Intermittent Fasting. The concept has been around for centuries.
It also has it's time and place. Good for some people but not for all. And probably one of the top misused 'diet' types.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
We see it all the time. Clients coming in that have been fasting everyday and have been following this for months to lose weight. But in the end, their digestive issues, sleep and/or constipation still never improved. Yes, they lost some weight initially but even that stalled after a few weeks.
Intermittent fasting (IF) does have its benefits.
Here's a few key points:
- Women shouldn't be doing it more than 3 days a week and on non consecutive days. IF often causes you to under eat and throws hormones out of whack.
- 16hr fast and 8hr eating window is great for managing insulin, achieving physical changes and weight loss. Going longer than 16hrs too often can severely slow your metabolism and put your body into a 'fight or flight' state, raising cortisol.
- Whereas a 24 hours fast would be more for Gut Health and shouldn't be done more than 1x per month. A 24hr fast can help repair your gut, improves colitis and helps manage insulin.
- Works best with people that are insulin resistant and not able to fully be compliant to their diet or healthy eating.
- We find this style of diet also works well for people who like to socialize and eat out often.
Here is an example of what a week that includes 3 days of fasting might look like. Note on fasting days you will eat breakfast 16 hours after dinner the night before.
- Monday - Workout Day - Non Fasting
- Tuesday - Non Workout Day - Fasting Day
- Wednesday - Workout Day - Non Fasting
- Thursday - Non Workout Day - Fasting Day
- Friday - Workout Day - Non Fasting
- Saturday - Workout Day - Non Fasting
- Sunday - Non Workout Day - Fasting Day
You see, fasting days are placed every other day and on non workout days. Days you exert less physical energy are great days to do intermittent fasting. But on days you workout or do physical activity, your body naturally needs more food and energy to repair itself.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
- Helps reduce Insulin levels and insulin resistance
- Raises Growth Hormone
- Reduces visceral fat and overall body weight
- Good for your mind and blood pressure