Intermittent Fasting: The Pro’s & Con’sPaul Iatomasi
Just another craze or fad in the diet/nutrition world is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is when you fast longer than the average person. With anything in life that is a little more extreme than the status quo, there are usually pro’s and con’s associated with it.
1) overall health: now this is only true if you don’t eat constantly once you break your fast. What I mean by this is simple: fasting gives your organs a break from breaking down food, digesting and absorbing. Now, if you are drinking plenty of water you may take more advantage of this. On the contrary, once the fast is broken some people eat too often in a very short time frame which does the opposite. In that regard the body and organs would be in super drive constantly trying to digest the food. So really this is only a good thing if someone eats every few hours after said fast.
2) Increase in Growth Hormone (GH): the longer you go without eating another benefit is the effect it could have on GH levels. Everyone’s genetic makeup is different but we are talking only a mild increase in GH , nothing crazy.
3) Insulin Sensitivity: insulin sensitivity is very important, but only if you’re eating the right sources. If you are eating whatever you want you could be the subject of fat gain. So be aware of what you’re eating.
1) Metabolism: this is referring to the window of time you are eating throughout a given day. So let’s say you eat your first meal when you wake up and let’s say you eat for a 14-15 hour window. Depending on your length of fast you’re talking 8-12 hours generally. Let’s say both people consume the same amount of macro nutrients. The fasted person’s metabolic rate would be slightly higher in a shorter period of time versus the other persons metabolic rate would be a little more moderate but would be longer lasting.
2) Insulin sensitivity: this is more of a positive, however like I stated earlier if you are eating carbs and having nonscheduled splurges then you are more apt to gaining fat than the average joe.
3) Muscle growth: The same analogy I referred to with metabolism, is the same way in this situation when It comes to staying in an anabolic state. You run a greater risk of being in a catabolic state for hours on end when not eating. This could make it more difficult to gain lean mass, especially if your body type is more ectomorphic (fast metabolism).
You can fast in two different ways. After waking having a prolonged fast (which most tend to do). Before bed, in which you would eat right upon waking but stopping earlier in the day before you sleep. Studies actually show that not eating a few hours before bed could not only help you get into a deeper sleep but also help with that GH release even more.