Intermittent Fasting Secrets
Effects of Intermittent Fasting for weight loss/Intermittent fasting secrets / advantages/ benefits:
Intermittent fasting is not a diet as it doesn’t focus on what to eat but when to eat (window). It is an age-old practice which the research shows that the results are obvious. Let us understand how and why it works.
“Intermittent fasting (IF) relates to any diet that cyclically restricts energy intake for a predetermined time period” – Me, ISSN Dip, 2013.
The basic principle of weight loss is to create an energy deficit. We burn more when we eat fewer calories.
Who is it suitable for?
• Those who have to eat a low-calorie diet to lose weight. Fewer meals can allow for more socially accepted sized meals.
• Those who simply prefer fewer but large meals to smaller more frequent meals
• Those who don’t want to eat breakfast/dinner
• Those who would prefer to prepare/eat less meals
• Those who are hard pressured for time
• Those who need/want to make a big change in their life. Some research shows that those who make the biggest change to their diet get the greatest results.
• Those dieting to low levels of body fat that have struggled with appetite. The long periods of not eating seem to actually take the focus away from food, therefore it makes it easier to maintain low calorie intake.
• Those looking to maintain muscle and training performance as much as possible through a diet. Intermittent calorie restriction protocol have the benefit of allowing more energy to be consumed before, during and after training which should benefit training performance.
• Those who can’t get fresh cooked good food and munch on chocolate and chips when they are hungry, can rather skip a meal than eat junk.
Which protocol should be used?
The best protocol is the one that is going to be the easiest to follow.
• Alternate day fasting : Eat on Monday , Fast on Tuesday, Eat on Wednesday etc. This has been used extensively in the obesity literature.
• Eat, Stop, Eat : Made popular under the name Brad Pillon, this is a single 24-36 hours fast per week while the other days consuming required calories or with a smaller deficit to achieve fat loss.
• 16 hour Daily fast: Made popular under the name “Lean Gains” by Martin Berkhan. This is windowed eating protocol where you fast 16 hours (including sleep) then eat in an 8 hour period, usually bracketing training, repeat daily.
• Warrior Diet (20:4): Another version of windowed eating where the fast lasts for 20 hours , eat in a 4 hours period. Repeat daily.
• 5:2 Diet: It involves completing 2 very low calorie days per week with calorie controlled
eating (typically maintenance calories) on the other 5 days.
Who can use it?
The truth is not everyone should but, contrary to what is told with regards to gender, cortisol levels or any other made up hormone and stuff. The two situations where Intermittent Fasting may not be suitable are
1) When you are pregnant
2) When it doesn’t suit you (you just don’t like it) **
**Many clients have liked the idea of IF & it has suited their goals and lifestyle, but they did not get on well with ‘missing meals’ initially due to intense hunger. In almost all these cases however, they persevered and become accustomed to it in matter of days.
Dangers of intermittent Fasting.
IF could conceivably be termed “Meal Skipping” in many instances. However, in a “windowed eating” protocol you would aim to hit the same number of calories as you would otherwise, just in a shorter space of time. The issue can be when we remove a meal and our calorie intake drop too low, too quickly.
Intermittent fasting protocol.
• Decide which protocol your current lifestyle is most suited to.
Eg. If you tend to skip breakfast or dinner, 16:8 where you start eating midday and finish eating by 8pm may work well.
• IF should be flexible. Adopt this attitude from the outset. It means you can never fail. If you simply adapt to the protocol to suit that particular day.
• Calculate your calorie and macro nutrient requirements.
• You must ensure you are eating in a calorie deficit for fat loss.
• Keep protein intake high to ensure muscle mass retention, promote satiety and promote small boost of metabolism.
• Natural trainers should ensure a decent intake of dietary fat. This ensures adequate micronutrient intake, helps maintain immune function and likely plays some role in aiding hormonal status.
• Opt for whole, unprocessed foods for the majority of your food intake. Focus on eating nutrient dense foods.
• Your final meal should be ideally a large bolus of protein, vegetables and fat to maximize anti- catabolism.
Intermittent fasting is worth giving a try, if you have tried to stick to a controlled portion size, which is the most effective and practical way of maintaining a healthy weight and find it difficult to make it your lifestyle.