Fasting has been around forever, in some cases down to culture, but not too many years ago (before a time of supermarkets at every corner and more takeaway/ restaurants than fields), it was more of a necessity rather than a choice.
So what is intermittent fasting? Let’s start with what it isn’t.
It is not a low calorie diet and although the name scares some people into thinking it, you are not starving yourself.
It is not a fad diet; in fact it is not a diet at all as it does not dictate what you eat, although the greatest way to achieve results – a healthy balance of natural foods – is always a winner
It is not a quick fix or miracle cure that you do just for a few weeks; it is a lifestyle change and a fantastic tool that you can use to help reach your goals.
So what does intermittent fasting do for you?
Hormones play a large role in our bodies and many things affect them such as sleep, stress, exercise and food, for example. Manipulating your hormones to your advantage rather than them working against you could make a huge difference to your health, especially when it comes to burning fat and building muscle. During your fasting window, due to not having any food that will cause an insulin response, you will be in a fat burning zone for a prolonged period of time as your body will be forced to turn to its stored fat to convert into energy…. winning!
During your fast your body will naturally elevate your HGH (growth hormone). This is a very powerful hormone that has multiple benefits; you will benefit from anti-ageing properties and protecting muscle catabolism (breakdown), while encouraging fat burning.
You will lower cortisol: this is your stress hormone which has many negative implications on the body from ageing, fat storing and muscle breakdown, as it is increased by sugary foods and all the crap found in processed foods. (Cortisol can also increase from lack of sleep and stressful situations, so always try to sleep and relax properly.)
Your energy will increase: despite what you probably assume you will actually find yourself with more energy while fasting, allowing you to be more productive and smash your workouts, making those oh so lovely gains!!
So who is this for? Pretty much anyone, but of course it’s not for everyone. There are rules you have to follow and to fully reap the benefits you should be eating plenty of natural foods high in protein, fats, vitamins, minerals & fibre, and low in sugar, salt and processed foods.
So here is how to do it:
You will have an eating window and a fasting window, the most common being an 8-hour eating window and 16-hour fasting. (There are others with longer fasts that, if you wanted details on, you can ask me about at any time.) You can pick the times that work best for you and you can train during either window.
During your fasting window:
Drink plenty of water
Consume 0 calories
Do not have any fizzy or diet drinks, anything with additives/preservatives
You can drink black coffee (no sugar or milk) green and herbal teas
During your eating window:
Eat healthy foods
Most likely you will have two large meals but this is up to you
So there you have it, a change to the social convention of eating from the second you wake until you sleep with multiple benefits. If you follow the simple rules and be active you should feel and look great all the time.
For more information on nutrition and personalised to you, get in touch with us and we can get you on track to a healthier lifestyle.