What Is Intermittent Fasting, and is it Right for You?
By Andy on July 17, 2018
In the fitness world, the old adage of “Eat six small meals a day” still rings true for fitness lovers over the world and holds a special place as one of the “commandments” in the fitness community. But here’s the problem; it’s not practical. Let’s face it, preparing, storing and eating six small meals a day is making your life too inconvenient. Nobody has time for that anymore. What if there was a solution to all of this? Enter: Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting is the complete opposite of the “six meal a day” strategy and approaches eating through a window of time throughout your day. In a 24 hour day, you would start by eating within an 8 hour time window (one-third of the day) and fast for the rest of the day. I know what you’re thinking. “What?! I’m going to lose all my muscle!” Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. Actually, you will see better muscle growth and more fat loss with intermittent fasting.
Burning fat will never be easier
We all have that stubborn extra belly fat that just doesn’t seem to burn off you no matter how many miles you run on the treadmill or barbell squats you do. Intermittent fasting (IF) may just be what you need. Studies have shown that IF helps burn fat because of hormone regulation. Eating on a biological level is a pretty complicated process. Neurons, hormones, stomach acids, gut bacteria, musculature, and all these systems of your body are reacting to the timing of food intake; not just the quality of it. Since IF regulates your food intake to an 8 hour window, your body during the fasting period of 16 hours will consume your fat stores to maintain energy.
Higher energy levels for your workouts
Much like burning fat, IF has a powerful effect on your energy levels. Why? Because theoretically, while you’re fasting, your body regulates energy consumption and stores it more efficiently. Consider digestion for example. It’s a function that requires energy for your digestive system. In a fasted state, this energy isn’t used and therefore is available for you. The quality of food is important here, however. Don’t think you can IF and eat all the junk food you want. You may still lose weight if you consider the caloric amount, but it’ll be worse for your energy levels. IF is a tool to improve energy, but understand that the quality of food has a much more significant impact. Implement both to your routine and reap the rewards.
Save valuable time and get the most of your day
Let’s imagine that six meals a day are equally beneficial to your health than to fasting. Would you still do it? Probably not. For a person with a regular lifestyle, eating isn’t as convenient as you’d think. We’re working, taking care of children, reading or doing whatever it is that we do on a regular basis. Time is of the essence and eating small meals throughout the day isn’t doing us any favors. Here’s where intermittent fasting comes in. One-third of your day is when you need to get all of your nutrients in. If you skip breakfast (yes skip) and only drink calorie-free drinks like water, tea or coffee getting ready for your day has just gotten cut in half. That means a little more sleep, more time to run errands, or even some time to get in a quick morning run before work. Saving time any way you can, even for eating, is what intermittent fasting can do.
Look, intermittent fasting does sound like the “wonder diet” and it has a plethora of benefits, but it isn’t for everyone. Some individuals may just like the “six meal a day” strategy and feel great about it. Or others may just not feel great fasting at all. Everyone is different. With that said, intermittent fasting most certainly has its place in the fitness industry. It’s still a fairly new diet in the fitness world, but has the potential to change your life.
Contact us to learn more about Intermittent Fasting and other healthy diets that will fit your lifestyle!