There are so many different ways to combat the struggle of dieting, weig
ht loss, muscle gain, weight maintenance, and everything in-between when it comes to your fitness.
How are we to know which is the best and what actually works?
Well... by utilizing the resources you have and trial and error of course!
Not every diet, fat loss plan, juice cleanse, fast, exercise program, or rehabilitation protocol is going to work for everyone. People have different life styles, different needs, different levels of comfort, will power, oh and of course bodies.
There are a few things we know for certain however...
1) Being in a caloric deficit at the end of the day WILL allow you to lose weight.
2) Being in a caloric surplus at the end of the day WILL allow you to gain weight.
3) Resistance training 2-3 days per week coupled with sound nutrition and rest WILL allow you to put on lean muscle mass.
The following is a quick beginners guide to one of the ways you can lose body fat, while maintaining or even gaining muscle mass if it fits with your lifestyle.
Intermittent fasting is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It is NOT a diet as there are no specific food restrictions, but rather when you should eat them.
The most common form of intermittent fasting is a daily 16 hour fasting period with an 8 hour feeding period.
For example eating from 12:00PM - 8:00PM and fasting from 8:00PM - 12:00PM.
What are the benefits of doing such a thing?
Well, here is what the research has found.
1) Intermittent fasting can increase human growth hormone, reduce insulin levels (which leads to increased fat loss), and also change gene expression and our cellular repair process.
2) Intermittent fasting can increase our bodies metabolism while also creating a longer lasting satiating response (our feeling of fullness) which leads to less calories consumed throughout the day, leading to calorie deficit, and increased fat loss.
3) It has been shown in some studies that intermittent fasting can provide our bodies and brain with many lasting benefits as well as reduce our risk for type II diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
4) Intermittent fasting can simplify our lifestyle by reducing the amount of meals we cook, the time spent prepping and eating, as well as clean up and travel time associated with eating 4-5 meals per day.
Nutritional information is constantly changing. At the end of the day there is no one right answer for the best way to lose fat, build muscle, and increase longevity and overall health however some techniques are better suited for certain people.
By no means am I advocating for intermittent fasting as being the be all end all of sound nutritional practices. I myself can not do this because I need to eat breakfast to ensure I have enough energy to be proficient in my craft throughout the morning hours.
Some of us are not big breakfast eaters and this may be right for you!
The more you know the better suited you'll be to make the decisions necessary for your personal success.