Proper lean nutrition and fitness in fasting

Let’s say right away that our recommendations for training and nutrition in Great Lent 2022 are designed for the laity – this is how the church calls those who “live in the world,” that is, they are not part of the clergy and monasticism.

What foods can not be eaten in fasting

The monastic fast is distinguished by greater strictness and very severe restrictions. For us, the laity, everything is simpler – someone refuses only meat, allowing himself dairy products, someone observes restrictions only in the first and last weeks of Lent 2023. 

But the vast majority of those who fast exclude meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, white flour pastries, and alcohol from the diet for 49 days. 

As you can see, there are no animal proteins in the allowed menu. What about amateur athletes? After all, it is animal protein that is the building material for muscles. The need for it is especially important for strength athletes and those who are seriously working on endurance. 

The lack of animal protein in the diet is the main problem during fasting for sports and fitness enthusiasts.

There is only one way out – animal proteins must be replaced with vegetable analogs. But sometimes during fasting, people simply exclude animal fats from the diet, but otherwise do not change the diet. What then happens to the body?

Let’s talk about mistakes or what is proper lean nutrition

When a person’s diet consists of pasta, potatoes, porridge, and bread every day, a headache, fatigue, and a bad mood appear. There is no need to talk about training in fasting with such a diet – performance drops to a minimum. And yes, the weight is going up.

And there is nothing surprising in this. When more carbohydrates enter the body than can be converted into glucose or glycogen, the result is fat.

At the same time, the body is sorely lacking in protein.  

But it is protein that is responsible for human performance, and fats, along with carbohydrates, supply the body with the necessary energy for effective muscle development.

Therefore, it is extremely important that the diet in fasting is balanced. And in the first place, it is necessary to eliminate protein deficiency.

The best replacement for animal fats

Chicken breasts, eggs, beef steak, pork chop, cottage cheese – how to replace these products, the main suppliers of protein? Below are the recommendations of our experts on healthy fasting nutrition.

  • The Lenten menu must include avocados, walnuts and pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Thanks to these products, our body will be provided with omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids. These vital acids are not synthesized by the body and can only be obtained from food.

  • According to the amino acid composition, soy and lentil proteins are considered the most complete. Soy protein is unique in its composition and is a complete replacement for animal protein.

  • It is also recommended to include in the lenten menu, in addition to vegetable, linseed, and olive oil. 

  • A good option is vegetable protein, which is sold in sports nutrition departments. The protein from such a cocktail is easier to digest than in ordinary life since it has previously undergone high-quality processing. 

  • Vitamin B 12 deficiency will make up for kelp salad. Seaweed relieves overwork and normalizes the functioning of the heart muscle.

  • Classic white bread should be replaced with bran or whole-grain products. It is also worth abandoning instant cereals in favor of whole grains.

When compiling a nutrition calendar for Lent 2023, it is important to take into account that vegetable protein has a low biological value, it is absorbed by the body, at best, by 60%. For comparison, egg or milk protein is 100% digestible.

How to train in the post – tips from fitness trainers

The biggest mistake that sports fans can make during a fast is to exhaust their body with loads that are disproportionate to the intake of nutrients.

If the diet has changed, the training plan must also be adjusted. Therefore, you can’t give yourself the usual load, training in fasting should be gentle. After all, the main task during this period is not records and a set of muscle mass, but maintaining physical fitness. But you shouldn’t give up training either – fasting is not a reason to refuse fitness classes. By maintaining a certain training rhythm, it is easier to return to the usual loads than to start all over again from scratch.

So, fitness classes in the post should be:

  • low or medium intensity – fewer repetitions and approaches, thanks to this the body will not use protein as fuel;

  • with less weights – 50% of the maximum weight;

  • reducing the duration of training in general.

Best post workouts:

  • yoga ;

  • light short run in the fresh air;

  • stretching ;

  • static exercises.


The main task of nutrition during the fasting period is not muscle growth, but taking care of your health and mental state, self-restraint and cleansing of the body. 

After the end of the fast, you will feel an unusual surge of strength and energy – this is how the body will thank you for abstaining from heavy food. You can return to the usual loads, and over time, and increase them. Now enhanced physical activity will only benefit your body.


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