Should you do Intermittent fasting?

Why eat all the time?

A glass of water on a plate It's not as extreme as it sounds...

If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you might have noticed me mentioning about me doing something called intermittent fasting.

So what does this mean?

Well It’s quite easy really: I fast the majority of the day and then have a specific eating window when I’m allowed to eat.

I usually eat my first meal around 12 PM and try to eat my last meal before 8 PM.

I got into this about 3-4 years ago when I was trying out the paleo diet and following the advice at marksdailyapple. There Mark sometimes mentioned about IF and I got interested about it and checked out the forums there to see what the community had to say.

After doing some research about the different ways one can do Intermittent fasting I decided to go for the Leangains variant 16/8, which means that I fast 16 hours and eat 8 hours.

There’s many different ones if you’d like to read more about some of them:

  • Eat Stop Eat (2 full days fasting per week)
  • The Warrior diet (20 hours fast, 1 big meal with small snacks throughout the day)
  • Fat loss forever (Mix of Eat Stop Eat, Warrior diet and Leangains with cheat days.. complicated..)
  • UpDayDownDay (Eat less some days)

Anyway I decided to with Leangains as that one seemed to fit best with training and increasing muscle strength at the same time.

Leangains

Leangains is a blog made by Martin Berkhan where he goes through how one can do intermittent fasting whilst making good gains at the gym. He has very easy to follow tips and reading up on how to do it and getting started basically takes a night of reading his blog.

It is not some broscience either, where he just thinks he has found something that is working, he actually has credible research to back up his findings on why various things work. So if you’re really interested in nutrition you can check out the research as well.

There’s even information on how you should prepare during the day if you know that you’re going out for drinks later in the night, Now that’s something that you won’t find in other diets.

Why fast?

There are several benefits to fasting: some that I’ve experienced myself and others that are a bit harder to notice and compare, these however are backed by science instead so I’ll trust those until some new research comes out saying otherwise 😉

Better sleep

One thing I’ve noticed is that I fall asleep much easier and get much better sleep. This might of course be an added benefit of taking the supplement ZMA which he recommends in his nutrition guide. But it might also have to do with not eating late and having my digestive system running full speed when bedtime comes around.

Better hunger control

Well this one is quite obvious but once you learn to stay without food for several hours (took about a week to get used to IF btw) you also learn to control your hunger for longer periods.

If I for example have a more intense day at work or I’m really busy doing something I won’t be distracted by the hunger at all. Sometimes I can even find myself not having eaten anything several hours into my feeding window.

Fat loss

Leangains in combination with a good workout will definitely help you loose fat. But then again if you put in enough effort at the gym and eat somewhat correct (no soda and candy) you are quite sure to loose those extra pounds of fat.
Here are some results from people following Leangains

Smarter

Research ha  shown that diet-restrictions in rats will cause them to solve tasks better. A theory, from the evolutionary standpoint, is that if you’re not smart enough you will not get food, and as a consequence this will require you to become smarter to be able to obtain food. How much truth there is to that I don’t know 😉

Slows down aging

This one is also something that I can’t really tell by personal experience, but research has shown that rats fasting every other day can live up to 83% longer. I like those odds!

How to start doing intermittent fasting?

Either do your own research on the web or just take my word for it 😉

If you decide to go with Leangains start here

If you don’t think you can start with 16/8 directly you can always go for 12/12 at first and ramp it up as you get used to it.
I started 16/8 instantly and it took about a week before I got used to it and since then it has been a breeze.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and are considering to start IF now 😉

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