ABSOLUTELY! I have personally used intermittent fasting (IF) into my flexible dieting (FD) plan, especially on vacations, cookouts, and other social events that may involve social drinking and enjoying yummy foods. Intermittent fasting has it’s positives and negatives (or at least I think so) but it depends on the individual’s lifestyle and daily routine – again, it’s all about maintaining MINDFULNESS and ADHERENCE and holding yourself ACCOUNTABLE to the process to reach your long-term goals. Here’s some research that I’ve gathered about the concept of IF and how one may use it…
What is IF?
Intermittent fasting is a type of approach to consuming calories over certain time periods. There is a “fasting” window that is considered somewhere between 12-16 hours [or even 16-20 hours] of no intake of food; in turn, this creates an 8-10 hour [or 4-8 hour] “feeding” window to consume your food for the day or in one to two meals.¹²³
What’s the positives/negatives of IF?
Research is still ongoing to determining the positives and negatives of IF at this time. It more soundly comes down to personal preference and how one incorporates this approach into their daily routine. Here’s some positives/negatives that IF may have:
- Can be utilized at any time period
- Can aid in fat loss and decreases in chronic disease progressions
- Can be useful when planning vacations, outings, and social events
- Can be cycled (i.e. one day on:two/three days off)
- Can create improved adherence/lifestyle changes
- Can potentially create “uncontrolled” binges
- Too long of restrictive eating window(s)
- Not optimal for building muscle mass
- Increase in hunger responses
- Possibility of sensation of increased “bloat” discomfort
Is IF for me?
It all depends on your lifestyle! I have utilized IF within my daily nutrition plan, especially when going on vacations, training on weekends, and social events. In all, it doesn’t matter if you use IF or space out your meals each day for certain time periods – because at the end of the day, it matters if you hit your daily macronutrient goals or not. “Garbage in – garbage out”. Per research by Varady and Hellerstein (2007), “a key point about the IF approach is that overall calorie intake need not be limited; instead, the frequency of food consumption is altered”.¹
What’s the research behind IF?
I ran over this comment from Dr. Layne Norton from one of his articles he wrote for Bodybuilding.com (Facts About Intermittent Fasting):
“The most important factor for long-term success in dieting isn’t when you eat; it’s ADHERENCE. That’s right: People don’t fail diets because they don’t have the perfect meal frequency, food sources, or magical voodoo cleanse; they fail diets because they simply cannot stick to them“.²
Wow! That’s a bold statement – and a true one in fact! As reiterated from Dr. Norton’s article, we must develop a proper adherence to a “diet” plan in order to be successful, making those strides toward your long-term goals. So back to the main question of this post: Can IF be utilized in my FD plan? – YES! Personal preference and developing your own ways to create consistency and long-term adherence will aid in developing healthy habits to maintaining your health as a priority.
In conclusion, if you want or see a need to utilize IF within your lifestyle, then DO IT! There’s no right or wrong answer – just remember to stay consistent and maintain your ADHERENCE to your nutrition plan. Happy eating! #teambullseyenutrition
Varady, K. A., & Hellerstein, M. K. (2007). Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: A review of human and animal trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved August 1, 2016, from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full.
Norton, L. (2016, July 22). The Facts About Intermittent Fasting, Fat Loss, and Muscle Growth. Retrieved August 1, 2016, from http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-facts-about-intermittent-fasting-fat-loss-and-muscle-growth.html
Johnstone, A. (2014, December 26). Fasting for weight loss: An effective strategy or latest dieting trend? International Journal of Obesity. Retrieved August 1, 2016, from http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v39/n5/full/ijo2014214a.html.