You Should Be Intermittent Fasting
everyone knows that, and everyone is looking for a quick fix. The problem with that is fitness is multi-faceted, and we all get overwhelmed with the vast amount of information coming at you. Fitness is complicated, and sometimes its better to simplify than overcomplicate the issue. This is where intermittent fasting comes into play. It is a sure-fire strategy to optimize your time and efforts.
So what is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves structuring your diet around specific times during the day. It doesn’t take into consideration what you eat, just when you eat it. Basically it involves not consuming any kind of calories for a set amount of time. What’s interesting about this type of dieting is that it is what human beings used to do before modern civilization came and gave us access to nearly any kind of food whenever we wanted. This type of lifestyle has left us fat and lazy, let’s change that!
Taking it back to our roots comes with some amazing benefits.
- Your body repairs itself. Your body heals much better when it is fasted. A lot of energy is required to break down food, so by eating only during certain times, your body can optimize other systems when it isn’t bogged down by food. An example of this is autophagy, in which the body removes dead cells and debris and other waste. This process is amplified significantly while fasted.
- Increased insulin sensitivity. One of the biggest complications with those that are obese or out of shape is increased insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity is how well your body responds to insulin, or in basic terms, how well your body handles carbs. If insulin sensitivity is higher, you have more balanced blood sugar and can process carbs in a more efficient manner. Insulin sensitivity is increased through many things, like exercise, and yes, intermittent fasting.
- Growth hormone and testosterone boost. Fasting provides a boost to growth hormone and testosterone, two of the most important hormones for gaining and maintaining muscle mass.
There are a few different ways to intermittent fast (others are much more extreme, but for now we’ll focus on the basics).
- 16 hours fasted, 8 hours fed daily
- 18 hours fasted, 6 hours fed daily
- 20 hours fasted, 4 hours fed daily
- 24 hour fast once a week
These are a few tried and true methods of fasting. The first involves stopping all calorie consumption at a specific time and not starting again until 16 hours have past. I have done this in the past and I stopped at 8pm and wouldn’t eat again until 12pm the next day. when you break it down like this, it’s not actually that difficult to stick to, as long as you can make it fit your schedule. The others just involve longer times fasted, and thus shorter eating windows, but we’ll talk about the benefits of each later.
The more extreme way of doing this involves fasting for an entire day. This is not for the faint of heart, and will definitely challenge your willpower in a major way. I recommend trying the other methods of fasting before attempting this one, but it can be well worth your time to give it a go.
Wrap it up
The many people that I know that have been very successful in fitness, all focused on a singular aspect that they incorporated into their program. Sticking to one thing and seeing it through until it becomes a habit is tremendously important. Give intermittent fasting a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results.