What is intermittent fasting and is it right for you?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting does not change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. Most people eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame. It’s important to still consume the proper amount of calories, carbs, fats, and proteins in your day. The only thing you are changing is your meal timing.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate.
After that time span, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal.
When you are in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.
When I’m fasting I usually do it on the weekend. The weekend is when we are out and about and it’s more challenging to stick to a consistent eating plan. Not to mention that on the weekend’s we sleep later which pushes our meals back. My typical fasting period will start from my last meal the night before, say around 7 pm until the next day, anywhere around 12 pm-3 pm. My fast usually last’s 16 hrs with a typical fast for many lasting 16-24 hrs.
Determining if this is the right tool for you depends on several factors.
-Are you eating consistently daily based upon a well-balanced nutritional meal plan?
-Are you consuming enough calories daily?
-Do you have a healthy mind set around nutrition and exercise?
-Do you prefer to have larger meals or room in your macros (carbs, fats, and protein) for the occasional treat (Flexible Dieting).
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only reason to try intermittent fasting.
-Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t have to worry about breakfast. I can wait until I’m actually hungry.
-Intermittent fasting allows me to eat less meals. Which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that. This is why it works so well for me on the weekends.
-Intermittent fasting takes my mind away from focusing so much on food daily. That constant feeling of is it time to eat and how and when am I going to eat based on my schedule.
-It’s great for fitness competitors post show who are trying to re-introduce food and increase macros. Intermittent fasting allows for bigger meals and more satisfaction with our food without going over your daily macros (carbs, fats, and protein).
Remember Intermittent Fasting is only a switch in when you eat now how you eat, or how much you eat. It is a longer period between your last meal the night before to your next meal the next day. The rule that we must eat every 3hrs doesn’t work for everyone, and should not be considered a rule but more of a suggestion. What works for everyone is different. The most important thing at the end of the day is your total macros consumed. That is the determining factor for weight loss, weight gain, or maintaining.