Intermittent Fasting is one of the hottest ideas in fitness right now, in layman’s terms it means not eating for a period of time as opposed to the traditional bodybuilder mentality of 6 meals a day. It’s been building momentum over the last 6 or 7 years and seems to have reached critical mass this year.
I’ve been doing it for about 6 years now and have noticed a ton of benefits. If you have low blood sugar this might not be the best thing for you but I think the average healthy male will get a lot out of following IF. I’ve outlined the method I use below plus the benefits and science behind it.
- I use and recommend the Leangains method of daily 16 hours fasted and 8 hours fed (some charlatan wrote a book and stole all of Martin’s ideas, don’t read it)
- I run my feeding window from 12pm until 8pm with two large meals at 2pm and 8 pm
Decreased Insulin Levels
- Fasting increases insulin sensitivity resulting in superior nutrient partitioning as well as decreasing insulin levels
- The study below shows a 35% reduction insulin during the first 24 hours of a fast
- Klein S, et al. Progressive Alterations in lipid and glucose metabolism during short-term fasting in young adult men. American Journal of Physiology 1993; 265 (Endocrinology and metabolism 28):E801-E806
Increased Fat Burning
- Fat Burning during a fast as measured by the amount of uncoupling protein increases 5 fold within the first 15 hours of the fast
- =Tunstall RJ, et al. Fasting activates the gene expression of UCP3 independent of genes necessary for lipid transport and oxidation in skeletal muscle. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2002; 294:301-308
Increased Growth Hormone
- Short term Fasting increases growth hormone levels by as much as 600 %, growth hormone is known to increase muscle and burn fat making it an expensive black market supplement
- Hartman ML, et al. Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced CH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 1992; 74(4):757-765
- Increased mental focus, energy and productivity during the fast
- Appetite suppression
- Skipping breakfast saves time in the morning
- Caffeine is more effective during the fast
- I would recommend the book Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon for detailed scientific studies on the benefits of IF
Try it out for a week and see how it works for you, I did and notice so much more energy in the mornings that I never went back to a normal eating pattern.