Intermittent fasting , commonly refereed to as “IF”, has taken the fitness world by storm. If you’re not familiar with “IF”, its the concept of fasting for a majority of the day, and having a set eating window. When I first heard about it I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe it, it sounded too good to be true. “Loose weight effortlessly” is what I was told. Me being me, I took to the internet to do some more research. I found out that “IF” has many benefits, including: increased human growth hormone (HGH), a boost to metabolism, improved mental clarity, increased testosterone, and more! I was ecstatic, finally a way to fast track fat loss, while maintaining muscle mass (with increased HGH). I started Intermittent fasting with a 16hr fast and an 8hr eating window. I was excited to start and reap the rewards. Unfortunately I lasted for about 2-3 days as I started just before vacation (bad idea, I know). Months flew by and I was convinced that fasting wasn’t for me. Though as the summer rolled on, and my fat loss seemed to reach a plateau, I was ready to give intermittent fasting another shot. Here I am, approximately a month and a half later, fasting every single day. I’ve grown accustom to it, and rather enjoy it. In all fairness it does make it easier to stick to my macros, but it certainly hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
Things they don’t tell you:
- When you start, you’re going to be hungry, very hungry. When I first started fasting, my body was programmed to enjoy my morning bowl of cereal while watching sports highlights. So when I started fasting, my body craved breakfast, and it hurt. Though you grow accustom to eating your first meal later on in the day, the first few weeks could be rough. Ff you manage to power through, it does get better. I enjoy two cups of black coffee in the morning, paired with a lot of water to suppress my appetite before my 1pm breaking of fast. Try waiting until you get hungry to have your first coffee, it acts as an appetite suppressant.
- It’s not a miracle for weightloss. Since I started fasting I’ve hardly lost any weight, if any. Though I do believe I have been gaining lean muscle and trimming some fat. Nonetheless, intermittent fasting alone doesn’t guarantee that you’ll loose weight. The principle behind intermittent fasting is that you have a smaller eating window, making it harder to eat as much food as you would typically throughout a “normal” day. Though true for many, I still find myself able to consume much more when I’ve eaten all of macros for the day. The key is finding foods that are filling, and satisfying. If you manage to fit satisfying food into your diet, it’ll curve craving’s you might have when fasting. In order to loose weight it comes down to being in a caloric deficit (which I haven’t been doing). Intermittent fasting helps in this regard, having a smaller eating window makes it easier to consume a lower amount of calories. Though you must still pay attention to your caloric intake as some people have a tendency to over eat during their eating windows (especially when first starting IF).
- Keep a healthy balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Healthy fats are essential for maintaining healthy hormone levels, proteins are essential for muscle development/maintenance, and carbohydrates are important when fasting (in my opinion) to keep up your energy level’s. Though not only relevant to intermittent fasting, it’s something to keep in mind.
At the end of the day, I believe Intermittent Fasting to be a great tool to improve overall health. By no means do I believe it to be some “magical cure” for weightless, but I do believe it can aid in sticking to your macro’s; while also offering many other benefits (improved metabolism, increased HGH, sharper mental clarity, increased testosterone, etc).
I think you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
For more information regarding Intermittent fasting I recommend checking out Dr.Berg’s link below. He will provide a more in depth explanation of the science behind it.