Dan Donohue, of Fitness Formation, writes about intermittent fasting
Intermittent Fasting has had a bright light shone upon it through the practice of several of the most high-profile stars of film and television and it’s been the talk of our studio in recent weeks with some of our team and some of our members testing it as a suitable and sustainable form of dieting.
So, what is IF?
In basic terms, it’s how and when you plan your meal times.
It has many benefits and there are a few different ways of using the IF method to attain your goals.
One point to remember is that this is not some fad that will eventually go away. You are simply changing when you eat.
The two most popular methods of intermittent fasting are the 5:2 method and the 16:8 method.
Using the first protocol, you eat as normal for five days and then consume a reduced amount of calories on two days (around 500kcals or lower).
On the 16:8 protocol, you fast for 16 hours followed by an eight-hour window to consume your daily calories.
IF is a great way of losing body fat if it’s done in the right way and is one of the most popular reasons why people use this method.
In the main, you do not adjust the amount you eat. You stick to your daily macros and your daily calories (bar two days on the 5:2 diet), as one of the main things a person wants to see and achieve is a lean aesthetic, as a result of fat loss brought about through a calorie deficit.
In terms of fat loss, there are two states the body goes through in order to initiate the response from the body and get you on the way to the results you desire.
The ‘fed state’ is a process that happens when you begin to eat your meals/foods and can last typically up to five hours after eating.
The body then enters another state known as the ‘post-absorptive state’.
Around eight to 12 hours after eating, the body then enters the ‘fasted state’.
It’s within this state that the body begins to burn fat, as your insulin levels are much lower in this state than in the ‘fed state’ where they are much higher.
Many people see great results with IF without drastically changing anything as we said above.
Some of our team and members have mixed opinions from their own findings in recent weeks but the most important and the number one point to remember is that it has to be sustainable for you as the individual in question.
Most people struggle to keep up with eating at regular intervals due to our lifestyles and daily activity, so IF is a great way of getting your body into this cycle that you may otherwise not be able to achieve using other dietary methods, though it isn’t by any means necessarily superior to other methods of dieting for fat loss.