Intermittent Fasting: Is it Right For You?
March 28, 2019
Intermittent fasting is all the rage in the fitness industry. However, it’s just a fancy term for a certain kind of dieting where you eat all your meals within a time-restricted window. For example, you can fast for 16 hours and eat normally for the remaining 8 hours.
The proponents of Intermittent Fasting claim that it improves body composition by accelerating muscle growth and fat loss. This is why it’s so popular among fitness enthusiasts.
However, despite its popularity, intermittent fasting is still controversial. Most of its techniques fly in the face of many commonly held beliefs.
To start with, people who practice intermittent fasting tend to skip breakfast and start eating anywhere from late morning to early afternoon. Many studies have concluded that people who eat breakfast are more successful at managing their weight.
However, despite breaking more than a few “rules” intermittent fasting still works for many people and seems to be a legitimate dietary lifestyle.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are many approaches to Intermittent Fasting.
- Lean Gains
This method is popular with people who want to lose body fat and gain muscle. It involves fasting for 16 hours and eating three meals within an 8-hour window every day.
To gain muscle using this method, you must workout just before breaking your fast and then eat a large, high-protein post-workout meal.
- Periodic Fast
Dr. John Beradi created the Periodic Fast, and it involves fasting for 24 hours. You can only do this kind of fast twice a week or every 3-5 days.
This method stands for one-meal-a-day. It promotes a single, healthy meal per day, usually dinner — the proponents of this method claim that this way of eating is in sync with your circadian rhythm.
- Alternate Day Fasting
Just like the name suggests, this method involves fasting for 24 hours and then eating normally for 24 hours. However, water is available at all times.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Many studies have found that intermittent fasting boosts insulin sensitivity, which helps your body process nutrients more efficiently. It’s also an effective way of accelerating fat loss and muscle gain.
Some studies have also found that Intermittent Fasting increases the production of Human Growth Hormone and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Lastly, animal studies also suggest that it can extend your lifespan.
One major downside to Intermittent fasting is hunger. Most of us are not used to not eating for long periods of time. Moreover, not taking pre-workout carbohydrates and protein may increase the expenditure of muscle tissues for people who train regularly.
Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You?
It all depends on your individual goals, physiology, preferences, and lifestyle among other factors. Now that you are aware of the basics, as well as the pros and cons of intermittent fasting, it’s up to you and your health care provider to decide whether to give Intermittent Fasting a shot!