In todays day and age, there are 15 million diet styles and they are beginning to get confusing. Which diets are backed by science, which eating strategies actually work, which diet will work best for me to help me reach my goal? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when switching things up.
A eating/diet style that has become very popular over the past few years is intermittent fasting or nicknamed IF. This diet may be perfect for you, and can answer the questions above.
This article will go into the Who, What, When, and How of the intermittent fasting diet. Lets dive right into this!
WHAT Is Intermittent Fasting:
This is a diet or eating style of where a person has certain windows on WHEN they can consume food/calories. The diet really does not focus on what food is ingested, but the time periods of eating. Intermittent Fasting can be used to burn fat or building muscle depending on how you use your feeding window.
WHO should use Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent Fasting can be used by both men and women. As stated above, it can be used for people that want to burn fat or build muscle. The majority of people use it to lose weight though.
I am personally using it to switch it up and try out the diet. I want to maintain my muscle but burn belly fat. I believe that constantly shocking the system or changing things up can always lead to more improvements. This is by no way a scientific belief so more of a theory. Also, it gives me an excuse to write this article.
As we will talk later, people with high blood sugar can also use intermittent fasting to control insulin levels and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
Here is a list of the famous people that use IF, including the CP Team: Terry Crews & Cory Gregory are the two most public figures that use IF. Cory has created his own version called "anabolic fasting."
WHEN do you use Intermittent Fasting:
You can use intermittent fasting to lose weight as well as build muscle. Since IF limits you to less meals, it will restrict calories and speed up your metabolism so you will burn fat naturally.
Okay, but we just said you can build muscle, 'splain me that!
If you want to build muscle on intermittent fasting, you have to utilize your eating window more properly. You have to hit certain macros to build muscle. This means a lot more calories in a smaller amount of time than you are used to. Finally, your last meal of the day should "load up" your body with the proper nutrients to build muscle while you sleep and repair. This is usually heavy in carbs and protein. Cory Gregory for example eats a pint of ice cream after dinner.
HOW do you Intermittent Fast:
The most common way to intermittent fast is the 16/8 Method where you have an 8 hour eating window and a 16 hour fast (no calories consumed). We just did the math and that covers you for the entire 24 hours of the day.
An example of the 16/8 Method would be eating at noon (first bite starts the window) and then having your last bite to eat at 8pm.
Any beverage that is 0 calories can be consumed in your fast so water, coffee, etc are okay. The controversial beverage are BCAA's due to the spike of insulin Leucine gives the body. Hardcore intermittent fasters will not use BCAAs for this reason. However, many who IF take BCAAs in their fast and believe that it is just fine. If you decide to do that, just don't take more than 2.5g of Leucine at a time just to be safe.
HOW does it work:
This is where intermittent fasting gets really interesting. There are so many studies that prove intermittent fasting to be super beneficial for a variety of reasons. As we spoke about earlier, IF will lower and stabilize insulin levels. The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention shows that In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3-6%, while fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%.
Lowering insulin levels during your fast will force the body to burn stored fat for energy. This plus studies showing that IF will increase your metabolism is what we call a WIN WIN. The International Association for the Study of Obesity shows that can increase the metabolism up to 14% than a normal diet. They also show that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction.
Intermittent fasting is a great diet for anyone and is backed by science. Looking at all the benefits, it would be silly not to try this new diet strategy. Speaking from experience, the first few days are tough if you are used to eating breakfast but stick with it and REALLY give this diet a chance.
IF you IF - let us know your experience in the comments!