If you’ve even remotely been following the fitness industry in the last 12 months, chances are you’ve heard your favorite fitness icon or bodybuilder talk about intermittent fasting. With fitness figures like Christian Guzman, Matt Ogus, Jeff Seid, Layne Norton, and Hodge Twins all talking about it, it’s no longer a secret that many fitness figures are starting to incorporate this diet into their lifestyle. Now you may be wondering…what exactly is this diet and what are the benefits?
Rest assured, this blog post will give you a high-level overview of this dieting craze.
What does the diet look like?
The diet itself is very simple… Assuming you are staying within your macros and calories, you can actually eat anything you’d like. Sounds too good to be true?
Take a look for yourself:
The diet is quite simple… All you’re supposed to do is designate a 6-8-hour window in which you are allowed to eat. Outside of this time window, you are not allowed to eat. Most people usually skip breakfast and remain fasted for at least 3-5 hours after waking up. Many followers of this diet report that being fasted enhances focus and mental clarity, and that the diet ultimately improves brain health.
Here is a quote taken from Stanford University’s website: “The rewards…for metabolic and brain health are mediated by a number of complex biological mechanisms, but the underlying idea behind the science is simple: Periodically challenge your cells and biological systems (by food deprivation) in a controlled way, and these cells and systems will become stronger, more efficient, and better able to handle the daily stresses that come their way. It’s the same basic idea that underlies weight-training and other forms of exercise. We damage our muscles (a little bit) to build them up”.
When it comes to the benefits that intermittent fasting can provide, it doesn’t just stop at enhanced cognition and mental health.
One of the most notable supporters of intermittent fasting is Greg O’Gallagher also known as Kinobody.
In a recent blog post by Greg, he gave a great summary of the benefits that have been more or less backed by science:
“• Greater insulin sensitivity, which allows your body to make better use of carbohydrates
• A wide variety of potential health benefits, ranging from cardiovascular health and life extension to neuroprotective mechanisms that may protect against brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
• Mental alertness, boost in metabolism and improved energy levels due to increased levels of norepinephrine.
• Higher levels of growth hormone during the fast, which shifts fuel metabolism to fat burning and spares muscle protein.
• Appetite suppression. Contrary to what people seem to believe, fasting will not make you ravenous. It has a hunger blunting effect, which is invaluable during cutting”
As you can see, the benefits are no joke.
The final reason people are loving this new diet is because of the shorter eating window, followers will find that it’s much harder to get their calories they need for the day in a small eating window. This essentially means that in order to hit the calories and macros they need, they have no choice but to cheat. One of the most common side effects people report is a curbed appetite, which is why so many lean athletes can end up eating a hearty cheat meal without it affecting their physique at all.
We’d like to hear your thoughts on this new diet trend! Crazy? Awesome? Let us know in the comments down below!