INTERMITTENT FASTING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting (IF) has grown in popularity and as a result we are asked frequently by our clients if it is advised or possible to do IF for weight loss. So we have decided to write this blog to give you information about Intermittent Fasting can help you make the best decision for your future diet and nutrition planning.
Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. There are several different approaches to intermittent fasting, but the most common methods are:
- 16/8 Method: This method involves fasting for 16 hours a day and limiting your eating window to 8 hours. Typically, this means skipping breakfast and having your first meal around noon, then finishing your last meal by 8 p.m.
- 5:2 Diet: With this method, you eat normally for five days a week and restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories on the remaining two non-consecutive days.
- Alternate Day Fasting: This approach involves fasting every other day, where you consume very few calories (around 500-600) or no calories at all.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Intermittent fasting works by tapping into your body’s natural ability to switch between fed and fasted states. During fasting periods, your body can start using stored fat as a source of energy which can lead to weight loss. Why? Because you’re most likely in a calorie deficit.
When practicing intermittent fasting, it’s important to do it safely and effectively. Here are some tips to follow that are essential to following IF safely:
- Start gradually: If you’re new to intermittent fasting, begin by extending the fasting period gradually. Start with a 12-hour fast and gradually increase it to the desired length.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water during fasting periods to stay hydrated.
- Choose nutrient-dense foods: When you break your fast, focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.
- Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. If you experience hunger or discomfort, adjust your fasting schedule. No diet cause discomfort and absolutely shouldn’t cause pain.
- Be consistent: To experience the benefits of intermittent fasting, it’s important to maintain consistency and make it a sustainable long-term practice. But only if IF works for you, is a choice that fits into your lifestyle and one that you can follow and maintain without any negative effects.
Remember, intermittent fasting is not a magic solution
Remember that ALL DIETS WORK.
You must chose the one that is right for you.
WHY IS IT SO POPULAR?
Intermittent Fast is so popular because all Diets go through a period of popularity, and at the moment, IF is the hot new high profile method getting all of the attention.
Remember Atkins? The Juice Diet? Bullet Coffee? No Carbs? Cayenne Pepper Diet? The Maple Syrup? Baby Food Diet? Yes. You’ve heard of them all, and probably tried at least one of them…But did they all stay popular? Did they all claim to work? Did you believe that this could work for you? And did it last long term – either your commitment or your results? Probably not. Because no restrictive diet is sustainable long term.
MYTH BUSTER MOMENT!!!!!
ALL DIETS WORK!!!!! Thats right. All of them! Because they all have the same thing in common. RESTRICTION!
If you restrict your body, restrict if from Carbs/Sugar/Kcals/Protein – in fact almost anything…you will lose weight. And why are fad diets fad if they work? Well that’s easy to answer, because your body will adapt to your restriction over time, and if you follow your fad diet consistently, then eventually – your body will adapt to survive at that restriction – causing your results to eventually plateau or – more likely – you will be over restricting and “give up” because it’s too hard. And then the fad is over.
When your body adapts to anything (including exercise and diet) progress will stagnate. This is FACT!!!!! Your body learns how to metabolise based on the exercise and fuel that your are expending and investing.
How do we, as Personal Trainers, deliver client fat loss results if this is the case?
Well, we adjust the output and input to ensure that the body never adapts to and learns what to expect from diet and exercise. Often times, if someone is sedentary, we will drop the recommended calories and slowly up the exercise. This calorie deficit will result in weight loss. Its a diet! And the increase in exercise will burn calories. Win win!
Then after a period of 2 weeks we will review the results, and adjust the program accordingly. We may up the calories, or we may reduce them, but will almost certainly up the activity as the client will be more accustomed to moving more and their body will be more able to expend more energy.
THIS IS WHY IT'S EASY TO FAST...
Intermittent fasting has gained popularity as a “diet” for several reasons:
- Simplicity: Intermittent fasting is relatively simple to understand and follow compared to complex diets or calorie counting. It doesn’t require specific meal plans or restrictive food choices, making it more accessible to many people.
- Weight loss benefits: Many individuals have reported successful weight loss outcomes with intermittent fasting. By reducing overall calorie intake and tapping into fat stores during fasting periods, it can create a calorie deficit, which is key for weight loss.
- Flexibility: Intermittent fasting offers flexibility in terms of timing and meal frequency. It allows individuals to choose a fasting schedule that suits their lifestyle, making it easier to adhere to in the long run.
- Convenience: Skipping meals or reducing the number of meals can simplify meal planning and preparation, saving time and effort for some individuals.
- Cultural and historical practices: Fasting has been a part of many cultural and religious traditions for centuries. The popularity of intermittent fasting may have been influenced by these historical practices and the recognition of their potential health benefits.
THIS IS WHY IT'S EASY TO FAIL...
The potential pitfalls of Intermittent Fasting, that you should be aware of, include:
- The Struggle: If you are used to 3 meals a day, or 3 meals a day plus snacks, it can be very difficult to restrict your body from regular fuel. It would be advisable to decrease you high calorie choices first. Then once you are eating a high protein low calorie diet, you will find it easier to adjust to a fasting schedule.
- No Weight Change: When reducing overall calorie intake and tapping into fat stores during fasting periods, breaking the fast is hard. Why? Because once you are back into a period of feuling your body again, it is very easy to reach for high calorie “treats” or high carb “fuel” as your body will feel low on both sugar and energy. This will essentially give your body what it needs, what it’s calling for, but will most likely result in consuming all of the callers that you would have anyway if you hadn’t fasted at all and just eaten when you felt hungry.
- You’re Already Intermittent Fasting: Do you have your dinner at 6/7pm? Wake at around 7am? If so, you have already fasted for 12 hours. Do you snack in the evening, but then skip breakfast for a mid morning snack, say 11am? If so, then once again, you have most likely just completed a 12 hour fast without evening realising it. Sometimes the best way to lose weight is to fuel our bodies more frequently with smaller more nutritious meals. Keep a food diary, with times, for 7 days. You may already be doing all you need to do to meet the IF criteria…
- Convenience: This, quite honestly its he pitfalls of convenience. We are all guilty of skipping meal planning and grabbing food on the go or something that requires zero thought or preparation. Stop being “convenient”, start planning, and your diet will improve considerable. Yes its more effort, but its also healthier to eat more nutrition food that it is to continue to eat convenient food, just less of it.
REMEMBER: ALL DIETS WORK
It’s paramount that you take our advice here as simply general advice based o our experience and best practice for a healthy and well rounded nutrition plan and exercise plan for sustainable weight loss. We do not condone any fad diet, other than working in a calorie deficit.
While intermittent fasting can be effective for weight loss for some individuals, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Individual responses to fasting can vary, and it may not be suitable for everyone. Consulting with a professional is recommended before starting any diet to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and goals and that you are doing so safely.
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