Extended fast and weight training



Ii hope I have selected the right part of the forum to post my question. If not please move to the correct place.

I started a 48 hour fast about 35 hours ago. Occasionally I do them for autophagy benefits. I never do a 72 hour fast more than once a month or two. I prefer to do 48 hour fasts only once or twice a month. However it’s been a couple months since I last did one.

I had weight training today at 9 am after only 33 hours in. My trainer previously told me I won’t gain any muscle from the workout if I don’t eat protein within 2 hours after it, so I usually do that - but I’m not done with my fast. He told me today in his opinion it’s a wasted workout and he would only recommend cardio mid-fast. He actually was reserved and somewhat negative about the topic of fasting. Whatever.

So I came home worried and ate some tuna salad and 20 shrimp not wanting to miss muscle development. (I have severe advanced osteo.) Well obviously that broke my fast and not in a smart way (hello toilet,) but then I thought, “what if I just fast again starting this late morning until after Friday morning’s workout and that will give me close to another 45-46 hours fast before next meal.

Is that too much if I just did 34-35 hours, ate protein, then did another 45??

And what is the consensus here about working out during a fast? I know it’s great to work out in a fasted state but is that workout a waste if I don’t break the fast right after ??


I just write my opinion, it’s not like I am very knowledgeable about this. I don’t think you ate enough protein to start another extended fast at this point. I would eat properly and that would seem safer. But I don’t like longer fasts to begin with. 2-3 days sound fine, even regularly if one can eat properly when not fasting but even breaking the fast, protein and energy lack adds up if you barely eat, at least my own logic says so… It’s not bad if you just focus on fasting and its benefits (if you can do this. if I eat a little, I must eat more soon) but with muscle gain goals, it may be different a bit…?

And I can’t give you a good reason but I can’t consider a workout wasted even without eating protein afterwards. I am waiting for more knowledegable people to come. I can’t do EF since years, sadly, I just never do a workout without eating not much later. But I may do it in the future and I am curious anyway.


The first question is what is your weight situation, are you overweight, underweight or at goal? I’m no expert and have recently been evaluating whether fasting is a good idea for me or not (over 55, slightly above average height, at least 50 lbs to lose.) In my case, I probably would not worry about protein intake because I am sure I have plenty of excess old protein my body can recycle. If you have a BMI of 20, I think it would be a different story. However I am speculating and could be very wrong. Your weight also controls how long and if you should fast in general, according to Dr. Jason Fung I believe

Have you researched the basis for his comments? He may or may not be correct but it seems to me that anytime you eat something that is not pure sugar, it takes a period of time to be digested by your body. I was curious so I did a quick search and found this analysis. There seems to be some conflict within the studies examined and I do not always treat research as gospel. Also most of the studies were done on healthy men, mostly younger men although there was one on older men that came to a different result than most of the others I would assume most of the men were at goal weight but this is an assumption and for the over or underweight who knows if this applies. One study agrees with your trainer as far as I can tell, another does not


Here is an excerpt

Results indicated significant differences in body composition in the group consuming the supplement pre- and post-workout [33]. This group experienced increased LBM and decreased body fat. Both groups demonstrated increases in strength, but the pre- and post-workout group demonstrated significantly greater gains [33], indicating that timing of the ingestion of the protein supplement was crucial. This is contradictory to the findings of Hoffman et al. [31] with respect to changes in body composition. This could be because Cribb et al. [33] used a supplement that was a combination of protein, carbohydrate and creatine whereas, Hoffman et al. [31] supplemented with protein only. The major finding of this study was that after 10 weeks of training, supplementation pre/post each workout resulted in greater improvements in 1RM strength and body composition (increased LBM and decreased body fat percentage) compared with a matched group who consumed supplement in the morning and evening, outside of the pre- and post-workout time frames.

To clarify, there was a study where they compared giving them protein morning and night instead of pre/post. One study found a difference but the Hoffman study did not.

The majority of studies of protein intake and resistance exercise have been conducted on younger adult males … In contrast, Verdijk et al. investigated the impact of the protein, casein hydrolysate, on muscle hypertrophy in healthy untrained elderly men [34]. Researchers randomly assigned 28 elderly men to consume either a protein supplement or a placebo pre- and post-workout…Results indicated no differences in ending measurements between the protein group and placebo group in muscle hypertrophy, strength, or body composition [34], suggesting that for elderly men, intake of 20 g casein hydrolysate before and after resistance training does not increase muscle hypertrophy or strength. In this study, however, only 20 g of casein was used, and it was divided into two servings. This protocol would not have provided participants with the required 3 g of leucine needed to maximize protein synthesis. Additionally, since casein is slow digesting … it may not have been ideal for use in a study of elderly men. Future studies with this population should incorporate whey protein, which is highly bioavailable in an amount that would provide at least 3 g leucine…

Also for older men in a different study they found no difference if they consumed protein after workouts or not but the authors suggested that perhaps the subjects were not given enough protein or of a fast digesting type as far as I can tell

I don’t think workouts are ever wasted, exercise is important for many things not just building muscle. One option would be to take some unflavored collagen which at 100 calories is unlikely to kick you out of your fast. The other obvious one is to take your workouts into consideration in planning your fasts. I tend not to plan out my fasts, they sort of happen, either because I over indulged the night before and am not hungry or because I forgot to eat and decide to continue. I have ended fasts because I got a last minute dinner invitation or similar so I don’t think ending it because of a workout is bad


Thank you so much for this information. I don’t generally plan my fasts either because something always screws up preplanned schedules in my life. So like you I let them happen when they naturally fit and line up with whatever is happening with me. It also depends on what fresh food needs to get eaten and what meals I might need to be making before ingredients go bad. That has screwed up fasting plans on more than a few occasions.

I’m 58 and still a bit overweight. Not a lot, but I have about 20 more lbs I still need to lose off of my upper and lower belly. I’ve already lost about 45 lbs to date. I gain weight like a pregnant woman - only in my upper body. I’m presently 156 lbs but I’m only 5’2”. So I’m still overweight for my small frame and height. My BMI is still pretty high for me at 37. Due to severe advanced osteoporosis at too young of an age, I desperately need to build bone. So my two biggest goals are to completely lose the rest of my belly and improve my DEXA scan results by Jan 2025. I thought I read that it required I build up muscle too to build bone?? Muscle couldn’t hurt as it can help burn fat too, but also protect me from losing lean mass.

The reason I fast isn’t so much for the fat burning, although that’s a nice perk, but I do it for the benefits of autophagy.

Yeah my trainer is a young 20-something guy. He is built like Captain America - identical, perfect specimen. LOL So yeah, he probably knows what’s good for his age group and his incredible condition. I just wondered if given my condition of desperately needing to build that bone and improve my strength and health would I be more in need of that protein right after any workout than a younger man. But I also need the benefits of autophagy. And it can take 18-24 hours to reach that state so once I did I wanted to stay in it at least another full day. But depending on when I start it I could have a workout in the middle of it like I did today.

I had more meat at dinner time today so didn’t go right into another extended fast yet. I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow. Still undecided. It would be easier to just fast on Sat/Suns between my Fri and Mon workouts, but I usually prepare some nice meals for my hubby and son on the weekends. I have a hard time enduring a fast if I have to cook food. But fasting would leave them high and dry and they are the epitome of bachelor helplessness when I don’t cook. All they will eat is toast or eggs, and popcorn. :rofl:

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #5

Perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought that recent research had debunked that idea. It sounds like someone’s best guess that got turned into dogma.

I’ll spare you the lecture, but there are physiological issues underlying this concern. However, for a two- or three-day fast, I doubt you have anything to worry about.

In any case, my advice would be to keep track and see what works best for you. If you can achieve your goals without having to eat within two hours of the workout, then mazel tov. If you can’t, then you will at least know how to schedule your exercise and eating for best results. No big deal.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #6

A ketogenic diet ought to help you achieve these goals. Bone is calcium in a protein matrix, so eating plenty of protein is a good idea. (We also get poorer at assimilating protein as we age.) But you also need fat to fuel the muscle growth, so don’t neglect fat. Your bones will grow stronger and denser as you provide your body with nutrition and stress your bones in a healthy way.

It is clear that our hunter-gatherer ancestors alternated between feasting and fasting, so when you eat, be sure to eat.

(Edith) #7

My gut instinct is telling me that for now, while you are trying to build muscle and improve your bone density, adequate daily protein intake is vitally important. And while I have seen studies that say getting protein directly before and/or after a resistance workout is not important, it was still important to muscle synthesis to get adequate protein over the course of the day.

You may want to consider just using intermittent fasting so you can get in some fasting time, but still make sure you are getting enough protein every day to meet your physiological goals.

This next article mentions that lean mass was lost during the first two days of the fast but then stopped once the participant got into deeper states of ketosis. Their basal metabolic rates also decreased during their fasts. This study was with young men (of course) but if any of it could pertain to you, it is possible that doing frequent 2 day fasts, you are always in the lean mass loss part of the fast. Also, the fact that these were young men and not middle-aged women may have had something to do with less detrimental effects of the extended fasting.

This article by Maria Emmerich puts it all together.


“A ketogenic diet ought to help you achieve these goals”

Which is why I started the diet 2 years ago and I have been strictly faithful to it. But after the first year on it without even a single cheat day, and after a year of PT, my DEXA scan dropped another .1 point. My spine T-score went from -3.6 to -3.7. I literally had to fiercely fight my endo not to urge me to do the intravenous osteo medication treatment. Three times she has passionately recommended it to me but I feel meds are only acceptable after all possible natural remedies have been authentically exhausted. So I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer 3x/week a few months back and plan to stay with him throughout 2024. If this diet and that strength/resistance training does not improve my numbers then maybe I am going to have to cave to the Rx treatment.

I just don’t want to adulterate my newly cleaned and healthy body with medication again or interfere with what it is naturally doing everywhere else to heal me. I’ve been able to stop absolutely every prescription I have ever depended on a year and an half ago, and many of the conditions some were treating me for were caused by the others! It feels good to be healthy and feel so clean and natural. The side effects of osteo drugs are ugly and I don’t want it to interfere with the new superior functioning of my organs and the rest of my body.

I’m trying really hard to do smart things and be devoted and consistent to it in order to avoid drug treatments.

As for getting enough fat and protein I believe I do. I eat a lot of both and frequently exceed my calorie goals because of them. I have a reeeeally low BMR (1348) because of my height and size, so I gain weight when I go too much above that. If I always eat 1300-1500 calories I don’t lose any weight/fat but I don’t gain either. I still need to lose 25 lbs. It’s hard to keep my calories below my BMR with the amount of fat I eat. Maybe I should swap out some of my fat calories with more protein? Right now both goals are around 100g/day but math will show you how quickly it gets you to 1348 calories in just two meals. :rofl:


Thank you for finding these. I will read them and add them to my collection of advice. I like Maria because I know she usually does good homework before spouting opinions.

I guess I may have to put more effort into the timing of my fasts. Ugh. I hate schedules and routines. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants gal and life is much less boring for me because of it. :joy: I literally stink at following any well laid out schedule I have ever written down.


I wonder if I should have posted this in the weight-lifting part of the forum? Get some feedback from veteran weight lifters? I didn’t see it when I initially was looking for a good place to post. It’s not as easy to peruse the forum from my phone the way it is from a laptop.

But that would be double posting. How do I get them to see it here? And it really is just as informative to extended fasting topic as it is weight lifting.


Not sure where you get that number, that would be for someone over 200 lbs at your height. When I put your numbers in an online calculator I got 28 or so which does not even qualify you as obese!

Have you looked into K2? Again, not an expert but I have read that it is supposed to help direct the calcium where it needs to be. There are two forms, MK4 and MK7 and there is debate as to which is better, I alternate when I remember to take it.

Years ago Strontium was recommended for bone density but that seems to have fallen out of favor. Here is a random website I found on a search that discusses why. https://www.ironwoodcrc.com/top-5-supplements-for-bone-health/ I thought the positive mention of soy was interesting

Completely understand the scheduling issue. While I am around your age, I raised a larger than average number of children and I found you either had to be go with the flow or very scheduled. I was very go with the flow and it worked for us although who knows what my kids would say!


I get my body fat from a Evolt machine at the gym (I know controversial) but it actually gives “total body fat percentage”, which is supposed to be better than just BMI. My scale at home also gives me near the same at 36. The machine at the gym measures upper and lower because you stand on it but also hold the paddles too.

I do have a LOT of fat still on my belly. Large amounts and flabby to boot. I can’t imagine someone looking like me being only 28.

Below were my numbers a month ago. I have since dropped 4 lbs not sure if it would change anything else very much.

And YES! I have been taking K2 MK7 for the past 18 months every night with my magnesium.


I think we are talking about two different things, BMI has nothing to do with percentage of fat. Also, even a healthy normal weight 30 year old woman has about 25% fat unless she is a competitive athlete. This is what I am talking about https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

One of the complaints about BMI is that a bodybuilder would come up over 25 (normal weight) on BMI because it measures height and weight but not muscle or fat mass so someone who is solid will weigh more even if they have less fat

I take both MK4 and MK7 although I am not sure if I need to


Yep you are correct! My home scale does show both separately and my BMI on that is 28.3. You pretty much nailed it :rofl:

But BMI only looks at height and weight, it is not a representation of what is going on metabolically. A healthy BMI is around 25 and of course age and other things come into play. But body fat percentage is calculated by determining how much of a person’s weight is fat. And Waist circumference matters. A healthy range for that is 25-31% body fat and I’m quite out of that range at 38%. It’s not healthy. I’m in a high risk category for abdominal fat around the organs as well. I just want it gone. All my excess weight and fat is solely on my belly. I have no hips, skinny legs and lower arms. Only my upper arms, chest and belly carry excess. Mostly my belly tho.


Ouch. And I thought it’s hard for me… I NEED 130+ g protein to get satiated under normal circumstances. I don’t like lean protein so much but I adore fat. And my energy need is smallish (could be worse but I can’t eat little) and my extra body fat is much. I track, I try to plan and realize it’s borderline impossible… I do have some good days and if I could just forget about the existence of dairy (fat luck…), I would have some chances. As I (probably) don’t need so high fat to get satiated, it just comes with my food, whatever I do.
And you have it worse. Though maybe you aren’t as hungry after eating 130g protein and 150g fat (or way more) as I can be sometimes when I choose my items not so well because I wanted other things… I got better but still not good enough. I don’t like controlling things too much but I apparently need it. Sometimes I think about getting more muscular first and getting used to more exercise but that isn’t so easy for me either.
I am thinking about EF sometimes but since carnivore, I can’t do it. I get too hungry and weak.

I loved when I just did whatever (with lowered carbs though but that was perfect, I didn’t miss carbs on low-carb) and I lost fat slowly… But it didn’t last long enough, now I need more effort, more rules, even tracking to see how I ruined things today… Effort without results, I have experience with that! Because it’s a bit too little effort for me.
I don’t have very strict rules, I just love when I don’t have any or just a few natural ones… :upside_down_face:

Too many of us are built like that (or similarly. it’s belly and hips for me and my arms are never fat), it’s unfair :frowning: I am heavier now so I have fat elsewhere but my belly was quite fat even when I was 62kg. And my poor SO, if he has 2kg extra fat, ALL is on his belly. As I said, unfair. But this is life.

Good luck for both of us for the future! Sorry I wrote so much but it turned out I gained fat lately and now I am upset and more determined and this is on my mind a lot. We both can do it and we will! Right?



But I can’t eat 130g of protein or 150g of fat because the total calories to do that would exceed my BMR by about 500 calories easily. That’s the level I gain weight at no matter what, when my calories are consistently over 1600-1800.

But I’m with you on fat. I love it!!! And I get most of it from my meat. I love, love my ribeyes, and fatty roasts and dark poultry. I love butter and avocado oil and coconut butter and heavy cream and cheeeese. My goodness this diet was made for my natural palette.

I didn’t start fasting until 1 year into this way of eating. I spent my entire first year learning and understanding and sticking to it. I avoided fasting like the plague as well as working out. I feel you have to lose some of the excess weight first before really being able to do the workouts properly. Then I added fasting and weight lifting last March. I do love EF. I’m like a rocket during the second day and the few times I’ve done a 72 hour I was Superman the third day. It was amazing.

Maybe since you’ve been good on your diet but gained recently you should reduce the fat intake a bit, like only get it from the meat? I’ve read sometimes if we go overboard with it our body uses the fat we eat before the stored fat, but my memory on that fact is a bit vague.


I don’t actually count calories, the main thing for me is to stop eating by 5PM. That naturally limits my calories because I rarely eat before 11 and during the day a lot of food is not appealing, even if it would be at night, it is weird. Sometimes I get busy and forget as well. The thread has made me think because when I do exercise it is always after 6PM because I find that is when I am at my best regardless of what I ate. I will think about exercising earlier but I think I am just happy to exercise

Suggestions for fasting and cooking. When I do that, I simply make my family something that I don’t like. Either fish which I really don’t like or chicken on the bone. This way of eating is not natural for me, I am a carb person and never really liked meat although I find that if I go more than a few days I start craving some


I think exercising in the evening is good if you can do it!! And on an empty stomach is even better. For me I’d probably eat protein after for my present needs, which is why I’m doing my exercise in the mornings right now.


Yes I know. It’s too much for me too. But I still can be very hungry afterwards so I obviously eat more then - and try to figure out what I did wrong and how to make it better in the future. I need to choose my food items very well. That was my point, just eating to satiation isn’t enough for all of us, we need our extra rules regarding food items.

Oh how lucky! I never have much energy. That would motivate me immensely!

{Oh my, you had to address my problem, I couldn’t stop myself to write at least this much. I did delete parts.}
Thankfully I mostly probably gained on my wilder off days, I do have 3000 kcal carnivore days but my average is probably fine. Bigger motivation to stay on track (at least most of the time, I inevitably go off sometimes, that alone isn’t a problem) but I entered my normal, closest to carnivore phase anyway. I usually have this from January to May, I had difficulties this year. But I am better now!
You are totally right and I am fully aware I should go for meat AND avoid a little cream and scratchings and butter than suddenly gives me +100g fat without much protein or satiation. I rarely am THAT bad but there are hungrier days and I do love these items…
I am in “fat minimalization mode” since about 13 years. I mean, it’s my basic attitude and I try to resist fat, I trained myself out of added fat and fatty meats as much as I could. It took a long time to bring my fat intake below 200g for most days but it still was in the first years and it wasn’t very hard. I did missed fat (even on my 200-260g days, actually, how tragic is that?) but I always found 130g fat and protein quite doable, going lower is the hard one as I inevitably eat over 130g protein and I only liked food items with at least as much fat as protein (my macros and actual diets varied a lot but my fat percentage stubbornly stayed close to 65%… it’s easy to raise a bit but very hard to go lower. but I typically just stayed there even though some of my macros suddenly doubled. as it is the Perfect Fattiness for me in protein sources and if I ate less fatty things, I balanced it out with more fatty things to get this). Even if there were a few leaner items I liked, I had many way fattier items I adored. So even 130/130 was the best I could do. Thankfully, it was so easy to do my best 5-6 days a week and I lost fat for a while. But then I stopped and it isn’t even so easy to keep trying when 1, 2, 10 years pass without fat-loss. I am VERY stubborn though so I kept trying, it was just not so easy to stick to my 2000 kcal on most days (and that was still maintenance at that point). It’s so little food! A nice, borderline big meal but I never could stick to OMAD for long.
Much later came carnivore. It turned out that after the initial shock I could easily eat a bit too much there as well, still not surprising due to my tastes and protein need. Then I spent years on training myself to like lean meat more. I am pleased with my result but I still can’t go low. Like, 100g on average? I can try… But that would be so horrible that I rather exercise a lot instead (and that’s not my style but more than barely eating and not enjoying what I eat). I actually need way more exercise anyway…
I keep trying. I am sure I know what to do, I just need to do it. Without too much focus, I measure and track and try to plan and it’s already not nice. And it doesn’t work well anyway. I just can’t eat little. But I must. And on some days, I manage it. I slowly learn not to eat much dairy… I will win eventually but I would like if it would happen in the next 1-2 decades, preferably starting right now…

Yep, can’t delete more but maybe it is interesting to see how an ex-serious-overeater may work. I don’t know what I would do without carnivore, it calmed down certain things. My off days can be wild sometimes. Only not if they are almost completely carnivore with some nice addition. So good I love carni food best anyway (even if I want something else now and then).

That is my aim too, not 5pm, rather 6 but still (I start eating at 3pm or if I can, later). My problem is that I may get hungry later. I do if I don’t eat enough protein or meat or something during the day. But planning and sticking to it is so annoying, I can’t do it. But yep, this is a good idea for many of us.

Even if it’s not for fasting just sticking to my chosen woe, I typically do this. Or I cook something carnivore my SO eats. There is an item that is both.
The problem emerges when he goes and cook something too tempting for me in the weekend… As time passes, it gets harder and harder to do, thankfully.

If the cooking itself bothers someone (even I have times when cooking goes against fasting. it usually helps with a short fast, I may be not hungry but want “food joy” and cooking is that to me… but it’s not always so), I suppose one can cook simple things? If the family is okay with that. My SO find a piece of roast as his protein with his simple carb sides quite satisfying. And I just toss the meat into the oven (just some raw stuff, not tempting at all) and turn it once or twice.

But I can get something out of the freezer too… Like meatballs. I am fine if it’s quick. Spending much time in the kitchen with food, that may wear me down. Very rarely if it’s early when I virtually never eat. Cooking in the evening on a fasting day is something I would try to avoid…


I rarely eat dinner anymore because of the 5PM cutoff (I find 6 too late on a regular basis, sometimes I will push it if I had a busy day). It seems it matters when I stop eating not when I start. Oprah said in an interview she stops at 4 (not my reason, only found that out yesterday) She is also on an injectable. I am also a later person so my 5PM is the equivalent of 2PM for someone else. Freezer is good too. When I used to eat dinner I made a keto main and then a carb or vegetable side for the family