Intermittent Fasting seems like its coming up everywhere! At first glance it may just seem like ÒHey I skipped breakfast but thatÕs ok Im fastingÓ, when in reality is a bit more technical than that.
Hippocrates, the “father” of medicine, was known to recommend fasting for improving health, saying that those who are obese or wanted to lose weight should only eat once per day. In the last few years, though, Intermittent Fasting (IF) has gained increasing popularity, becoming a major buzz word in the health and fitness industry.
When we eat, food is broken down in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our blood stream. Carbohydrates specifically, particularly sugars and refined grains, are quickly broken down into simple sugars, which are our bodyÕs main source of energy. However, if our cells do not use all the sugars, our body stores any excess in our fat cells as fat. Sugars can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Between meals, if we do not snack, insulin levels decrease and our fat cells release stored sugars for energy. So, we can lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down which will lead our body to release what is stored in our fat cells. This is where the concept of IF comes in.
The idea is to let our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough that we can burn off more fat. There are many different fasting protocols but the most scientifically effective is the 16:8 method or ÒLeangains ProtocolÓ. You have an eating period of 8 hours and a fasting period of 16 hours. The 8 hour eating time frame will be different for everyone. If you are exercising, your feeding time should be centered around your training so that you are consuming carbohydrates pre and post training session. Otherwise, the eating time frame should correspond to what is most convenient for you.
So for example, I like to workout at 9 am so my eating window would be 6am-2pm. However if someone liked to workout at 4:00pm they could have an eating window of 11am-7pm. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, book a meeting with us and see what is best for your body and life style!