Most diet and fitness regimes these days follow an always fed state by promoting healthy eating every three to four hours with six small meals a day, keeping your body’s metabolism always on fire.
And that regimen has proven successful over the years. However, on the rise now is the idea of intermittent fasting, which totally favors the opposite.
Intermittent fasting is basically just skipping meals on purpose – alternating between periods of fasting and feasting, which turns your body into a fat-burning machine. Here’s how.
Our bodies need energy to function properly. When we eat small, healthy meals, they are burned and consumed as energy. If they are frequent, like the six small meals diet, the body uses more energy to process those meals, thus creating a calorie deficit which leads to weight loss. If you add working out, you need more energy, so you burn stored fat and lose even more weight. Some people have been known to add an instant knockout fat burner into their diet to improve fat burn. It might be worth doing research on.
If you fast, the body refers to its stored energy in the form of fat and starts burning that from the get go. You clearly create a calorie deficit by eating a single big meal a day rather than your regular. So eventually you would start burning fat and lose weight.
If you want to try it, you MUST consult a nutritionist. Keep in mind that you don’t go on a total fast like Ramadan. You should stay well hydrated during the fasting period. If you ever feel light headed or on the verge of fainting, abort immediately.
Intermittent fasting is definitely risky health-wise and still an experimental diet fad. But as far as experimentation goes, it has proved to decrease body fat percentages, making those six packs more visible for sure. But still more experiments are needed to prove its long-term effects, the consequences of working out during fasting (which has always been a no no) and its effect on overall muscle mass in the long run.
The fasting-feasting method might help people who are already in pretty good shape to loose those extra few pounds or decrease their body fat percentage a few degrees. But for the overweights, you’ll need to learn eating healthy and in moderation with smaller meals as intermittent fasting might not really help.
To tell you the truth, I personally am intrigued by the idea. Having succumbed to a busy, non-active daily life, I have gained a lot of weight that I would love to lose. So I worked with a nutritionist friend of mine to tailor a personal workout routine and diet plan incorporating intermittent fasting. I will be trying it myself and monitoring the results over the coming three months. I’ll update you regularly with my progresson Twitter with the hashtag #5assasan_plan.
And remember, eating a healthy balanced meal with moderate regular activity is always the way to go. If you want to try new things, always consult a specialist.
WE SAID THIS: Show your support and follow Sherif’s progress at @Herraoui.