Intermittent Fasting and You
Fasting has been a part of human culture since the beginning. When our ancestors were hunter-gatherers had to hunt for their food all day long feast at night they were practicing intermittent fasting. Many religions still practice fasting as an act of repentance or enlightenment. Usually consisting of day-long fast. Upon waking up no food or water is consumed until sunset. Fasting as used in fitness is usually done as a way to increase one’s fat burning potential. And when fasting for this reason usually only water is consumed or other no-calorie beverages and consumption of food would break the fast. Fasting for as short as 12 hours and as long as 24 hours I’ve been shown to be very beneficial.
Benefits of intermittent fasting include a longer life span, improved performance, a more efficient way of eating, better intestinal health, greater energy, improved skin, and most importantly for those who practice fasting as a way to improve their body composition it improves insulin sensitivity, allows a longer period of being catabolic, and promotes ketosis. Ketosis being the opposite of the hormonal response of insulin. Ketosis breaks down fat cells to be relieved through bodily waste. Essentially the reasons why fasting and intermittent fasting work is the less time we stand putting food in your body more time your body will spend expending the energy it has been on our body stored energy is the fat.
Intermittent fasting is not starvation, there are no adverse side effects to practicing proper intermittent fasting. It will however take some adjusting becoming use to bigger meals and shorter eating windows. Also, contrary to what you might have been told there is no difference between eating six meals a day or two you just do what is most comfortable. I still always recommend following a set path of macronutrients and caloric requirements determined by your height, weight, activity level, and goals. You can find a macronutrient calculator here http://macronutrientcalculator.com/
The way intermittent fasting differs from traditional fasting is that it is only for short duration usually no program what have you go longer than a 24-hour period without eating. During this time as I stated before we only consume no calorie liquids. The majority of that always being water. Usually, a good way to help blunt the appetite whilst fasting is the use of black coffee and sparkling water. I usually recommend the 16-hour intermittent fast as the most optimal way to venture into fasting and can pretty much maintain you throughout your fitness journey. However, I do encourage you to experiment.
It is to be noted that with women it has been shown that they have difficulty lasting a full 16-hour period or longer so it is encouraged for women to simply try to last as long as they can without falling too far into ravaging hunger or severe “brain fog”. When doing a 16 hour fast your eating window will usually be something along lines of 12 PM to 8 PM leaving you 16 hours of fasting from the last time you ate at 8 PM the next time you eat again the following day. Understand also that when you are about to break your fast you may feel the need to binge eat try to refrain from doing so. A way to assist in an easy transition out of a fast state would be to drink a considerable amount of water before consuming food.
You now have an entry level understanding to the world of intermittent fasting! I invite you to implement these strategies in your everyday life. I am assured you will find a wealth of improvement in your fitness performance and your body composition as well as a host of other benefits.