Intermittent Fasting: Is it right for me?
As a personal trainer, I get asked a lot about what does my diet and exercise program look like. One of the tools I use that is helpful for me is intermittent fasting. But it may not be right for everybody. Hopefully this article will help you decide if combining it with a workout program is right for you.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is limiting your caloric intake to a narrow window every day. Generally, you limit your eating to a 8-10 hour window and consume all of your calories within that window. Usually there are no limitations to what you eat during that window, and this diet program focuses more on the timing of meals rather than the quality. With that being said, its probably in your best interest to eat nutritious foods during the window as opposed to nothing but chocolate and pizza.
How does intermittent fasting work?
It is virtually impossible for your body to store fat and burn fat at the same time. By intermittent fasting, you are forcing your body to burn off your existing fat stores, leading to weight loss, improved metabolic functioning, and less reliance on sugars and carbohydrates as your fuel source. It has been shown to lower blood sugar, insulin levels, and increases human growth hormone.
How do I get started?
Most of us can get a jump start inn intermittent fasting by incorporating the fast with our sleep cycle. Breakfast is actually derived from the words “break” and “fast” since usually it’s the first meal you have after sleeping for 8 hours. In order to maximize your fasting time, my recommendation is to skip breakfast. It’s a falicy that is it the most important meal of the day. You will find that you have enough fat in your body to supply energy for your morning (and even a workout!). If you have to have coffee (like I do), you can either drink it black, or put less than 50 calories worth of a high fat/protein low-carb creamer in it. If you keep your added calories under 50 and don’t include carbohydrates, your body won’t break the fast. So if you eat dinner at 7 pm, sleep from 10-6, and then don’t eat till noon the next day, you are effectively fasting for 17 hours. That’s great!
How often should I do intermittent fasting?
I find intermittent fasting to be something I can incorporate into my life most every day. On days that I have an aggressive workout, I may expand my window by an hour or two or increase my calorie intake during the existing window.
Can I combine intermittent fasting with a low carbohydrate diet?
Yes, but in my opinion, it is very challenging to do it with a purely ketogenic diet, especially if you are working out on a regular basis. If you want to try to do both, I would pick either a ketogenic or intermittent fasting nutrition plan to see how you do with one. If one gets you results, then don’t stress about doing both! Find which one is right for you, your body, and your metabolism.
All-in-all, I find intermittent fasting has helped with my fitness, hunger levels, weight loss, and overall body composition. Have any more questions or want to come in for a complimentary assessment? Schedule your appointment today at our Scottsdale studio!