The most common benefits of elevated testosterone levels are;

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Decreased body fat
  • Increased libido
  • More energy
  • Strengthened bones

And many more…

Improved Mental Focus and Enhanced Mood and Less Stress

When you fast for a a significant amount of time, your body starts to burn its own fat for fuel. The body oxidises this fat and produces something called ketones. These ketones are an alternative energy source for the body once all the glucose has been used. Ketones are actually a preferred energy source for the brain. They cross the blood/brain barrier more easily and they also provide more energy per unit of oxygen than glucose. The result of result is using ketones for fuel during periods of fasting appears to lead to reduced depression and an enhanced positive mental state in those who partake in prolonged fasting. Many subjects even report a euphoric feeling after 2-3 days of fasting.

A review by Fond Et Al looked looked into how many studies they could find that examined the effect of fasting on mood and brain disorders. They conducted a search on the Medline, Web of Science and PsycINFO databases to see what they could find.


The clinicians found a total of 92 studies!

“Clinicians have found that fasting was frequently accompanied by an increased level of vigilance and a mood improvement, a subjective feeling of well-being, and sometimes of euphoria.”

Fond G Et Al

As a collective, these studies found that;

  • After 10 days of fasting, patients with clinical depression reported an 86% remission rate of their condition.
  • Other studies found that fasting or calorie restriction in healthy participants or those with medical issues showed improved energy levels, improved mood and reduced depressive and anxiety symptoms.
  • Another study that looked at the effects of fasting on Muslims during the month of Ramadan found that they experienced a decrease in both manic and depressive symptoms.

It would appear that fasting has enormous benefits on mood and mental health. Just another one of the many positive by products of fasting.


Essentially, autophagy is the bodies process of eating its own deformed and dead cells, and replaicing them with new ones. This is the cornerstone of the anti-ageing process. However, autophagy and the anti-ageing benefits associated with it, are only achievable through a more extreme and prolonged form of fasting. Generally a fast of more than 19 hours needs to take place before autophagy begins to occur in the body.

So how is autphagy stimulated in the body as a result of fasting? Well, when the body runs out of glucose (as it does when we are in a moderate to severely fasted state), the body starts burning its own body fat for fuel. As a direct result of this, the enzyme AMP – Activated protein kinase is released. This enzyme is only released as a result of burning fat for fuel rather than glucose. When this happens the process of autophay begins and the healthy cells in the body break down the dead or malforrmed ones whch then allows new cells to be created.

The most common benefits of autophagy are;

  • Increased longevity
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Prevention or delay of neuro-degenerative diseases
  • Reduced inflammation
  • General anti-ageing

And many more…

So are there any benefits to intermittent fasting? – The Final Verdict!

In summary, intermittent fasting is something that can be extremely beneficial for your health, fitness and fat loss goals. The positive effects of fasting go far beyond aesthetics and fat loss. They go as far as helping to improve your general health. With ever more people around the world becoming interested in fasting, maybe the current global obesity and health epidemic will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

This article has been reproduced with permission and courtesy of Nick at The Muscle Expert.