You’ve likely heard of the term ‘intermittent fasting‘ (IF) or maybe you currently implement this widely-used health trend which seems to be all the rage with those looking to burn fat and improve overall health. Well, it definitely works for a lot of people hence the reason for the worldwide praise of its efficacy.
So, let’s delve a little deeper into this popular lifestyle modification for those new to IF, or even for the individuals who want to learn more about it although they may be currently following this health regime.
Plus, you should definitely take advantage of our awesome intermittent fasting calculator to make achieving your goals a breeze…
10g BCAA or 30g Whey
The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in our power.
Let's do this.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Simply put, IF is a health regime which involves cycling between eating and fasting.
But it isn’t your typical type of diet routine where certain foods or even the amount which you should consume is specified. Rather, it’s more of a pattern that involves a certain period where you refrain from eating (fasting). For example, you’ll fast for 16 hours, then you can eat for the remaining 8 hours in the 24-hour period. Also, some people will fast for an entire 24 hours a couple of times per week to achieve the same desired result.
And there are actually several ways to implement intermittent fasting.
But the general idea is that the fasting portion provides health benefits by allowing your body and metabolism to reset. Then after, you can generally eat without much restriction.
Now, the process of fasting has been utilized since the beginning of time and to this day, many religions implement fasting as well. But as human beings, we didn’t always have access to a constant supply of food as we do today. So, fasting was a natural process and our ancestors had no choice but to learn how to survive with minimal nutritional sources.
But read on to learn more…
Different Methods Of Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways to implement an intermittent fast but we’ve provided a select few options from our calculator which include…
- 16/8 method (fast for 16 hours and feed for 8)
- 14/10 (fast for 14 hours and feed for 10)
OMAD (one meal a day)
- OMAD (23:1)
- OMAD (22:2)
- OMAD (20:4)
So, you’ll simply type in the required information based on your approach and goals, then you’ll be provided with some details which you can follow that will make your efforts much simpler.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits/Research
There still needs to be more research conducted on intermittent fasting or fasting in general, and although most studies have been done on rats, there are a few potential benefits for humans as well, of course (otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about it). Even though, certain aspects of how fasting may benefit humans aren’t entirely understood.
Either way though, most people would agree that any benefits are good benefits even if science hasn’t been able to dissect every component.
The benefits may include:
- Disease prevention
- Reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation
- Increased growth hormone production
- Improved cognitive function
- Weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity
- Less meal planning/easier
Research shows that fasting for 10-16 hours allows the body to burn fat more efficiently by releasing ketones into the bloodstream (keto) since the glucose typically used up first as a main source of energy. But this also preserves cognitive health like memory, learning functionality, and other health processes including the deceleration of brain disease. (1)
However, scientific research has made a case for the benefits possibly not being solely due to the effects of intermittent fasting exclusively, but rather a reduction in overall caloric consumption.
How so? Well, this seems to be the case regarding deceleration of disease in studies performed on mice, According to Dr. Stephen Freedland, associate professor of urology and pathology at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
In one study, mice fasted for 24 hours twice weekly and were allowed to eat at liberty. The mice overate on nonfasting days which did not improve survival, whereas typical calorie-restriction did as is the case most consistent with the many studies on animals.
As a result of this information and most that we currently have available, it’s obviously difficult to determine whether the intermittent fasting approach does what most believe it will for health, without considering other variables as a more potentially prominent factor. However, with that being said, studies do not always factor in every possible variable in order to conclude a definitive answer for every possible case, especially since everyone will respond to certain lifestyle changes differently.
Now, there is one benefit of intermittent fasting which has nothing to do with the health or weight loss, and that’s the convenience of not having to cook and prepare food as much. This is a stress reducer on its own for certain people which makes IF a good choice for certain individuals.
Intermittent Fasting Concerns
When it comes to making lifestyle changes especially regarding implementing a different way of eating, concern is a completely normal feeling to have.
And intermittent fasting definitely isn’t for everyone as many simply are not able to maintain this lifestyle…
“It’s human nature for people to want to reward themselves after doing very hard work, such as exercise or fasting for a long period of time, so there is a danger of indulging in unhealthy dietary habits on non-fasting days,”
says Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (4)
IF and any other health regime requires discipline because there’s nothing easy about as it’s as much mental as it is physical.
Now, you don’t just want to jump into IF because you may experience headaches and other undesirable side effects due to your body having to adapt so quickly. So, you’ll want to slowly implement this type of eating plan while reducing your carbs/sugars, eating more plant-based foods, drinking more water, and ensuring you’re ready to take it on.
Who Should Not Do Intermittent Fasting?
Well, if you suffer from high blood sugar, have heart issues, or any serious health conditions then refrain from making any significant changes to your dieting without first seeking professional guidance from a doctor and nutritionist.
Intermittent fasting can be dangerous for some people who have diabetes and heart issues due to the restriction of nutrients for an extended period of time. And those with heart issues should be careful to maintain healthy electrolyte levels.
Also, those with eating disorders should not do a fasting regime without consulting with a doctor because a lack of self-control is a big issue for many sufferers which can be detrimental to health. But on the other side of the spectrum, if you know that you may not possess the discipline to be consistent then you might want to implement a typical calorie-restricted diet until you develop better habits conducive to sticking with the eating regime.
Another group who should not attempt to implement intermittent fasting is pregnant women since it may adversely impact the function of ovulation and menstruation according to one study. (5)
What Can I Consume While Fasting?
- Non-caloric beverages (water, coffee, tea)
- Certain supplements which do not contain calories/macronutrients and that do not necessarily need to be taken with food.
Can I Exercise While Fasting?
Most certainly. Fasted cardio and/or weight training is completely fine and it may even help to lose a little extra fat.
Will I lose Muscle With Fasting?
No more than you would with any other diet. Keep in mind that losing weight will result in some form of muscle loss, although if protein intake is sufficient, it should be very minimal.
Intermittent Fasting Can Be A Viable Approach
While evidence isn’t exactly sufficient for the efficacy of intermittent fasting for common goals, it does work for a lot of people whether it be due to the calorie restriction or the effects of the fast itself.
It’s a convenient way to structure your eating regime but you just want to be sure that you’re doing everything right from the actual fast to refraining from bingeing when you’re not fasting.
But our intermittent fasting calculator can sure make the process much simpler so that you can focus on more important things.
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.