Intermittent Fasting....What is it?

I’m sure you’ve heard people talking about IF (intermittent fasting) but do you know what it is and what the hype is all about?

Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet or calorie counting. It’s time restricted eating. We’ve had numerous clients start IF and see some pretty amazing results.

So, what it is it and how does it work?

Time restricted eating is eating all your calories during a specific time window. By doing that is has been shown to improve your body composition (think weight and fat loss), decrease your cravings and can enhance your performance in workouts when done correctly. There is even some research to show that it can help with glucose intolerance and hormone regulation.

There are many different intermittent fasting protocols out there but the simplest one and possibly the easiest to follow is the 16/8 Method or Leangains protocol when getting started since most of the fasting happens when you sleep.

In summary, with this protocol, you’ll eat within a window of 8-10 hours so in others words you’ll fast for 14-16 hours. During those fasting windows you can drink water, black coffee and plain tea. This can be the simplest one to follow because your fasting window is while you sleep.

The tricky part with this protocol could come in when you workout in the morning. You’ll need to adjust your window so you can consume a meal within 30-45min post workout.

According to an article published on Health-line the “benefits of IF are:

  • “Weight loss: intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories (113).

  • Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, which should protect against type 2 diabetes (1).

  • Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation, a key driver of many chronic diseases (171819).

  • Heart health: Intermittent fasting may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease (12021).

  • Cancer: Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may prevent cancer (22232425).

  • Brain health: Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease (26272829).

  • Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats lived 36–83% longer (3031).Intermittent fasting can help boost your metabolism. Fasting has been known to

  • decrease your insulin and lower levels of insulin can facilitate fat burning.

  • increase human growth hormone (HGH) which can aid fat loss and muscle gain

  • increase norepinephrine which can break down body fat to be burned for energy.”

However, IF is not something you just want to jump into…

Look at your week and plan an 8 hour window to eat all your meals and snacks. Plan ahead and take into consideration your workouts. You’ll want to make sure you get a meal post workout to start your feeding window.

You’ll need some time to adjust when you start so start small and don’t just dive in. Some find that they are always hungry especially if you are a habitual eat upon waking person (this is me to a T). Make sure you are eating enough protein to keep you full! It will keep you from being hungry before bed as you move into your fasting window.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to consult with a medical professional before beginning any exercise or nutrition programs.

Want to talk more about IF and your exercise routine? Give us a call at 612.656.9306 or email us at