IS INTERMITTENT FASTING RIGHT FOR YOU?

Should you skip breakfast or take a day off of eating each week? If you believe in intermittent fasting, the answer is yes. Whether or not that’s a great idea for you depends on your goals, schedule, and how long you plan on fasting.

Walk into a mechanic’s workshop and you won’t see just one device hanging on the wall. You’ll spot a peg board covered in tools of all different shapes and sizes. Each has a purpose and a value, but you wouldn’t necessarily use all of them at the same time.

Diet strategies are not much different: There are a lot of different tools you can use to keep your body working and look the way you want. Understanding what those tools are, and when and how you can best use them, will help you keep your eating on track.

Intermittent fasting success depends a lot on your personal preferences, schedule, and how you feel when you fast.

One such dietary tool that’s received a lot of attention is intermittent fasting (IF). Read enough stories about intermittent fasting, and it starts to sound like magic, with benefits going well beyond weight loss. Proponents say—and some preliminary research agrees—that IF can help improve important health biomarkers (like fasting blood glucose and triglyceride levels), turn back the clock on time (anti-aging), and even help fight neurodegenerative diseases (health defense).

But, as you’ll see, those benefits vary from person-to-person—and also depend on the style of intermittent fasting you prefer to follow.

Should you try IF? Here’s a guide that will help you answer those questions and help you understand the dietary tools that might be best for your body.

What exactly is intermittent fasting, anyway?

At the most basic level, intermittent fasting is something everyone does every day — it’s a break between meals. The most common of which occurs when you fast between your final meal of the day (usually dinner) and breakfast the following morning. (Hence the name, “break the fast.”)

Within the health and fitness realm, however, people use the term “intermittent fasting” to describe times when you intentionally extend that overnight fast for periods of time lasting anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

The Lean Gains approach, for example, advocates a 16-hour fast. So if you started eating at 8 am, for instance, you would finish eating for the day at 4 pm, then fast for the rest of the day, and start eating again at 8 am the next day. The hours that you fast don’t matter, just that you go 16 consecutive hours without eating followed by 8 hours where you do. That cycle repeats every day.

There’s also the Warrior Diet, which is a 20-hour fast coupled with a 4-hour eating window. And the Eat Stop Eat protocol, which incorporates one full 24-hour break from eating at least one day per week. But then the rest of the week you eat on any schedule that you desire.

We’ll weigh the pros and cons of each of these approaches in a bit. For now, let’s address the even larger question at hand…

Does intermittent fasting work?

For all the health benefits fasting recently linked to intermittent fasting, there’s one overarching reason why most people try it: To lose fat.

And if that’s your goal, then the answer is yes, intermittent fasting might help — but not for the reasons you think.

Intermittent fasting success depends a lot on your personal preferences, schedule, and how you feel when you fast.

The reason people following fasting protocols are able to lose weight is quite straightforward: They eat fewer calories than they burn throughout the day because the “eating windows” or weekly fast makes it harder to overeat.

Limiting the hours when you can eat helps you eat fewer calories overall. Think about it: let’s say your plan for weight loss required you eating 2,000 calories per day. It’s going to be easier to stick to that goal if you can only eat for an 8-hour window in a day as opposed to 14 hours. When you consider fat loss alone (more to come on the other health, longevity, and disease-fighting benefits), intermittent fasting provides an easy-to-follow structure that naturally creates habits that make it harder to overeat. Can you still over-eat within a limited time window and gain weight? Of course. But that’s the case with any eating approach. But instead of thinking about how many meals to eat, you just set a start time and stop time to your meals, and then eat in a way that feels best for you — assuming you stay within the amounts that you should be eating.

Can you still over-eat within a limited time window and gain weight? Of course. But that’s the case with any eating approach. But instead of thinking about how many meals to eat, you just set a start time and stop time to your meals, and then eat in a way that feels best for you — assuming you stay within the amounts that you should be eating.

The benefit is that this provides lots of flexibility and allows you to select the eating window (or style of IF — we’ll cover all of these to help you find the best option for you) that fits your lifestyle. Perhaps you skip breakfast, have your first meal around noon, and then end in the early evening. Or you could push back later, and then cater to your late-night eating preferences. Or maybe you do the opposite — start eating early and end in the early evening to avoid the late-night snack habit. Any of these approaches can work — it’s all about your preference.

All these intermittent fasting schedules can create an energy deficit that leads to weight and fat loss. (Again, we’ll cover a detailed breakdown of how to make this happen a little later in this post.) And while the details of nutrition still matter — proteins, carbs, and fats — it’s the simplified approach to eating less overall that makes intermittent fasting popular.

“Yes, the macronutrient splits matter a little bit. Yes, timing matters maybe a bit more. But to the largest extent, all the data suggests the real contributor to fat loss and weight loss is total calories,” says Anthony D’Orazio, director of nutrition and physique at Complete Human Performance.

And when you consider that fewer hours during the day to eat means fewer calories (or having one day — like in Eat Stop Eat method — where you don’t eat at all), you can see how week over week, it’s easy to limit your calories. After all, that’s what really works with fat loss. Thinking less about any given meal or one day, and instead of seeing the big picture and trying to limit total calories on a weekly or monthly basis. When the deficit adds up over time, so does your weight loss.

BLOG SOURCE : https://www.bornfitness.com/intermittent-fasting/

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