28 Nov Get Lean with Intermittent Fasting
Have you ever heard that Intermittent Fasting can get you ripped? Have co-workers talked about simply not eating for several hours, for the perk of binge eating whatever they want?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a very popular trend in health and fitness communities. Fasting is actually very natural for humans. Remember, our ancestors, the hunter-gathers, had to source and prepare their own food. When food wasn’t available, they had no choice but to fast for hours and even days at a time. The human body has evolved because of this and is capable of functioning during long fasted periods.
So, let’s dig a little deeper and pull the curtains back on Intermittent Fasting.
What is Intermittent Fasting
First things first, Intermittent Fasting is not a diet. IF is an eating protocol in which there are cycles between periods of fasting and eating.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent Fasting is adherence to a specific, pre-planned eating window and fasting window. Your fasting window is longer, while your eating window is shorter. If you’ve never done IF, a good starting point would be 16/8.
That is a fasting window of 16 hours and an eating window of 8 hours. This method of IF is sometimes referred to as the LeanGains method. There are other methods as well, one in which you fast for 24 hours a couple times a week.
During your fasting window, you can have water, cup of straight black coffee, or zero calorie beverages.
When practicing IF, choose the eating schedule that works best for you. As a rule of thumb, keep your eating window between 4 – 8 hours.
An important factor to keep in mind when Intermittent Fasting: This is not an excuse to overeat or eat foods that don’t fit into your daily diet. During your eating window, you should still be eating to meet your goals.
Today, there are a good amount of finished experiments and evidenced-based articles written on the pros, cons, and overall benefits of Intermittent Fasting. However, because IF has only gained popularity over the last 3-4 years, many of the studies and experiments have conclusions based from shorter timeframes.
However, from what some science-based leaders have found, Intermittent Fasting can have many positive health benefits.
- Fat loss
- Improvement of insulin resistance
- Lowering blood sugar
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving heart health by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Greater brain health by increasing the hormone BDNF
Should You Do Intermittent Fasting?
If you’re considering doing Intermittent Fasting for fat loss, understand that it’s just an eating schedule. It’s not going to be the most important factor for your fat loss and getting you closer to your goal. The most important factor is going to be your adherence to your diet.
However, IF can be a great method to aide in your fat loss, as well as have positive affects on several other bodily functions. If you employ the discipline to follow your eating & fasting windows, eat for your goals, and maintain great energy in your workouts, IF could be very beneficial.
IF can also be beneficial from a lifestyle standpoint. A common pitfall when trying to lose weight, is failing to meal prep effectively. With IF, you’ll most likely eat less meals, which means you’ll have less overall meal prep to complete.
IF is also a great method for people with a busy schedule. Instead of trying to fit in 3-6 small meals (which isn’t necessary by the way) throughout the day, you can limit your intake to 1-3 larger meals.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. Just don’t think that Intermittent Fasting is some sort of silver bullet for fat loss. There is no silver bullet. If you choose to do IF – great! Just make sure you’re also following your diet and pushing yourself in your workouts. Because, Intermittent Fasting is just a piece of the equation.
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