Trends have always been pervasive in the diet and fitness worlds – everyone wants to know the ‘secret’ the most effective way to maximize on fat burn and improve on ‘gainz’.
So there can be a lot of information to take in – especially for someone new to fitness and health.
One of the biggest trends over the past few years has been the emergence of thought over intermittent fasting, and how it can help an actively healthy person maximize on fat burn or weight maintenance.
It’s described as a number of programs or diets that move between a period of fasting and non-fasting during a defined period. It can also be used alongside calorie restriction for weight loss, however this is not necessarily the case.
So how do I work it into my diet plan?
For many, Intermittent Fasting (IF) can be conducted in two main ways:
Whole day fasting (carried out over 24 hours)
Time Restricted Fasting (eating only during a certain number of hours during each day) NOTE: this can further be structured into Time Restricted fasting over only a certain number of days a week
What varies during the fasting periods can also vary – water, tea, coffee, zero calorie drinks or foods with limited calorie intake.
How successful is it?
Because IF looks to reduce to total net calories a person takes in over a particular period, it can be particularly good for someone attempting to lose fat. Of course, anyone seeking to go on a restrictive feeding program needs to check up with a medical professions to ensure that it will not pose a danger to their health.
The concept of fasting is not a new one, and is widely practiced by a number of cultures and religions worldwide. Using the science of weight loss, health practitioners have turned the concept into one that can successfully be applicable to many struggling to keep their total net calories down.
What are the potential benefits?
More considered food choices
Any kind of program that encourages us to focus on our diet can give us a sprint start, by ensuring that we make eating a more purposeful part of our diet. It can help kill the kind of mindless munching that goes hand in hand with our 9pm movie marathon, or it can help us avoid a boozy weekend if we choose to fast on a Saturday night. It still requires will power, but it can help.
For some, not being able to eat past a certain time could force them into bed earlier. And getting a good night’s sleep is essential for any weight loss plan, through improved weight management.
Choosing better foods
When we can choose to eat anything, we are more likely to eat everything. Sometimes having too much time to eat can contribute towards this also. For many who fast, smarter food choices are often the result of a lessened amount of snacking time.
Intermittent fasting isn’t necessarily the magic bean that will help you melt away body fat, or transform your body, but for many, it can help you lost fat a little faster and maintain body composition.
This can be highly dependent on the type of training you are involved in – endurance or strength – as well as your will power.
As with all things health and fitness, there is rarely ever a one size fits all.