INTERMITTENT FASTING

 

Intermittent fasting is quite the buzz topic in the training world at the moment! The social media world is inundated with influencers promoting detoxes or cleanses, implying their new plan is revolutionary! One of the most frequent topics I receive questions about is intermittent fasting... What I think about it? Do I do it? Would be beneficial to incorporate into their lifestyle? I am going to break it all down for you today, and give you the basics for you to decide if it is for you or not.

So, what is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a period of time where you stop consuming food and calorie-containing beverages with the goal of inducing a ‘fasted state’. For many individuals who practice regular fasting, they shorten their eating window time. E.g. Cease eating at 7 pm, and commence eating again the next day at 11 am, a 16 hour fast. There are various ways you can approach fasting, with some individuals even fasting for 48 hours (and more)! Let’s be clear girls, I absolutely do not advocate for these extreme fasting approaches!

However, I am a firm believer that you should practice what you preach! I have previously tried intermittent fasting. What did I think? For me, I find that eating consistently throughout the day gives me the energy to power through all of my day. Constant feeding gives me the potential to achieve my goals in the gym, as well as in relation to my physique. Intermittent fasting didn’t necessarily stop me from achieving my goals, I have just found that other feeding methods suit my schedule better. It is also important to consider that through the timing restriction of food intake, a pathway towards restriction and over-indulgence could potentially open up. The training and nutrition strategies I advocate are the ones that work for each individual!


I have researched and discovered what works for my body, and my #LSFbabes. This form of feeding didn’t support my lifestyle goals. When I wake up my strawberry protein oats are the first thing on my mind! 

The carbohydrates in that first meal of the day give me the energy to power through a productive morning of work, and heavy lifting sessions! When I practised fasting I would find that I was lethargic, and often thinking about my first meal for most of the morning! I prioritise a productive morning and making sure my macros are well dispersed throughout the day to keep me consistently energised, and to fuel my body’s growth and recovery. For a lot of girls, this nutrition structure can have a negative impact on mood as well: hangry, lethargic, feelings of deprivation and lacking motivation can be common during a fast! If you are someone who is not used to fasting or is highly active, you might find you are pretty flat in your fasted sessions, which may stand in the way of you reaching your full potential in the gym.

Intermittent fasting is a tool that could potentially be harnessed in your journey to fat loss. The main benefit is that you are shortening the window of time of eating. If consuming excess calories is something you struggle with, it may assist you in hitting your calorie goals for the day. When you practice fasting you are also learning to have better, self-control. Consistency comes from being able to assess situations and recognise how they add or take away from you achieving your goals. Although it is not necessarily superior to any other fat loss method, you have to figure out what works for your lifestyle. For me...

Fat loss starts and ends with calorie balance - a calorie deficit is required in order to decrease body fat. This can be achieved by many means, including (and excluding) intermittent fasting.

How you want to structure your nutrient intake is completely up to you! When it comes down to it though, what matters is figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Being in a ‘fasted state’ is not a miracle pill, it is simply (often) putting you in calorie deficit for the day, or the week. 

 

Calories are king girls! Stop looking for an easy way out, and start putting in the hard work and preparation. Try tracking your macros, eat nutrient-dense foods, and be a realist about what you are putting into your body. The results will come if you are consistent with your diet and training, and you shouldn’t need to deprive your body for an extended period of time to achieve this. The main take away message here is this- you’ve got to do what works for you! And if you find that this method suits your schedule, doesn’t affect your performance in the gym, and assists with keeping you in calorie deficit then that is YOUR choice!