Intermittent Fasting has become more popular than ever in the last few years!
There are lots of celebs, PT's and influencers about who are singing its praises in terms of fat loss!
In this article I discuss what it involves, the potential advantages and disadvantages, and whether it is right for you!
So first off, what is it !?
Many consider Intermittent Fasting to be a diet, but in reality it is not. It is simply a pattern of eating!
This pattern involves cycling between periods of eating and not eating. You only eat within certain time windows.
And why is it becoming popular?
If your goal is fat loss the theory behind Intermittent Fasting is that you will most often consume fewer calories during your specified eating times than you would if you just ate as normal through the day!
Therefore the principle is not to change what you eat, just when you eat!
For this reason many people see it as easy to follow and simple as it does not require a major behavior change!
This is most probably the reason it is so popular with many people – people like 'easy'!
When do you fast and when do you 'quake'?
Whilst there are different variations of Intermittent Fasting, the most commonly followed one is the 16-8 protocol!
This involves fasting for a 16 hour period each day and eating within an 8 hour period.
Again, the time periods can vary, but most people would have meals between 12pm – 8pm.
That would mean they do total fast for the 16 hours between 8pm and 12pm! The key is to pick a time period which best fits your lifestyle, commitments and schedule.
Is Intermittent Fasting for you?
1. If your fitness goal is fat loss then Intermittent Fasting could be something you consider. By eating in a limited time period you are more likely to be in calorie deficiency, hence promote fat loss.
2. There is very little planning involved – you do not have to measure out your foods and prep loads of meals! It's very easy to remember!
3. It's much easier than dieting! You are not adding new foods that you might not like to your mealtimes, you are simply changing the pattern.
If you decide Intermittent Fasting is for you make sure you review the different versions and find the one which is a best fit for you!
Like with most things related to fitness, the best thing to do is the one that you can stick to consistently and long-term!
You should also consider:
If you currently eat every hour or two you will get cravings at least in the short-term. If you are constantly hungry then this strategy is probably not for you!
Mindset is a big part of Intermittent Fasting. If you are constantly thinking about food during the fast periods and it is making you happy or irritable, then again it's probably not for you.