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Hello everyone,

I am new on this forum. Intermittent fasting has been a topic of interest of mines for quite some time. I joined because I wanted to gather opinions/thoughts about the findings in literature regarding intermittent fasting and its effect on body composition in active/athletic individuals! I've read through a handful of research articles & they show different results. does anyone have any thoughts about how research is conducted on intermittent fasting?? thank you for your time! :smile:
Hello Alyssarosa and welcome!

Are there any particular sources you'd like to discuss?

If not, and as a great place to start, authors Volek and Phinney have a pair of books that address athletics and endurance with (the equivalent of) intermittent fasting. Their primary point being that (once adapted) a fat-based metabolism is likely superior to a glucose based one for all but HIIT based exertion levels.

We're all biologically limited to a roughly 2,000 calorie based muscle and liver glycogen storage capacity. This is roughly equivalent to that burned by the 20 mile mark ("hitting the wall") in a marathon. For most of us, the energy potential of fat storage is nearly unlimited. A mere three pounds of fat contains over 10,000 burnable calories! That's over 5x the available glucose base. The down side? The full transition to a keytone-based fat-dominant metabolism can take 1-2 months of careful, dedicated effort.

You might also look up Peter Attia's web site for a series of very detailed (alas, somewhat dated) articles on his personal experimentation in this area.

You question regarding "how research is conducted" can get tedious rather quickly. Interpreting the scope and applicability of research and medical studies along with your point of recognizing "different results" is part and parcel of all studies. The more you read the more they tend to conflict. But this is the reality of pursuing leading-edge information. (Consider this: If the researchers actually knew exactly what worked, there would be no conflicting opinions.)

The clarifying solution set here for the individual is to compare your situation with that of the study's participants. The better they match, the greater the possibility that their results might apply to you. The proving tie-breaker is being willing to self-experiment and self-measure if and when a reasonable match (based on your risk/reward assessment) shows promise.

Hope this is helpful.

i truly appreciate your very detailed response! i should have better stated my question and mention the studies that i am referring to.

I have read through quite a handful of research articles on intermittent fasting and its effects on the body composition of healthy and athletic males!

Three of the research articles i've read showed that there is a decrease in their test subjects' weight as a result of intermittent fasting. however, one of these articles showed that this decrease in weight was statistically insignificant. Tatiana Moro (2016) studied Italian resistance-training athletes who did the 16/8 IF diet, Omar Hammouda (2014) studied Ramadan fasting soccer players. Anindita Roy (2015) studied healthy Ramadan fasting individuals and yielded insignificant results.

in addition i have read two articles that showed:
1) IF has no significant influence in the body mass of healthy individuals participating in Ramadan fasting

2) there is a statistically insignificant decrease in the body mass of intermittent fasting healthy individuals

I think these results would be much different if there sample population was much larger. these experiments worked on less than 50 people.

you're completely right, though! I shouldn't expect there to be a consensus on the findings in this field of study, even more so for research done on IF and athletic/active individuals. if anything, the amalgamation of results should leave us hopeful that this field of research is gaining more attention and soon enough it will be a field of study that is widely explored. with the great number of individuals world wide that's participating in intermittent fasting (for personal or religious reasons) it would be great if we are able to be more aware of the benefits and wary of the potential risks (if any) .

thank you for the reading suggestions, i will make sure to try and get my hands on those.
Healthy and athletic males . . . you left out youthful - a small isolated group that by definition starts with few if any deleterious issues with weight or body composition. Applying IF in this scenario is an effective solution to a nonexistent problem.

I am however still unclear about what you are trying to learn.

I ask because the primary emphasis of members in groups such as this one is to correct diet and life-style based errors that are exacerbated with age - to effectively regain what they never should've lost in the first place. There are many causes of this but modern culture combined with unquestioned belief in authority are primary. To this end intermittent fasting's - and 5:2's most specific goal - is to simplify the process of returning to biologically healthful ways.

To this end, many here have succeeded wonderfully and have since moved on to focus on other of life's pressing matters. Nearly all have improved their health in innumerable and often measurable ways from blood test results to beating T2D. All of this is fully applicable and advantageous to people of any adult age.

As far as identifying a lengthy list of potential benefits and attendant risks I would suggest a slight scope broadening to clarify exactly what intermittent fasting offers. Consider some time at a book store to skim either of Jason Fung's books (health and diet section). From my fairly extensive pile of books his "The Complete Guide to Fasting" and "The Obesity Code" are at the very top of IF books to recommend. The best coverage answering what, why and how for the least time and effort.
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