Although not really a revolution in nutrition or eating pattern, Intermittent Fasting has been gaining major publicity lately and a HUGE following on social media, celebrity mentions and with a lot of the heavy weights in the health and nutrition game.
So what’s all the hype about and is this idea for you?
At its roots, it is exactly what it sounds like – a mini fast – you’re going to skip a meal or two. (Spoiler alert, you’ll live through it)
(Spoiler alert number 2 – you won’t waste away and burn all your hard earned muscle up either)
The following is the best example I can give you: After dinner one night, you go to bed and wake up and skip breakfast, possibly skip lunch too and then have a dinner. Rinse, recycle and repeat as needed.
That’s Intermittent fasting – hope you have a nice day.
Wait, you want more info? That’s surprising as there’s only about a dozen of you that read and/or listen to me – but hey now, this is the early days of this site and I care about you dozen dammit, lets get some details in then.
The above example may very easily be done and the health benefits are a mix of both the obvious and subliminal.
First the obvious – you’ll eat less. You’ll lose weight most likely just because of the difference in daily calories. It’s very tough to cram 2200 Calories into one dinner meal and it doesn’t feel good to do so even if you can. So there’s that. It’s cheap, you’ll save money – you’ll save time as you’re not thinking about nor preparing 3 to 6 meals a day. It’s simple.
But rich celebrities and health guru’s don’t need to save money or time, they have a dudes for that – Surprisingly, yes, there’s actually a lot more to it. There’s real science and some extraordinary benefits to both intermittent and even on the more extreme actual fasting.
Intermittent fasting is also known as a “reduced window eating program” which fits. If my first meal was lunch after my workout, say 2 pm and I had dinner eaten and dishes washed by 8 pm – I have a 6 hour eating window – essentially an 18 hour fast.
For what you ask? Why?….You know I need a why? How about some hormone optimization Holmes, that do anything for you? No, how about gut reset and autophagy – the cleaning out of bad and potentially dangerous cells and the proliferation on new healthy cells, particularly stem cells. (yep you have them) -also decreased Insulin and the reset of insulin resistance which is every day becoming THE BIG DEAL – as in – it seems insulin just screws up everything.
Now after all this “known entity” stuff, the whole idea of a definition or “what exactly is Intermittent fasting” gets a little blurry as different people classify their version differently.
Many proponents of Intermittent fasting actually are working their eating window similar to above (16 hour, 18 hour fast) but are more than happy to add high quality fats such as coconut oils , MCT’s, and Ghee (often to their coffee) for the keto like effects. Proponents of both Keto, paleo style and Lactin reduction diets all seem to find the Intermittent fasting done this way, as in a lack of solid foods or a whole meal, as their go -to diet. So is it really fasting if you’re having the fats? What if you take supplements and vitamins? Coffee ok? tea? This is where the lines blur and different people say different things. My take is to find out if ANY of these versions seem to work for you.
When done like this, over a certain timeframe, say a couple of weeks, it seems to really jump start fat loss or better yet, fat utilization. (aka true keto…Where you actually start to burn fat (see ketosis article and lectin article coming soon.)
This is my version of intermittent fasting – I love this style – I try it often usually for a few days or weeks. I’m not opposed to breakfast at times as long as it’s not sugary goop and cereals so on a day Bacon and eggs sounds right I’m not fasting anymore – but I will share with you my experience which is echoed by the players in the industry.
My brain works better – my guts reset – I feel super strong at workouts, I drop fat (not just weight) but fat – quickly and can see a difference in the mirror in just a couple days – my joints don’t ache and I get over soreness soon. My ideas on why? Because a lot of food we eat in America is crap and you’ve just excised a significant portion of crap out of your system.
I am quite confident I will try an extended fast for 36-48 hours in the next few weeks as an experiment because I have seen real world result from the intermittent. Note: extended fast seem to work much more quickly, especially with true keto type results after you’ve prepped the system with intermittent fasting for a couple weeks – the idea is that the insulin is low and resistance has reset so you are already a few biological steps ahead on where you are trying to get to.
Recap – I know it’s kind of new and trendy over the last year but there is a feeling I get when trying intermittent fasting and there is something to it. I would push all of you to at least try a version of this is the near future and just to “look into it.”
Understand there are multiple versions and that your social media friends may not be doing the same version as you – it’s not a one size fits all deal nor is fasting as a whole, nor keto, nor low carb – none of the internet sensation magic bullets. It’s all personal. There is something to the whole “what we are eating is causing issues” however and although, much like global warming, a lot of famous spokespeople and trolls will just deny and these new trends until they are all but forced to see reality – it is happening now and it is all real. You need to see what works for you and react to changes you see and feel and start to become your own best doctor, your own best nutritionist and your own best trainer.
I understand all this directly opposed to the “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” dogma that your mom and PE coach were adamant about.
Seems like all those kids on the filmstrips of my youth weren’t actually tired at school because they were too poor to eat, it was actually because they had a really shitty home life and most likely were up all night with problems we don’t want to even dive into. Alright that was crappy, no kid should go hungry – I’m just trying to make a point that our diets are the solution – to all of it – the fat gain, the diseases, the feeling crappy, the sleep problems. The answer isn’t anti inflammatories, antacids and more caffeine – those are the treatments and band aids – it’s time to start playing with real solutions and changes, not treatments Causes vs treatments – We all need to experiment with what works for us and look for a “better way.”