Humans aren’t engineered to be constantly filled with food; a biological truth that the intermittent fasting trend is beginning to push. And it’s catching on, with incredible intermittent fasting for weight loss results plastered all over the internet, backed by scientific research on fasting itself.
The Benefits Of Positive Intermittent Fasting Results Include…
- Clarity of thought (no brain fog)
- Rapid weight loss
- Increased energy & vitality
- Increased growth hormones & muscle repair
- Inflammation reduction
I first came across intermittent fasting via the advice of YouTube fitness sensation, KinoBody (real name Greg O’Gallagher), who advocated for a balanced lifestyle as well as feeling and looking strong. Greg was a pioneer in the field and experienced considerable success with fasting as his foundation.
More recently, Terry Crews discussed the concept with Business Insider; and let’s not forget everyone’s favourite podcast dad, Joe Rogan, with his myriad of guests advocating for the intermittent fasting results. Everyone from UFC champ Georges St-Pierre and Dr. Rhonda Patrick.
But it’s more than just anecdotal evidence. Peer-reviewed scientific articles are supporting what many have called ‘just another fitness fad.’ The first journal entry published by Translational Research states that:
Results reveal superior decreases in body weight by CR (calorie restrictions) vs IF (intermittent fasting)/ADF (alternate day fasting) regimens, yet comparable reductions in visceral fat mass, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance.
Restricting calories the traditional way may reduce weight overall, but intermittent fasting results have also been known to increase muscle density. In a study on rats, the combination of intermittent fasting and exercise proved a vital combination to ensure muscle protection and growth:
In rats, the combination of alternate day fasting and treadmill exercise resulted in greater maintenance of muscle mass than did IF or exercise alone.
These articles have concluded that although the anecdotal evidence in support of intermittent fasting results was rich, the world of science has a long way to go in order to reach any concrete conclusions.
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Why It Works
Caveman laws apply with most things in life and intermittent fasting is no different. Our ancestors never had a free supply of food available at all times and would therefore be constantly chasing the next meal. When hunger would strike, so too would a healthy boost in energy and desperation.
Intermittent fasting is balancing feeding and starving, in a healthy way. Insulin rises every time we eat and when that energy isn’t utilised for activity, the excess glucose transforms into what expresses itself as body fat. This process is reversed once we reach a certain level of fasting. The reserves that are usually pulled from recently indulged foods are instead pulled from the fat deposits of yesterday.
When fasting, the body engages in the natural balance that our ancestors lived with for countless generations. Sometimes, we feed and we are full. And sometimes we feel hungry. Unlike thirst, not eating when we’re hungry is A-OK. So no, Mum, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.
So where do you start? There are a couple of options that have gained the most traction.
16/8: 16 hours of no eating and an 8 hour intake period. For example, you might have your last meal at 8:00 PM, skip breakfast and eat at 12:00 PM the next day. 16 hour fast benefits vary from person to person but it’s the most popular and easiest method for seeing results.
24 hour fast: Once again the methods in the name. This involves a once or twice a week fast that fully resets your body functions.
5/2: This method includes eating normally for 5 days of the week and then keeping calorie intake to less than 500 on 2 non-consecutive days of the week.
Rules Of The Fast
None of this is as hardline as it sounds, because there are still a few non-water allowances. Depending on your dedication to the trend, you can consume the following beverages freely:
- Black coffee
- Tea (no milk)
- Sparkling water
If you go without taste for 16 to 24 hours, you’d understandably go a little insane. And of course, with the 5/2 method, you’re free to eat anything under 500 calories within that 24-hour mark.
In the Western world where we basically eat until we’re sick every meal, intermittent fasting is a lesson in self-control as much as it is in weight loss. With 2020 still in its teething stage, now is the perfect time to get started and begin seeing positive intermittent fasting results.
By Jay Bowden