Breaking Down Intermittent Fasting

Chances are you’re here because you’ve noticed the hype around intermittent fasting. Well you’ve come to the right place. Not only will we give you all the facts, we will share any tips or tricks we have learnt as this is our chosen eating method alongside the macro diet. we aren’t the minority either, Intermittent fasting has turned into one of the leading health and fitness trends across the globe!

What’s all the fuss about Intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting allows you to enjoy the foods you love, attend and enjoy those family meals, indulge on those nights out and not restrict yourself to calorie counting. What’s the catch? Quite simply you need to time restrict you’re eating, then fast in cycles. The reason so many people are seeing results and sticking to this eating method, is because its sustainable. The fact you’re not having to cut out carbs, deny yourself of sugars, order from the “under 500 kcals” section of the menu when your socialising, means you’re not missing out. Of course, healthy eating is encouraged for the best results, but calorie counting is not necessary and enjoying a treat doesn’t mean you’ve derailed and in turn demotivate you!

Intermittent fasting is a tool and not a diet so it doesn’t tell you what to eat. It is a pattern of eating rather than just cutting calories so it just changes the timings of when you eat and when you don’t eat.

So why should you do intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is one of the most important factors in weight loss. When your body is in a fasted state, you release a really powerful hormone called ‘Human Growth Hormone’ in the body that promote fat burning.

Human Growth Hormone

The most powerful hormone is called human growth hormone which main function is anti-aging in the body. Human Growth hormone is called the most powerful hormone because it protects your muscles, helps build lean muscle mass and also burns body fat.

Insulin

Insulin is also a very powerful hormone but for the wrong reasons if you goal is weight loss! It will make you store bodyfat which means in the presence of insulin you can’t lose weight and it actually blocks human growth hormone. Generally speaking, if you see an overweight person it’s because they have been overeating and therefore their body has been producing too much insulin.

How Intermittent fasting works

Whenever you eat, your body produces insulin. This means by reducing the amount of time that you are eating in a 24-hour period gives the body more time with human growth hormone and less time with insulin. People usually have an eating schedule as follows; Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack. By following this eating schedule you are only giving your body a small window of opportunity to create human growth hormone during the night when you are sleeping and a longer period of time where insulin is being produced. An example of a great intermittent fasting eating schedule would be eating all your meals in an 8 hour window, this is known as the 16/8 diet (fasting for 18 hours and eating for 8 hours). We find that our clients eating all their food for the day from 13:00 to 21:00 works best for them but everyone has their own preference and there’s no right or wrong way, as long as you consume the food in an 8 hour window.

The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Insulin levels in the blood are reduced significantly which in turn promotes fat burning. It can also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes due to reducing insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting results in changes in the several genes and molecules related to protection against disease. Its thought that the when intermittent fasting, blood levels of human growth hormone may increase by as much as 5 times!! Increased human growth hormone has many health benefits including increasing muscle gain and fat burning. Due to many of these benefits outlined, fasting in the short term has been shown to increase your metabolic rate by as much as 14%!!! Studies show less muscle loss when participants used intermittent fasting as their method of weight loss vs calorie restricted diets. A review into the scientist evidence surrounding intermittent fasting showed participants reducing their waist circumference by 4-7% and weight loss of 3-8% over a 3-24week period.   The flexibility continues as there are 6 different ways you can achieve intermittent fasting.

The Types of Intermittent Fasting

The 16:8 Approach

This method is as simple as it sounds, fasting for 16 hours followed by an 8 hour window for eating. A popular example been; fasting from 8pm until 12 noon, then eating all your meals for the day before 8pm. You can choose to do this from 1 day a week to every day. When fasting you can still drink water, black tea and coffee or any other 0 calorie drinks.  

The 5:2 Approach

This option involves restricting your calorie intake for 2 days of the week. Its recommended that women consume 500Kcals and men consume 600kcals on these days. Then for the remaining 5 days normal eating can resume.  

The 20:4 Approach

This method is also referred to as the warrior diet. It requires 20 hours of eating only fruit and raw vegetables in small amounts, then in the evening a big meal should be consumed.  

The 24-hour Approach

This approach to intermittent fasting is renowned for been one of the toughest. It requires a 24 fast 1-2 a week which most people would find extremely challenging. This can start and end at any mealtime but must involve no calorie consumption for a straight 24hour period. Again, during these fasting periods, water black tea or coffee and 0 calorie drinks can be consumed. It’s important that during the non-fasting days that normal eating takes place.  

The Spontaneous Meal Skipping Approach

This is possibly the most relaxed method of intermittent fasting. Quite simply when you do not feel hungry or don’t have time to eat you can skip 1-2 meals. You could skip breakfast for example and just eat a healthy lunch and evening meal in order to achieve a short fast.  

The Alternate Day Approach

This method involves a 24 fast every other day, which most people would find extremely difficult therefore it is not recommended for people new to intermittent fasting. Some versions of this cycle of eating allow 500 calorie consumption on fasting days which can make it a little easier.

Is Intermittent Fasting Achievable?

The thought of going without food can seem daunting but rest assured the human body is very well equipped to go for an extended period without eating. That been said its obvious that skipping a meal will be much easier than enduring a 24hour fast that will involve the unpleasant feeling of going to bed hungry. It’s important to bear in mind that this diet will not be for everyone and your health should take priority when considering this diet. Leading a healthy lifestyle including making smart food choices are always encouraged.

What Is The Best Type Of Intermittent Fasting?

Here at YFT through personal and client experience we have seen the best results using the 16:8 approach To intermittent fasting, alongside the macro diet. Making sure that during eating periods the correct macro amounts are hit. You can work out what macros you should aiming for with our calculator. We also have an in-depth blog post on the macro diet, CLICK HERE to check it out. Intermittent fasting combines with exercise will always get the best results! if you want to follow our workout plans you can check them out HERE– they all come with access to a free online personal trainer which is very affordable.