Fitness

Intermittent Fasting

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What Is It?

Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting, this however, does not dictate what you eat, just when you should eat. The most popular form is known as the 16/8 method, where people fast for 16 hours and then consume all their daily calories in 8 hours.

Benefits

Intermittent fasting has many benefits, and has scientific evidence to back it up. It is mostly commonly used to help lose weight, this is because it makes it easier for people to fall into their “caloric deficit”. Being in “caloric deficit” means you consume less calories than what your body is naturally using, which results in weight loss. Intermittent fasting also helps people lose weight during the “fast” periods. Your body stores glucose in order to properly function, however, when your body has used up its glucoses storages, your body will naturally burn fat for energy. Other benefits from fasting also include; lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, and can boost one’s metabolism.

Types:

  • The 16/8 Diet - involves fasting every day for 16 hours and restricting your daily “eating window” to 8 hours. All non-caloric beverages are able to be consumed during the fast in an attempt to reduce hunger.

  • 5:2 Diet - eating normally 5 times a week, while restricting your caloric intake to only 500 calories for the other 2 days. To make “down” days easier, it is recommended to have meal replacement shakes.

  • Warrior Diet - fast during the day, and eat all calories in a 4 hour eating window. However, during the fast the participant is able to eat raw fruits and vegetables. This diet also emphasizes foods similar to that of a “paleo diet” - whole, unprocessed foods.

  • Eat, Stop, Eat - twice a week you would have a 24 hour fast - act like you didn't fast, do not increase your caloric intake before or after fasting or it will counteract the previous fast.

Working Out While Intermittent Fasting

As mentioned above, during a fast your body is forced to burn fat for energy once your glucose storages have been depleted. This happens everytime you are fasting, for part of it, your body has to burn fat to function normally. When you workout, your body burns more glucose than normal in order to keep up with the strenuous work. If this workout takes places during your fasting period, then your body has to burn more fat in an attempt to keep up. Resulting in incredible weight loss, as you optimize your caloric deficit.

Jeffron de Savoye, CNP