Intermittent Fasting | What is it & how does it work?
If you haven’ t heard about it yet,the intermittent fasting craze is here and it’s been attracting a lot of attention in the fitness world. On the one hand, some suggest that the idea of intermittent fasting is unsuitable for athletes, while some stress that it is the holy grail of fitness trends. With these debates circulating, we decided to do our own research and share our thoughts with you. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is intermittent fasting?
Contrary to popular belief, intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of feasting and fasting. Rather than focusing on the types of food eaten, as is the case in most diets, intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat. For example, the most popular type of intermittent fasting includes fasting for 16 hours every day and restricting your eating to an 8-hour window.
How does intermittent fasting work?
When you cycle between eating and fasting, your body consumes and uses energy differently. When you eat a meal during the eating cycle, your body burns the energy received from the food eaten. In which case, your body is less likely to burn fat that your body has stored. During the fasting state, your body doesn’t have access to energy from a recently consumed meal, in which case it is more likely to burn energy from the fat stored in your body. In other words, you burn more fat in the fasting stage than when eating regular meals throughout the day. The same goes for exercising during the fasting stage; your body is forced to pull energy from the only source of energy available – the fat stored in your cells.
Types of intermittent fasting
- Lean gains
This type of fasting is said to be perfect for gym-goers who want to lose fat and build muscle. This type of fasting requires that you fast for 14 to 16 hours of the day while using the remaining hours to eat. During the eating cycle, you can eat whenever you want.
- Eat Stop Eat
This type of intermittent fasting is slightly more challenging than the others as it requires you to fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. The aim of this type of fasting is to reduce the amount of calories consumed while still allowing you to eat what you want on the days when you aren’t fasting.
- The Warrior Diet
Founded in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, anyone on the warrior diet can expect to fast for approximately 20 hours every day followed by eating one large meat at night. The idea behind this type of fasting is to under-eat during the day and overeat at night, based on the assumption that we were designed as nocturnal eaters.
- Alternate day fasting
As the name suggest, an alternate day fasting regime is one where you fast every other day. Here you consume roughly 500 calories on fasting days and can eat whatever you want on non-fasting days. This regime is said to work as well as complete fasting (fasting for 24 hours) and is a lot easier to maintain.
So there you have it, the idea of intermittent fasting definitely has its benefits. From weight loss to muscle management, this type of cyclical eating might be just what your body needs to lose that extra unwanted fat or kick your body into a high performance gear. For more information on intermittent fasting, come chat to us at FITstrong gym, we’ll tell you all we know!