Intermittent fasting: a longer way of life
For many of us, the idea of having a toned, fit physique is appealing, but so too are generous helpings of our favorite foods. And there’s usually only one winner. But what if you could have the body without having to eradicate the treats? Well, with a combination of intermittent fasting and guided physical training, you can!
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (‘IF’) is the practice of eating at particular times of the day, with regular short-term fasting in between meals. Controlling your calorie intake in this way enables your metabolism to burn fat most effectively, particularly when under the guidance of a personal trainer, who can advise you on how to combine exercise with IF safely and effectively.
Can IF really be healthy?
It may seem like an extreme way to lose weight, but research is indicating that IF has some compelling health benefits, lowering the risk of developing common diseases and increasing life expectancy. It is also worth noting that IF has actually been going on far longer than you might think – certainly before it acquired its own name. People in years and years gone by had to survive on large meals with regular fasts in between, due to the fact that food was hard to come by. Previous generations were also more naturally active, without access to cars or public transport. These considerations add strength to the argument that intermittent fasting is good for human evolution and that our bodies actually perform better as a result of it.
The idea of working out on an empty stomach may sound ludicrous, but it can actually be effective: with your metabolism at its peak fat-burning capacity, you will burn more calories more quickly. However, it is important to ensure you do the right kinds of exercise if you are fasting or have recently eaten, in order to suit your goals and to ensure that you are exercising safely. For example, depending on whether you want to lose fat and generally slim down, or build muscle and overall strength, how you should approach IF and exercise will differ.
What IF you give it a go?
Unlike a lot of diets, IF only requires you to make minor changes to your eating habits and is easier to maintain over a long period of time. IF still allows you to eat what you want; the key is sticking to the scheduled times of eating (and not eating). Other benefits include the fact that you will be spending less money on groceries and less time in the kitchen. You will also be able to curb any emotional eating habits more easily and effectively.
Another great thing about IF is that there is no one way of doing it effectively. There are various types of fasts to try, depending on what suits your character and needs best. Give it a go – you are likely to feel much better for it!