Intermittent Fasting – The Good and The Bad
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is the period between fasting periods and feeding periods. The typical IF diet is a 16:8 which refers to a 16 hour fasting window followed by a 8 hour feeding window. Simply put, you eat your last meal at 6pm and fast throughout the night until 10 am the following morning. This gives your body 16 hours of being in a fasted state.
Everyone already fast to an extent due to our sleeping patterns. When you goto bed at night you’re fasting until you have breakfast the following morning. Ironically, the name breakfast comes from breaking your fast – break fast, get it? Most people will subconsciously fast 8-12 hours a day without even realizing it!
When we extend that window out a few hours more there are many benefits and we will go over the main ones below. Read on to learn more.
Greater Fat Loss
Contrary to popular belief when you engage in intermittent fasting it can speed up fat loss. This happens because our metabolic rate is increased while fasting. This ups the number of calories your body will burn in a day. Fasting will lower the body efficiency in producing proteins. While this seems like the opposite of what we want to do, it actually is very beneficial for weight loss!
Lowered efficiency means the body has to burn more fat and carbs in order to complete your normal daily activity. Combine IF with an exercise routine and you will supercharge your metabolism and obliterate fat.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting supports immune function making less likely to get sick. Intermittent fasting also promotes normal insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular health.
Simply put, the less likely you are to get sick then the less likely you will be to cheat on your diet and skip the gym!
The most hectic time of the day for the majority of us is the morning time. Now you no longer have to make breakfast or worry about your lunch. This will save so much time everyday.
The other benefit is when your feed window rolls around you do not have to be as strict on your diet as you would when feeding every few hours.
Intermittent fasting as stated above allows for a much more flexible diet. Due to being in a fasted state your body is much more forgiving on your food choices when you finally feed because it needs those nutrients it has been deprived of.
Now, while this is kind of a way to be able to cheat on your diet I would like to point out a wholesome healthy diet regardless of your fasting schedule will always provide more optimal results.
Improved health, less time thinking about food, less time feeding, regulating insulin, and promoting overall better health. Sounds great! While all these benefits are awesome intermittent fasting might not be for everyone. take a look at the bad below.
Not really bad but more like the struggle! Living in a society where everything revolves around food makes fasting rather difficult.
The schedule is hard to get used to. Most people can adapt to this new way of feeding but it does take some time for you to get used to it. 16:8 is slightly extended out from the normal day to day 12:12 and not too terribly difficult to achieve. More advanced IF dieters engage in a 18:6 window, where the body remains in a fasted state 18 hours a day!
It is important to note that the eight or six hours of feed time is not a license to gorge for 8 hours. This simply refers to having all our daily intake calories within that set amount of time.
Some examples of feeding windows would be:
16:8 – going to bed at 10pm remaining in a fasted state until 2 pm the next day. Eating the first meal at 2 pm and having our last between 8-10 pm.
18:6 – Very similar except extending our first meal until 4 pm.
These are doable schedules but many find difficult to adhere to this type of feeding set up. Others due to medical reasons are not advised to engage in intermittent fasting. Hunger sucks and you will definitely feel hungry while adapting to an intermittent fasting way of life.
Check out or other articles on nutrition tips and tricks on our nutrition blog.