There are many standards out there about what we should eat, when we should eat it, and why. We all know the “breakfast is the most important meal” line. Maybe you have heard carbohydrates are important in the morning for your brain, while you probably know protein is essential after a workout. Throughout history, we have seen tons of eating methods such as the low-carb diet, and more recently, the vegan approach. We have seen these trends turn into brands like SlimFast and Atkins. Based on research and on years of experience as a fitness professional, I believe the underlying truth is that many of us lack self-control when it comes to proper nutrition. Let’s take a look at a style of eating that is trending in the fitness industry as of late, called Intermittent Fasting.
In today’s culture, there is a “want it now, have it now” mentality and we have let it creep into the way we treat our bodies. We want to eat whatever we think we are hungry for, and as a result, there is no order to the way we are feeding our bodies. Luckily with Intermittent Fasting, the diet is built on a foundation of order. There is a period of fasting and a period of non-fasting. Typically, the fasting period is around 16 hours (including time sleeping) and the eating window is around 8 hours. The fasting period includes no food, only water, tea, or black coffee. The individual may choose the hours for the fasting and non-fasting periods. However, the chosen hours remain the same for each day and do not change. It is simple, but not easy. To condition the body to operate in this cycle of eating and fasting takes discipline which yields self-control. Along with behavioral changes, Intermittent fasting also offers scientifically proven health benefits. According to HealthLine, intermittent fasting increases growth hormone, improves insulin sensitivity, promotes cellular repair, and causes changes in gene expressions which protects against disease. The changes in hormones may increase metabolism while a fewer caloric intake causes weight loss. HealthLine also reports that animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer and extend lifespan. It also improves brain health by increasing a brain hormone called BDNF. With fast-food restaurants on every corner and food apps that make food available at the click of a button, the intermittent fasting method is sounding like a pretty good idea to try for at least a week or so. Who knows, maybe it’ll allow us to gain control over our health.
In conclusion, Intermittent Fasting is worth considering for those who are looking to improve their health.
Not only does this method have many proven health benefits, but it also offers something you can’t buy; discipline. Order (which many of us lack in our eating habits) is practically built in with the fasting and non-fasting periods. Self-control will be birthed in order to stay consistent in the fasting window. Intermittent fasting is growing rapidly among the community of exercisers. My recommendation is to check it out. Do some research and decide if trying it out is right for you! What is there to lose? In my opinion, it is a trend worth trying.