Breakfast is the most important meal of the deal right? How could you possibly not eat anything for 16 hours of the day? Man I’d be so hungry…?
Yes when you first encounter the idea of Intermittent Fasting it sounds kinda crazy when most of us have been bought up being told the opposite. Three meals a day, or even 5 small meals throughout the day are not uncommon approaches, especially when training.
To accept the idea of Fasting you must first understand the science of it!
Humans have been on the planet for 6M years, and civilised as we know it for the last 200,000 years. The diet we have been conditioned to eat by society hasn’t even existed for 2,000 years – its modern, and what science has learned is that our bodies can not only cope but can actually perform better if we fuel them in a different pattern.
Fed State: As you feed and for the 3-5 hours that follows as you digest, your body produces insulin and its actually very hard for it to run on another food source that it is quite capable of using and instead it stores it – we’re talking about fats here.
Post-Absorption and Fasted state: From around 8-12 hours after eating, your body regulates its insulin levels as the digestion phases completes. At around 12 hours our body can enter a fasted state and it is conditioned to look for energy source to continue to run at its most optimal. During this phase the body is very efficient at burning fat as a food source and if you can shake off a few belly grumbles you’ll realise you operate as normal.
Changing Nutritional Behaviour
Intermittent Fasting can be introduced in a number of ways, we’ve seen the rise of eating patterns like choosing an 6-8 hour period to eat your 2 main meals, 5/2 diet when two days are under 500 calories and no food after 4pm approaches.
Personally, I advocate for simplicity and changing behaviour into something routine. Eating two good nutritious meals at lunch and dinner time allows you to essentially fast between 6-7pm and the following 12 noon – essentially fasting for 16-18 hours through the night and following morning. During this time you can consume water and warm beverages, so Tea/Coffee remains your best friend during those morning hours.
So the day looks a bit like this:
0700: Wake up, and consumer a pint of cold fresh water and brew a good coffee
0800: Workout, you ate last night and just had coffee, you’ll be surprised how easy this is
0900-1200: Water, during this time consumer plenty of water
1200-1300: Finally it Lunch Time! Bear in mind that you’ll want to consume about 40% of your days calories now. It’s important to not fly straight to starchy carbs and sugar.
1500: Snack, allow yourself a healthy snack
18:00: Dinner time, hear you’ll have your main meal of the day and consumer the other 50% of today’s calories
After about a week of this routine, we’ve certainly seen people start to feel more comfortable with it. Personally I’ve started to really enjoy my morning coffee and really find that making this an enjoyable ritual with good coffee makes the lack of breakfast far less of an issue.
Intermittent Fasting is not all about losing weight
Remember that Intermittent fasting is not about losing weight, you’ll lose weight through managing a calorie deficit and fasting can help you achieve this – but many people use Intermittent fasting as a way of life and reap the benefits of better health and enhanced cognitive function.
Have you read about the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?