Intermittent fasting is a form of diet control that involves exactly what it claims and is slowly gaining popularity. You fast, and you do it intermittently. A hunger strike it’s not, so you won’t find yourself starving, but it’s possible that the old mantra of ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ might actually not be as valuable as we thought.
For those who are trying to lose weight, a huge emphasis is often put on eating breakfast to get your metabolism going, then spacing out five more meals throughout the day. Intermittent fasting often includes skipping breakfast and some proponents have abandoned the morning meal altogether. Consisting of two phases, fasting and feasting, this diet pattern prevents the many small meals type of eating schedule from being possible.
Intermittent fasting relies on the fact that your body functions differently in each phase. When feasting, the body burns the energy it can from what you’ve just eaten because it’s easily accessible, instead of pulling energy out of stored fat. In the fasting phase, there’s no readily available source of energy in the blood, making the body more likely to go to fat stores for energy. Burn fat, lose weight, and that’s good news.
The eating schedule associated with an intermittent fasting diet pattern can vary from eating only during certain time windows to taking a full 24 hours away from food. Popular plans include alternate day fasting (12 hours of feast, 36 hours of fasting), randomly skipping meals, one or two 24 hour fasts during a week, 8 hours of feast, 16 of fast and 4 hours of feasting with 20 hours of fasting. If you decide to give this type of eating a try, play with different feasting windows and be sure to take into account how your exercise or training routines can affect your body’s caloric needs.
Intermittent fasting can affect men and women differently, so before you start, check out this wonderful article from Mark’s Daily Apple. If you want more information, you can also read this incredibly thorough article from Nerd Fitness or email us at Info@FitNicePT.com