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
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.