My last post was dedicated to telling you why breakfast as we know it pretty much sucks. I explained that the majority of your fat burning comes in the morning with or without exercise, and if we were smart, none of us would eat for at least a few hours after waking up. I’m going to take that subject just a bit further today by explaining the benefits of intermittent fasting (IF for short).
Just as not eating breakfast and not worrying about 6 meals a day are quickly becoming a popular school of thought amongst fitness professionals, IF could also be included in the list of very popular protocols to live by. In my “fitness infancy,” as I like to call it, I used to harp on people for not eating anything until lunchtime. Little did I know they had inadvertently stumbled upon what could be a huge step in total overall fitness, assuming what they ate the rest of the day wasn’t garbage. In a way, a lot of people do IF every day and don’t even realize it!
On average, many of us go somewhere in the neighborhood for 8-12 hours between our last meal of the day and the next meal we eat after we rise from bed. As I’ve explained in previous posts, the body awakens and is primed for fat burning. IF plays directly into the hands of that fat-burning process, but instead of waiting just 2 hours to eat after you get up, IF may have you waiting for long before indulging in your first meal of the day. Most trusted IF protocols recommend around a 16-hour fast to reach optimal results.
This is the reason why. As most of you are carb-eating people, your body turns those carbs into glycogen for storage in the muscle and liver, as well as glucose in the blood. The time frame for your body to metabolize carbohydrates is around 8 hours. If you never give your body proper time to metabolize your previous day’s carbs before you start eating more, glycogen in your muscle/liver and glucose in your bloodstream are always going to be the fuel your body uses, not fat. As I have explained before, this is a great way to make sure your body is always producing new fat cells instead of emptying out the ones you have. However, if you don’t give your body that carb-based fuel for 12-16 hours, or hardly ever in the case of low-carb dieting, your fat-burning potential is going to go through the roof. Sounds great, right? But wait, there’s more!
Aside from the fat-burning potential that goes along with IF, growth hormone production shot up between 1000-2000% depending on the subject. This means muscle growth and fat burning, which most experts will tell you is almost impossible to do at the same time. Other benefits include normalizing ghrelin (the hunger hormone) levels, lower triglyceride levels, and in some cases even improving memory and learning capabilities. Basically, IF has very few downfalls and a large number of benefits when compared with the standard “eat every 2-3 hours” diet.
I’m going to explain some general rules of thumb for IF, but first, a warning. IF isn’t for everyone. For most people, doing the things I explained in my breakfast posts would be ideal. Get up, have your Bulletproof Coffee, and eat an hour or 2 later. Also, if you have issues with blood sugar regulation, such as diabetes, IF is probably not the route you should be going.
That being said, if you’re a healthy individual who is very dedicated to your personal fitness and has big goals in mind as it pertains to fat loss, muscle gain, and better hotcfarmersmarket.com/protein-powders/ performance, IF could very well be the thing you’re looking for. It’s definitely something I have been enjoying for quite some time now. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’ve just entered my 16th hour without food, and I feel great. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ate breakfast first thing in the morning.