I wanted to talk a little about Intermittent Fasting (IF), this is a style of eating that has gained a lot of popularity in the past 3-5 years. I myself have utilized intermittent fasting for almost 2 years. Today I am going to break down what it is and how it can help SOME of you stay on track and possibly help with a few other issues as well….
IF is when you are basically shortening your overall window of eating. An example of intermittent fasting would be ⅔ ratio. This means that two thirds of your day (16 hours) you are fasting, no food at all, just water (black coffee + plain tea are also acceptable). The other third (8 hours) is your feeding window, where you eat all of your days worth of calories, this for most people is usually 1-2 big meals and possible a snack in between as well.
There has been a lot of people coming out and praising fasting like it is this next level, amazing way of eating that will change your life forever….but will it? Insulin levels will lower when doing IF, but that will not increase fat loss. You will lose fat from being in a calorie deficit, lower insulin levels may be result of that.
This way of eating is NOT better than any other way for weight/fat loss. What still matters is how much you are eating per day and whether or not you are going over/under or staying at that allotted amount. If calories and macros are the same with another style of eating (3 meals/day – 5 meals/day etc.) then progress will remain the same.
BUT, I will say that apart from weight loss not being any different, there is an array of benefits that come with consistently doing IF.
Some of these benefits include;
Lower inflammation across the body
Improve your immune + cognitive function
Give digestive system a much needed break
Can increase Autophagy ( which is the recycling of damaged cell components)
Can be more convenient for someone with a hectic schedule
Can decrease chances of straying from your diet due to eating large, more satisfying meals
People with IBS, or other intestinal/digestive issues can greatly benefit from IF due to the smaller feeding windows. IF can also help improve gut health over the long term as well, which can make IBS, Acid Reflux, Candida symptoms less severe.
Overall, IF is just another way to cut the cake. If you enjoy eating 4-5 smaller meals per day, go right ahead! If you are like me and enjoy feasting on 1-2 HUGE meals a day, go right ahead!
The main factor here is ADHERENCE, eat whichever way helps you stay on track with your diet. You also have to control your overall macro/calorie intake for the day. If you adopt intermittent fasting as your primary style of eating, awesome! But if you are not paying attention to how much you are eating, you still won’t be hitting your goals!
Be CONSISTENT with any style of eating you prefer, consistency is key in almost every aspect of life. It sure as hell matters when related to strength training and healthy eating!