The Intermittent Fasting diet plan is by no means a new diet in bodybuilding and strength training disciplines, but it has recently started to attract attention in the mainstream health and fitness world. The term “Intermittent Fasting” may sound a little intimidating, but the concept behind the diet is simpler than you might at first think. This diet is not a traditional diet in terms of counting calories or tracking macro-nutrients. Rather, this diet focuses on when you eat, rather than how much you eat or what you eat.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent Fasting Involves remaining in a fasted state for 16 or more hours of the day. During that fasting window you are allowed to drink water, black coffee and other zero-calorie drinks, but you may not drink anything that contains calories, and you may not eat any food. When the fasting window is over, you enter a feeding window, during which you may eat as much as you like. Structuring your calorie intake around feeding windows and fasting windows helps to promote fat loss.
Why Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Until relatively recently, conventional wisdom dictated that you should eat six small meals per day to lose fat. While this strategy worked for bodybuilders, recent research has shown that there is no correlation between nutrient timing and body composition.
Eating six small meals a day may help some people to stick to a diet (because it means that they know they are never more than a few hours away from being allowed to snack) but it does not “stoke your metabolism” in any meaningful fashion.
Intermittent fasting works because it restricts the period of time during which you can eat, and then allows you to eat as much as you like during your feeding windows. So, once you get used to not eating during the day, you’ll find that you can really enjoy yourself at night time. This means that it is an easy diet to follow if you have an active social life. In addition, you don’t need to count calories because the chances of going over your daily calorie allowance in a single day are slim.
Provided that you stay in a calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time, you will lose weight. Whether that weight loss comes in the form of fat or muscle depends on your existing body composition, the foods you eat, and your general lifestyle. Intermittent fasting gives you the freedom to eat whatever foods you wish, but there is some degree of assumption and common sense required.
The occasional chocolate bar or tub of ice cream won’t do any harm as part of a generally sensible eating plan, but if you eat nothing but candy floss in your feeding window then you will start to notice some adverse health and body composition effects. Your body needs a mixture of proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates for optimal health.
Intermittent fasting is a simple and convenient way in which to lose weight, and if you combine it with resistance training you should find it offers a relatively easy route to the body you have always wanted.