I’m sure you have heard of Intermittent Fasting by now. If you haven’t, well…consider yourself lucky.
Seriously…I can’t go 30 minutes without someone telling me how awesome it is, or asking me questions about it.
It’s not that I’m completely against Intermittent Fasting…it’s just that it is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not appropriate for most people because it will make you store MORE fat, not burn it.
I’ll explain more in a minute. But first let me give you a brief summary of what intermittent fasting is.
There are several different varieties of intermittent fasting. Some involve fasting for 1-2 days per week, while others involve eating 1 big meal per day.
But the most popular version of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 version. This involves you fasting for 16 hours, and gives you an 8 hour “feeding window.” This one is probably the easiest as well…since you basically finish dinner by 8p, skip breakfast, then eat lunch at noon.
The reason these can work is because you are taking advantage of hormonal changes in your body to force it to burn stored body-fat.
Sounds great and EVERYONE should be doing it right?
First, let me start with who can/should do intermittent fasting. Anyone that has CONSISTENTLY been eating 3-5 meals per day (most importantly a good breakfast every day) for 6 or more months…and exercising regularly. If that’s you, and you are looking to throw your body a curveball to jumpstart some fat-loss…then intermittent fasting may be a good tool for you to use. But for only 2-6 weeks…that’s it.
Read that last paragraph one more time. Because if that doesn’t describe you, then you should NOT do Intermittent Fasting.
If you are someone that is all over the board with your nutrition. Or if you try every latest fad diet (Keto is the latest). Or if you skip breakfast most days. Then the absolute last thing you should think about is intermittent fasting.
You see if you continuously make crazy changes in your diet with or without fat loss success…your body is going to go into survival mode and hold onto the stored fat.
And if you are one of those people who skip breakfast all the time…you have already been doing intermittent fasting (probably) for years. And guess what, your body has adapted and become a fat storage master.
If those last 3 paragraphs describe you, then the best thing you can do for yourself (and your fat loss goals) is to regularly eat a substantial breakfast and eat a more balanced diet with lots of veggies, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Once you have done that consistently for 6 months, then you may want to look at intermittent fasting for a few weeks. Of course, you will probably have hit your fat loss goals by then…and you will no longer need to do intermittent fasting.
Sean Millhouse is the owner of Fitness 101. He has been an Ace-Certified Personal Trainer for over 22 years. Sean has helped thousands of Spring/Klein residents achieve their health and fitness goals.