Intermittent Fasting is the process in which you restrict your caloric intake (food intake) to a specific period of the day without restricting your overall caloric consumption. In other words, you are eating the same amount of food but in just an 8 hr period during the day. There has been a lot of current research on the effects of intermittent fasting and much personal experimentation in the IF community. The general consensus is that intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to decrease body fat percentage while maintaining a normal lifestyle and normal eating habits.
- It is recommended that you keep this time window consistent everyday; this also makes for much easier planning of your day and meal times
- Most Intermittent Fasters prefers to eat between the hours of 12pm-8pm, with a 16 hr fast starting at 8pm and going through the night
- If you are already following a healthy diet then you don’t need to worry about changing this.
- Like to know more about a good diet for IF check out www.LeanGains.com
- Martin Berkhan, creator of LeanGains and a prioneer of the IF movement has developed a diet through personal experience and scientific study, that is perfect for IF beginners.
- A predominant factor in the effectiveness of Intermittent fasting lie in exercise in the fasted state. (don´t knock this before you try)
There are a few things you are allowed to have according to many IF experts. The idea behind IF, without getting too scientific, is that you do not want to spike your insulin levels at all during your fast. If you do so, you have ruined your fast. So anything sugary of sweet is straight out.
- Sugar-free chewing gum (yum yum)
- Black Coffee (tiny bit of milk, if you have to!)
- As much water as you can/want to drink
- For most effective IF, Fasted Training should be at the very end of your fast (around 10:30am-12:00pm)
- Fasted training works because, after 14-16 hours of fasting your body is no longer burning calories from the carbohydrates you consumed the night before. It is now burning your body fat (simply put).
- For Great workout ideas, again check out www.leangains.com (if you intend on trying intermittent fasting, this should be your bible)
Eat 3 meals in your 8 Hour window!
- Consume your first meal directly after your fasted training session. All of your glycogen stores in your muscles have been depleted during your training session and they must be replaced quickly along with protein for tissue repair.
- This meal should be high in Animal Protein, i.e. MEAT, and high in starchy carbs for glycogen replenishment.
- 1st meal after the fast/training should always be the biggest meal of the day.
- These meals don’t need to be as big as meal one and should consist of less starchy vegetables
- A good meal for 2 &3 should consist of some leans meats and vegetables.
Why does Intermittent Fasting work?
Intermittent fasting targets not only standard body fat, but also what people in the industry call stubborn body fat. Recent studies have shown that stubborn body fat is targeted after the body has fasted for 14-16 hours. For a deeper understanding of the way fat is mobilized in the body this article offers some great information http://www.leangains.com/2010/06/intermittent-fasting-and-stubborn-body.html.
Doesn’t fasting cause muscle catabolism (muscle loss)?
- Firstly, for those who don’t know, Muscle catabolism is the process when your body starves itself to the point where body begins to convert muscle tissue into energy.
- Muscle catabolism only occurs when the your stored liver glycogen becomes depleted and amino acids aren’t readily available in your digestive system.
- If you are eating a healthy meal containing 100 grams of protein, your body will be absorbing the protein from that meal for up to 24 hours.
- It is only in prolonged fasting when Muscle catabolism begins.
[box type="note"]This post: written by Professional athlete and Co-owner of Brisbane Driving Lessons, Jasper Boyschau.[/box]