Is Intermittent Fasting For Me?
WRITTEN BY TJ Ferrara18 days ago
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t determine what to eat, just when to eat. This means that it’s technically not a diet, just an eating pattern! People often use 16-hour fasts daily or fast for 24 hours, two days a week. You can basically eat whatever you want, as long as it falls within your “eating” time frame and not your “fasting” time frame. Some studies have found that this method promotes a healthier, simpler lifestyle. It can help you lose weight, decrease insulin resistance and inflammation, and improve heart health. No restrictions on food? This may sound like the meal plan for you. But before you decide on whether fasting is for you, you should definitely consider different fasting methods and of course, the pros and cons of this routine.
Common Intermittent Fasting Methods
While there is no one way to fast, there are a few typical intermittent fasting schedules that people like to follow. There are a few ways to fast or schedules that you can change to fit your daily routine, but some of the most common are:
The 16/8 method: This is also known as Leangains. Skip breakfast and only eat during an 8 hour time block each day, like 1–9 p.m. Fast for 16 hours in between.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This is fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. For example, you might not eat dinner on Tuesday and then fast until dinner on Wednesday. This requires more discipline in the moment but less planning.
The 5:2 diet: While most intermittent fasting focuses on blocks of time, the 5:2 diet focuses on blocks of calories. Eat only 500–600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other five days.
Each method works a little differently, but all are found to have a similar effect on your body. This brings us to our next point: why should you try intermittent fasting?
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Studies have found that intermittent fasting increases the levels of growth hormones which can benefit fat loss and muscle gain. It can also cause insulin levels to drop, which makes stored body fat more accessible and easier to burn. When we fast, our cells begin the cellular repair processes, like autophagy, which is when cells clear out any old proteins that build up inside of them. There are even studies that claim intermittent fasting can affect your genes and increase longevity. One of the most popular reasons for intermittent fasting is weight loss. While you could eat the same amount of calories, or even more if bulking, eating during a smaller window can pretty easily translate to fewer calories. With stored fat more accessible, your body releases the hormone norepinephrine to burn it, which can increase your metabolic rate. It hits the weight loss game from both sides - you eat less calories and your body burns more calories. This has been found to be a better alternative to other diet methods, reducing weight and waist measurements. Rather than restricting calories, you are still giving your body plenty of nourishment but giving it the chance to target the stored fat that can often be the peskiest part of weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting is a Lifestyle
Eating healthy seems much easier when it requires less work! You don’t eat as much during the day or week, so you don’t have to plan as much, cook as much, clean as much, or go to the grocery store as much. Regardless of the fasting technique you use, it is important to remember that this is part of a healthy lifestyle shift. If you binge on fast food and cupcakes during your eating periods, you are much less likely to get any positive results. This has to be in balance with a healthy diet, just changing the time that you eat those nutrient-rich and body-supportive foods like BUBS Collagen Peptides, which can be mixed into any meal or drink to increase your protein intake while doing a whole lot of good for your body. Make sure you’re still getting enough of the important stuff when you do eat.
What the Research Says
While a lot of research supports intermittent fasting, it is still in its early stages and a lot of the research was done on animals. Many of the statistics supporting inflammation and insulin reduction, reduced risk of cancer, and healthier brains were found in studies of animals, not humans. There is still a lot of work to be done to determine if this is truly a scientifically-backed, evidence-based eating routine for humans. With that being said, there are tons of fitness gurus who swear by this, so it’s easy to think there is no harm in trying. If you are already underweight or have ever struggled with an eating disorder, this is probably not the routine for you. Reducing your caloric intake more could be potentially dangerous, so talk to your doctor first.
Is Intermittent Fasting For Women?
Some studies have found that intermittent fasting is not actually good for women. Please keep in mind, these were studies conducted on animals, not humans. One found that while it improved insulin sensitivity for men, it worsened blood sugar control for women. Other studies (with rats) found that intermittent fasting made female rats abnormally thin or weak and appear more masculine. Some even missed cycles or became infertile. While there are no scientific studies in humans to support this, there are women out there sharing their stories of how their menstrual cycle stopped when they started intermittent fasting, but came back when they stopped. With this in mind, it is wise to ease into intermittent fasting and stop immediately if you experience any of these side effects. Experts also advise holding off if you are experiencing infertility, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. As always, communicate with your doctor if you are planning on changing your diet significantly.
Is Intermittent Fasting For Me?
This is a choice that only you can make! Regardless of your choice, we recommend always listening to your body. Whether you decide to try fasting or maintain an around-the-clock eating schedule, we hope that you prioritize getting powerful nutrients that help you feel your best. BUBS Collagen Peptides are always a quick and easy way to ensure you are getting an extra dose of protein while strengthening your joints and supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails. Fasting or not, this is a surefire way to support your body and help reach your fitness goals.