In order for fat loss to occur, the body has to be in an energy deficit. This means that we must consume less energy everyday then we burn. It’s pretty straight forward, if we burn 2500cals/day and only consume 2000, there are 500 that we burned from a source other than food. In an attempt to preserve muscle, our body turns to fat metabolism to supply energy once blood sugar and glycogen stores have been used up.
However, there is one major problem in this equation. Our Western diet revolves around multiple energy dense meals per day, meaning we are almost always burning glucose from the previous meal by the time we eat again and therefore storing excess as fat.
This is where intermittent fasting comes into play. Intermittent fasting provides a window of time designated for feeding (4-12h), and another window designated for fasting (12-24h+). The most common types used and therefore studied are 16 hour fasts with 8 hours feeding, and alternate day fast/feed.
Prolonged periods without food almost certainly guarantee that our body switches to fat metabolism, since it takes several hours after a meal for the food to be digested and absorbed and insulin levels to return to baseline. Critics of IF will argue that it is too extreme and depriving yourself of nutrients will be harmful to the body, which couldn’t be further from the truth!
Major Benefits of IF
- Improves insulin sensitivity. The body becomes more sensitive to the effects of insulin… less insulin secretion per meal… lower blood glucose and insulin levels!
- Promotes autophagy. Regular bodily process where damaged, old, and dysfunctional proteins are consumed by the body. Think of renovating your kitchen, you need to tear away all the old culverts before installing new ones!
- Elevates Growth Hormone production. GH is very important hormone for body composition, because it releases stored fat and preserves muscle during fasting.
- Reduced systemic inflammation. Inflammation occurs in the body after exposure to a variety of stimuli, including viruses, injury, certain foods, and even exercise. Chronic inflammation is a precursor to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and other harmful diseases.
Not sold on IF yet?
Stay tuned because in my next blog I will be discussing how and why training while IF can be especially effective. In the meantime, come check out our Butts & Guts bootcamp just in time for a special June promotion… free body composition assessment! (limited number of spots)
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your appointment at a convenient location to you!