Intermittent Fasting is more than a fad – it’s a health and wellness trend that has been growing over the last decade and it’s not going anywhere fast.
Often referred to as I.F., it’s the process of not eating for larger portions of the day and night to improve health, reduce weight and simplify lifestyle, put simply, this is a fasting diet regime that focuses on when you eat, not only what you eat.
In 2019, we wrote an article about this trend and offered solutions to those looking to adopt I.F. for themselves. From beginner level 14 to 16-hour fasts all the way up to the most intense version of Eat-Stop-Eat, where fasting is undertaken for a full 24-hours once or twice a week.
You can find out more about the different types of I.F. and how to better regulate your body’s sugar levels by reading our blog on Intermittent Fasting here.
It’s Not Just for Those in the Know
Given the busy lifestyles that the modern world creates, many of us are inadvertently fasting for many hours of the day. Accidental intermittent fasting is more common than you think, which is both good and bad.
It’s true that intermittent fasting can improve metabolic function, stave off certain diseases, and may even extend lifespan, and in whichever form, fasting activates a process called autophagy whereby cells get rid of waste material, regulate unnecessary processes and undergo repair.
Fasting also allows your body to use the stored glycogen in your muscles and taps into body fat for extra energy.
If you regularly skip breakfast or eat your dinner early in the evening, chances are you’re already practising I.F. in some form, although skipping breakfast on a regular basis just for convenience is not recommended.
If you eat dinner around 6 pm and push breakfast to 9 am, you’re already doing a full 12 to 15-hour fast without noticing and undoubtedly you will start your day feeling lighter and less sluggish and hopefully more energized in the short term.
The Truth About Intermittent Fasting
In 2019, after our blog was published, I.F. was declared as the most Googled eating practice on the planet. As a result, more clinical trials were conducted to see if this lived up to the hype. One of the most rigorous trials on intermittent fasting tracked 116 obese and overweight individuals over three months to see if the weight-loss claims were true.
Sadly, they discovered that time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting alone did not help people lose weight any more than eating three healthy meals a day. Instead, it had an unintended side effect: the loss of lean muscle.
These findings were so shocking, one of the authors and avid-I.F. practitioners for the last seven years immediately gave up.
For those of us who accidentally practice intermittent fasting due to our lifestyles but practice little else in the way of staying healthy and active, there’s a chance you’re doing more harm than good without even knowing it.
I.F. alone (accidental or not) is not enough to help you lose weight or keep you healthy. It should always be paired with regular exercise, eating healthy and living well. In all things health-related the key is, of course, balance and learning to understand and listen to your own body.
When it comes to periodic fasting, the old adage “everything in moderation” is key. At GOCO Hospitality, we say “I.F.” is good overall, but if your main goal is to lose weight, best to pair it with other healthy lifestyle practices that bolster your chances of remaining at your peak. If you’re doing it by accident, great, but be sure to keep your body active and in good shape to avoid a reduction in lean muscle mass.