The foundations of “traditional” dietetics suggest losing weight by also taking advantage of the specific dynamic action of food (ADS), or the energy expenditure because of digestive absorption and metabolic processes.
With the same number of calories introduced, increasing the division of meals, it is possible to burn more energy to process them. This allows to reduce the time frames “on an empty stomach” avoiding the “hunger” and keeping the metabolism faster.
Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones
Some argue that this practice also promotes the containment of an unwanted hormone, cortisol (also called “stress hormone”) and the maintenance of thyroid function (TSH and T3). Obviously, this system works as long as the caloric amount, the nutritional breakdown and the glycemic index loads of the meals are appropriate.
In muscle growth, it is (or was) common opinion that to promote anabolism it was necessary to “feed” (and “as much as possible” continuously, avoiding running into the increase in fat) the muscle cells, to cancel any form of catabolism and promote photosynthesis, ESPECIALLY thanks to the insulin stimulus.
And yet, today someone is contesting!
What is Intermittent Fasting
Recently, an opposite weight loss system has been proposed (in “thousand sauces”) which, according to rumours, produces excellent results: intermittent fasting.
This principle is already heavily inflated and, to tell the truth, rather confusing. We move from the “caveman’s diet”, which involves a huge binge with one or two days of fasting, to the more reasoned “16/8 system” (where 16 are the fasting hours and 8 hours are those in which 2 or 3 meals are consumed).
The cardinal principle of intermittent fasting is to create a “window” (time frame) of fasting with a duration that affects the overall calorie balance and hormonal metabolism.
How does it work
It seems that in conditions of food abstinence, in addition to a total insulin calm (remember that insulin is the anabolic hormone par excellence but also responsible for the adipose deposit) there is a significant increase in another rather “interesting” hormone: l IGF-1 or somatomedin (some even mention an increase in testosterone).
Long food deprivation is then responsible for the secretion of GH (somatotropin), also called “growth hormone” or, more sympathetically, “wellness hormone”. Unlike insulin, GH, although increasing hypertrophy, does not determine an adipose deposit, but the opposite! That is, it promotes the lipolysis necessary for weight loss. In practice, GH improves body composition “in the round”.
In body-building, to increase muscles and decrease fat, it is essential to periodide the diet and training pursuing distinctly first one and then the other goal; today, since intermittent fasting leads to an improvement in body composition bilaterally (due to increased muscle mass and weight loss) it seems to be the only and true solution to all problems.
Without totally citing bibliographic sources of doubtful reliability (and seriousness), I will describe below the most interesting and undoubtedly best spot variant I could read (and I apologise to the author for not having mentioned it but, in the absence of official data, I preferred to remain vague).
First of all, I stress that:
Although the fasting window is used, the remaining meals CANNOT be eaten freely; in addition to maximise weight loss results (and obviously those of increasing muscle mass) it is always NECESSARY to carry out the right physical activity.
The protocol differs in 3 daily meals and 1 training session with a fasting window of 16 hours.
- 1st meal to be eaten as soon as you get up: protein source and medium-low glycemic index carbohydrates; low fat
- 2nd meal – breakfast: complete
- Training (bodybuilding or otherwise high intensity training)
- 3rd meal (to be done IMMEDIATELY after training) – lunch: complete
- Fasting window from 13:00 or 15:00 until the following morning.
Obviously the system can be adapted to the subject’s lifestyle, but I believe that this is the best.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Fat loss is great, but it isn’t the only benefit of fasting.
Intermittent fasting makes your day simpler.
I’m big on behaviour change, simplicity, and reducing stress. Intermittent fasting provides additional simplicity to my life that I really enjoy. When I wake up, I don’t worry about breakfast. I just grab a glass of water and start my day.
I enjoy eating and I don’t mind cooking, so eating three meals a day was never a hassle for me. However, intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and I like that.
Intermittent fasting helps you live longer.
Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.
There’s just one problem: who wants to starve themselves in the name of living longer?
I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in enjoying a long life. Starving myself doesn’t sound that appetising.
The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. You get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
Intermittent fasting is much easier than dieting.
The reason most diets fail isn’t because we switch to the wrong foods, it’s because we don’t follow the diet over the long term. It’s not a nutrition problem, it’s a behaviour change problem.
This is where intermittent fasting shines because it’s remarkably easy to implement once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time.
Dr Michael Eades, who has tried intermittent fasting himself, on the difference between trying a diet and trying intermittent fasting said:
“Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite ” it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution.
Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low-carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low-fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. all of which sound appealing.
But were I to embark on such a low-fat diet, I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long-term execution.
Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. You go without food for 24 hours?? people would ask incredulously when we explained what we were doing. I could never do that.? But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not hungry.? Although it’s tough to overcome going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.?
” Dr Michael Eades