Should You Be Incorporating Intermittent Fasting?

Guest post by Sam Paparo

Sam

I have been asked about this multiple times and this is a subject I would like to address.

What is Fasting?

When you are in a fasted state your insulin levels are stable and at its lowest point.  This is considered to be a post-absorbtaive state. You are not eating, digesting or absorbing any kind of food. When you consume food your insulin levels are elevated, which is considered to be a fed state.  Intermittent fasting focuses on being in that post-absorbtive and instead of consuming and disgusting food for 13-14 hours a day in a fed state, your body spends about 8 hours a day in the fed state.  The rest of those 16 hours is send in the post-absorbtive state.

Can this actually have a benefit on on my health and fitness goals?

I consider intermittent fasting to be another one of the popular diet fads.  There’s paleo, gluten free, low carb, no carb, etc.  It does have some positive benefits. It can reduce inflammation in the body and elevate growth hormone levels in the body.  It can improve insulin sensitivity in the short term if you need you do not have stabilized insulin levels currently.  It gives your body a chance to reset itself and allows your body to reduce oxidative stress and repair certain areas without having to concentrate on digesting the food being consumed.

Is this right for me?

If you’re exercising regularly and following a health diet, this may not be necessary for you.  I recommend this to people who are obese or who do not practice good eating habits.  This method of dieting can be used as a kick starter to get the body ready to begin a healthy eating program.  Exercise is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body.  It can help compensate for most of dietary mistakes we sometimes make.

Can this go too far?

Yes.  If you are practicing intermittent fasting for too long of a period of time and doing lots of cardio, you can lose a significant amount of muscle mass.  If you’re trying to strip excess fat, I prefer being in a caloric deficit and consuming calories throughout the day instead of going long period of being in the post-absorbtaive state.  I think following this type of way of eating for too long can lead to increased cravings and a greater chance of binging or veering off the diet.  If you go too long without eating, it can actually LOWER your basal metabolic rate.  I see more often than not people working out and doing cardio in a fasted state, but when it comes down to it, your burning calories whether you’re in a fed or fasted state.  It leads to severe muscle breakdowns because the body can not build and repair itself when it is grabbing from amino acids for energy instead of carbs.

Bottom line, there isn’t any amount of supplementation that can dramatically change your current physique in a short period of time.  If you have extra fat to lose, you need to be in a calorie deficit and following a meal program that matches a macronutrient breakdown that suits your goals. It’s about creating a LIFESTYLE that works for YOU.  What one person does, may not be the best for the other person.

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