I have given Intermittent Fasting a lot of thought and have even tried it for a very short period of time but I didn’t really understand it fully until I decided to give it another try along with my daughter who wants to maintain muscle mass and strength while leaning out for a competitive sport. I knew that I needed to find a way of eating… to create an eating pattern that would reflect a lifestyle rather than a crazy diet. Through a lot of research and talking to people who are in the Intermittent fasting lifestyle, my daughter and I are making the change commencing June 14, 2017. We will be posting progress pictures within the next couple of weeks and if all goes as planned we will meet all of our goals utilizing intermittent fasting.
If you’ve never tried intermittent fasting or if you’ve never heard of it you may be wondering…..
How is this even possible? Skipping meals has to be bad for you, right? Why in the world would you fast for 16 hours a day? What are the benefits? How can it be healthy for you?
Well when I began my research, I was asking those same questions and then I started thinking about the research behind what happens to your body in both a fed and a fasted state and it all just made sense.
We know that people are always trying to find ways to reduce body fat, to increase strength, to increase muscle mass and to decrease time spent in the gym and I really believe that the answer is in Intermittent fasting.
I began asking competitors if any of them have successfully used intermittent fasting for off-season bulking or to get contest ready or did it work better to have multiple meals spread throughout the day? Most I spoke with hadn’t tried intermittent fasting and as a result did not provide an opinion on it and most seemed to think that if a person is interested in being the most MUSCULAR person you could possibly be…then Intermittent fasting was not the approach to take. This gave me even more motivation to try the method as I am very muscular and my goals are to maintain my current muscle mass.
You’re probably asking…. What exactly is Intermittent Fasting??
Intermittent fasting is simply a catchy term for an eating structure whereby more hours in the day are spent in the unfed state than the fed state.
As it turns out, the 16/8 window proposed by Martin Berkhan in his Leangains method seems to work quite well for most people who I know have tried intermittent fasting.
Even though I am not an expert on the subject, I am going to do my best to break down the concept of intermittent fasting and a few things that goes along with it.
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating…. an eating lifestyle. It is simply a way of rescheduling how you eat your meals and does not change; in any way what you eat. It only changes when you eat.
Intermittent fasting seems to be a way of leaning out without the need to go into any huge calorie deficit. I also believe that one can maintain muscle mass while leaning out. Simply put, intermittent fasting leads to fat loss, if done correctly.
Intermittent fasting consists of a “FED STATE” and a “FASTED STATE”. During the “Fed state” when using the 16/8 method you begin eating and this lasts for the 8 hours (this doesn’t mean over eating but maintaining your normal caloric intake) and during this time your body is taking in food, digesting that food and absorbing the food. During the Fed state it is hard for your body to burn fat as insulin levels are high and this signals your body to store any excess calories in your fat cells and the body will resort to burning glucose instead of fat. Once your body is finished processing the food(about 8-10 hours after your last meal) you have eaten during the 8 hours of feeding it begins to enter a “FASTED STATE” in which insulin levels drop (while glucagon and growth hormone, which are opposing hormones to insulin, are elevated). During this stage when insulin levels have dropped the body starts moving stored fat cells and burning fat for energy instead of glucose or sugar. It is my belief that you can only burn fat in a fasted state and you can only store fat in a fed state.
My daughter and I have decided that we will be using Martin Berkhan’s 16/8 method of intermittent fasting with a goal of leaning out, maintaining existing muscle mass or hopefully increasing muscle mass and finally without feeling hungry.
The way we intend on doing IF is not your typical “two meal” split. Instead I will lift between 5:30 am-8:00 am and following my lift I will have a post-workout feeding fast until about 11:00 am. My eating window will be 8 hours and I will be getting meals at 11 am/2 pm/4 pm/6 pm
Follow our progress and if you have any general questions about our Intermittent Fasting experience, contact Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage and remember we are learning about this process as we experience it.