What is Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting is nothing new. For generations, people have been fasting — just not for the sole purpose of weight loss. The body is always either in a state of feeding or fasting. Most people spend the majority of their time in the feeding state, not allowing a significant amount of time to burn through the calories they packed in!
The body is designed to store fat for later use, and when we don’t eat, the body accesses this storage as a source of fuel. Research shows that fasting for at least 16 hours will result in increased energy expenditure and improved nutrient utilization that will start to level off after 30 hours.
Research also supports the fact that fasting doesn’t disrupt the metabolism, and that your metabolism is more of a result of how much lean body mass you are holding — more muscle supports a higher metabolism.
How Should I Use Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is one of the easiest fat-burning diets to follow. One protocol involves fasting for a period of 24 hours, once every 3 to 5 days. Do not fast for longer than 30 hours. Fasting for this period of time will lower your intake of calories over the week, resulting in a caloric deficit while will prompt the body to access fat for fuel. Intermittent Fasting can be used with any diet you are currently following.
Perform the fast, and when you come off the fast, remember to continue with your normal eating habits. You will no doubt be hungry, but it is important not to binge, and consume all the calories you just skipped!
My personal limit for fasting is 16 hours — anything more than that and I become a wreck. Therefore, I perform a daily fast of 16 hours followed by an 8-hour feed. During your 8-hour feed your goal will be to consume your target daily calories and macros. For example, I wake up at 7am, have my pre-workout and BCAA/aminos at 12pm and begin my feed at 1pm, right after my workout is complete (with my post-workout protein shake). Therefore, I begin my fast at 9pm which is perfect timing because I aim to be in bed around 11pm (that’s if my 17-month old son Achilles lets me)!
What Can I Expect?
Intermittent Fasting isn’t for everyone. The long hours of calorie deprivation can lead to low energy levels, fatigue and headaches which can make the rest of life difficult. Weight loss will occur at a normal rate of one to two pounds per week, although you may weigh less during your fast because your body has shed excess water or food in your system.
Should I Use Supplements While on an Intermittent Fasting Diet?
Supplements are a good way to not only encourage additional fat-burning, but to enhance your energy levels while fasting. At PHARMAFREAK, our supplements are made with premium, clinically-validated ingredients, and designed to complement a fitness and nutrition regime. They are safe to use in conjunction with fasting, and in fact, I recommend it!
Need help regulating your metabolism, decreasing cravings, and keeping energy levels where they need to be? Then Part 3 of our Fat Loss Diets series will help you by covering the carb cycling diet.