Intermittent fasting (IF) involves alternating periods of fasting (e.g., 16 to 20 hours) and non-fasting (e.g., 4 to 8 hours). IF seems to be a fad lately within the fat loss and fitness industry. Since intermittent fasters eat less frequently (e.g., 2 to 3 meals daily), they must eat a lot of food per meal in order to get an adequate caloric intake (can you say gluttony?!). Eating so much food within a relatively short period of time inevitably makes the body work harder to digest the food.
Here are some of the PROS of IF:
Here are some of the CONS of IF:
BOTTOM LINE: IF may work for some people who are disciplined at dieting and are able to withstand hunger pangs. Keep in mind that most of the research on IF has been done on animals. The effects of IF on animals may not be applicable to humans. IF is NOT recommended for diabetics due to the fluctuations in blood sugar levels. IF is also NOT recommended for bodybuilders who aim to preserve muscle mass when dieting. The outcomes of regular meal feedings include:
MY RECOMMENDATION: Listen to the hormonal signals provided by your body which indicate hunger and eat. There are easier ways to lose body weight without causing dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Gradually reduce your caloric consumption while stepping up your physical activity. Eating healthy (i.e., less processed foods) and exercising regularly will lessen disease risk, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce hypertension without resorting to a trendy diet like intermittent fasting that most likely will not be sustainable.
If you still want to try IF, it is recommended to fast for no longer than 20 hours to lessen muscle catabolism and nutrient deprivation. Also, you may want to start conservatively by fasting only one day per week for several months to see how your body responds. Depending on how you look and feel, then make a decision on whether to add another fasting day per week or try something else. Remember, always listen to your body--it never lies!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Brian Danley, CFT "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." 408-688-1586 (cell) briandanleyfitness.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/briandanleyfitness https://www.facebook.com/BrianDanleyFitness
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.