Whats the deal with intermittent fasting??
I've been hearing a lot about intermittent fasting a lot lately. It's the new fitness buzz word. So what is it ? The concept of intermittent fasting is essentially this, digesting food is actually really tough on our bodies. It requires a bunch of energy. When we do not eat for a long time this give our bodies the opportunity to clean up dead cells and other homeostasis processes (homeostasis is the regulating functions of the body). Ideally the fasting is done for 12-16 hours. The most popular intermittent style is the 16/8. You eat in an 8 hour window and then fast the remaining hours.
This concept has actually been around for a thousands of years. The word Breakfast actually goes along with idea of intermittent fasting. We "break" our overnight "fast." There is nothing unusual or flashy about fasting. Ever heard that old saying "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper"? This expression has been around forever and I feel that it is very applicable to intermittent fasting.
So what about you early birds who like to workout in the morning. Can you workout while in the fasting phase? I honestly think this depends case by case. From personal experience lighter movement like yoga, Pilates and moderate biking seem to fine on an empty stomach. However, when you begin to step up the intensity on an empty stomach, your body begins to break down protein for fuel. So, while you may drop fat when exercising on intermittent fasting, you may lose more muscle, too.
The key to intermittent fasting is longevity. Could you fast everyday for the rest of the life? That answer is different for everyone. If you are currently leaning towards a no you might need alter a few things to make this a sustainable lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is not starving yourself! I cannot stress this enough! You do not need to restrict yourself on caloric intake. intermittent fasting does not tell you what types of foods you should eat. Rather it tells you when to eat. Is 16 hours way too long? If you find yourself gorging on everything in site maybe switch your fasting to a 14 hour or 12 hour window.
Fasting or any diet is not a one size fits all. You need to experiment and find what works for you! Are you tinkering around with the idea of intermittent fasting? Whats your experience with this eating pattern? I would love to hear your thoughts!