February 16, 2019

FAQ – Intermittent Fasting

 

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting, also known as IF, is simply alternating the intervals you aren’t eating (also known as fasting) with the times you are allowed to eat. While it might sound restrictive, most people do a form of intermittent fasting on a typical day anyway.

How? Let’s say you stop eating at 5:00PM in the evening the day before and have breakfast at 8:00AM the next morning. This is essentially fasting for 15 hours. However, if you are doing this haphazardly, aren’t structured, and are not eating healthily, it won’t matter whether you are fasting or not—and that’s what separates intermittent fasting from your typical lifestyle.

Is intermittent fasting bad for my metabolism?

You might be surprised to find that intermittent fasting won’t damage your metabolic rate but may, in fact, accelerate it. The reason IF improves the metabolism is due to the fat burning properties that happens during fasting.

What does not break a fast?

While anything with calories is going to break your fast, there are some ways to remain satiated without consuming any calories. The things that do not break fasts include plain water, unsweetened teas, and black coffee.

What are the different protocols?

As mentioned above, there are a number of ways to fast throughout the week that fit into your lifestyle. This is usually attuned to when you get in your most vigorous physical activities or workout sessions. The three main protocols in IF include the 12/12, 16/8, and 24 fasting protocols.

12/12 refers to eating within 12 hours and fasting for 12 hours. You may, for example, eat your first meal at 7:00AM then end your meals at 7:00PM. 16/8 refers to fasting for 16 hours and eating within 8 hours. This means having lunch at 12:00 noon then eating your second and final meal at 8:00 PM. Then, for the 24-hour protocol, you are going a full 24-hours without any meals. That said, you don’t do the same fast every single day of the week for an extended period of time. Instead, you might skip breakfast one day, skip dinner another, and skip every meal the next time around. That is where the “intermittent” part comes into play.

Does intermittent fasting work?

Obviously, by cutting out meals and restricting your eating times, you are eating far less calories throughout the week than someone who gets in 3-6 meals throughout the day. It doesn’t end there, though. In a fasted state, the hours your body isn’t consuming or digesting food are going to be powered by energy obtained from fat.

Fasting also increases sensitivity to insulin. The more sensitive you are to insulin, the better the body utilizes the food you consume.