Intermittent fasting (IF) has gained insane popularity in recent years and thanks to social media you may see all sorts of ”magic” stories filling the internet.
Everyone from high level athletes to soccer mom’s claim to be seeing amazing results using intermittent fasting. With all the talk, it is hard to not jump on the IF train and take a ride.
So What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is fasting for a period of time daily (or weekly) and eating in a smaller window throughout the day. You fast for 16 hours (including sleep) and eat in the remaining 8-hour window. Compare this to the traditional eating styles of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between that most of us have become accustomed to.
I am sure we have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that eating breakfast will start your metabolism. While both sound great, in reality, neither of those ideas are necessary or true.
With fasting, you’ll hear all sorts of claims of what it does and how it works. While some are true, many are simply gimmicks and manipulative marketing tactics.
IF Works For 3 Reasons
- By fasting and eating in a limited window, it causes one to decrease their overall calorie intake and thus – they create a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is what actually causes fat loss. ANY diet or approach that causes fat loss works if you create a caloric deficit in some way, shape or form. How most diets create a caloric deficit will vary but it’s generally by one of the following
- Restricting foods or food groups (Think Keto)
- A strict meal plan that limits food choices (Clean Eating – also, what makes a food “clean” anyway?!)
- Swapping a shake for a meal (Think Herbalife)
- Portion control (Think Weight Watchers)
- It can help an individual feel like they’re not ”dieting” since it allows for larger meals in a smaller window of the day as opposed to a traditional way of dieting where one is often (but not always) hungry and feels deprived. This is great when you want to be social in the evening and enjoy a dinner out or some drinks. It’s also great for those that may typically be late night “snackers” or those that don’t like going to bed hungry.
- It can help with ones overall adherence to a plan and this, outside of the calorie deficit, is the biggest reason why IF works for many. The BEST plan and approach is and always will be the one that you can stick to forever.
Is Intermittent Fasting Magic?
Definitely not, sorry.
Can it work? Most definitely if you create a calorie deficit.
Schedule and lifestyle are some of the factors that ultimately dictate adherence and consistency as well as one’s mental state. If you can stick to the plan you’re more likely to have sustainable lasting long term success.
Hope this helped!