By Tina Paymaster, PHASE IV Functional Nutrition & Health Specialist
Intermittent fasting is a major buzzword these days. It seems no matter where you are, someone is asking about it or telling you that they’re doing it.
Intermittent fasting restricts eating to specific windows of time during the day or week. There are many different types and advocates for all of them.
At PHASE IV, we believe that intermittent fasting can provide many benefits, however we understand that each person has different needs so just like any nutrition program we create for our clients, we don’t recommend it for everyone.
Fasting can be an effective too to aid weight loss as it teaches your body to tap into fat stores when it’s not constantly being fed. In addition, fasting can be very beneficial for the digestive system as it gives it a break and allows it to fully process what is already in the body.
To better understand what intermittent fasting is, here are three of the most common types:
The 16:8 diet restricts eating to an 8 hour window every 24 hours, with 16 hours of not eating. So this could look like finishing dinner at 7pm and not eating again until 11am the next day.
This diet could be problematic for those people that like to get in early workouts and enjoy socializing late.
For two non-consecutive days during the week, you consume just 500 calories and water. You can eat these in one meal or spread out the calories throughout the day. On the remaining five days, you can eat whatever you want, however, sticking to a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and lean meats/fish is the most ideal.
With the 24-hour fast, you simply don’t eat once or twice a week for a 24 hour period. This could look like fasting from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. Water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are allowed.
The challenge here is that a full 24 hours without eating can be very difficult for people.
When we recommend intermittent fasting to our clients, we typically recommend that 16:8 diet as it tends to be the easiest to adhere to.
Science-based benefits of intermittent fasting
There are several benefits that have been documented from studies on fasting including:
- Lower blood insulin levels
- Reduced insulin resistance
- Higher levels of human growth hormone which facilitates fat burning and muscle gain
- Improved cellular repair and removal of waste material from cells
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved blood pressure
- Lower total and LDL cholesterol
Who should not do intermittent fasting?
While it might seem like everyone should get on the intermittent fasting train, that’s not true. If you fall into any of the categories below, you should probably stay away from it.
- Women who have hormonal imbalances
- Women who are trying to conceive
- Women who are pregnant
- Anyone with a history disordered eating
- Anyone suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome
- Anyone having sleep issues
- Anyone that is underweight
One of the downfalls of intermittent fasting that could make or break your efforts
One of the reasons that some people don’t reap the benefits of intermittent fasting is because they are eating too much or too little.
Both can have adverse impacts on metabolism and cause weight gain, lethargy, mood swings and more health issues.
We don’t believe in leaving anything to guesswork. That’s why at PHASE IV we recommend every client do a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) rest to determine how many calories they are burning on a daily basis and what their daily caloric requirements need to be in order to meet their goals.
Our NEW Starter Nutrition Program is the perfect addition to your intermittent fasting plan.
- (1) Resting Metabolic Rate Test to determine exactly how many calories you are burning on a daily basis
- Daily calorie and macronutrient recommendations based on your RMR test, level of physical activity and goals
- (1) Body Composition Exam to assess body fat percentage
- 3-Day Food Diary Analysis with nutrition recommendations
- Guidelines to introducing intermittent fasting into your lifestyle in a safe and effective way
Introductory price: $199Call us today at 310-582-8212 to schedule a complimentary consultation to find out more.