This post is apropos, given what we love to do on Independence Day.
Intermittent fasting (IT): Eat only during certain, pre-determined periods of the day
It’s not for everyone, but it has its merits.
Studies have shown that metabolism and fat oxidation in humans may be positively impacted by intermittent fasting. That’s makes evolutionary sense, considering the nomadic lifestyle and dietary uncertainty humans faced thousands of years ago.
Among IT practitioners, there are varied schools of thought.
Some proponents of IT suggests a 24 or 48-hour weekly fast—one or two days a week without eating. You can eat as you wish (within reason) the other five days.
Others recommend a 14-16 hour daily fast, arguing that it’s more practical and easier to sustain over time. You would consume all of your daily calories within an 8-hour period. No meals outside of that period, unless it’s a pre or post-workout meal.
A 16-hour fast might appear daunting, but it’s manageable.
Tip: Consume your calories from the early afternoon to evening
For example, you can eat from 1pm-9pm or 12pm-8pm. If you are going to bed before midnight, you should still be sated from your last meal. When you wake up, skip breakfast. Many people don’t eat in the mornings anyway because of the rush to get to work or school.
Dig in when the clock strikes twelve.
A daily 16 hour fast is less likely to lead to muscle loss, mental fatigue, and lethargy than a 24-hour fast. You are also much more likely to stick to it.
It’s essential that you consume enough protein during the eating period of the day to avoid muscle loss. Maintaining a good resistance training program is a must as well.
As always, monitor your macronutrient ratios and avoid binging on the wrong foods during scheduled eating time.
Consult a doctor before making any diet changes.
Mattson MP, Wan R. “Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems”. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2005;16:129–37.
Manco M, Mingrone G. “Effects of weight loss and calorie restriction on carbohydrate metabolism”. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 2005;8:431–9.