BACK

The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting

July 31, 2021

In this article, we're going to look at something we've been hearing a lot about from the many people who attend BLK BOX's personal training studio and gym in Richmond, BC. Intermittent fasting is quickly becoming a popular option for all sorts of fitness enthusiasts. You can use it as a convenient way to lose weight, but there's also evidence out there that suggests it can make you healthier. Looking to learn more? Read on for our ultimate guide to intermittent fasting.

 

How does intermittent fasting work?

Well, first of all, intermittent fasting is not a diet. It's more of a template for the way you eat, based on the times of the day or even the days you eat and don't eat. This method contains zero guidelines for the actual foods you consume. Instead, you just undertake to go for periods without eating. You can drink water, tea, or even coffee – it's more about limiting when you eat food.

For the health and fitness-conscious out there, intermittent fasting is a viable way to regulate what you eat because it doesn't prohibit the rest of their weekly regime. For instance, you can take supplements (as long as you select products you don't need to eat with), and you can still hit the gym, work out, and exercise when you're fasting for shorter periods.

Fasting isn't exactly a new thing – it's part of practicing many different forms of religion, and for various other reasons, humans have been going through periods of fasting for as long as they've been around – which means most of us are quite capable of going a while without food. Yet, this is probably the first time health and fitness fanatics have used fasting to achieve goals – and this is how that works.

 

How to use intermittent fasting

Different folks feel comfortable with various things, and the good news is that there's a lot of scope to tailor an intermittent fasting plan to your personal preferences. Incidentally – one of the most frequent fasting questions we hear down at BLK BOX's private gym in Richmond, BC, is connected with metabolism and whether intermittent periods without eating will slow that down. The answer is that the consensus is you would need to abstain from eating for at least a few days straight for that to happen.

 

Here's a quick breakdown of a few of the fasting methods you can try:

·       16/8 fasting: is one of the easiest ways to get into the practice. It's a daily routine where you split each 24-hours into two portions. One where you can eat (that's the eight hours) and one where you fast (that goes for the other sixteen hours).

·       Alternate-day fasting: is when you fast for the full 24 hours every second day. This one is a little more hardcore than the 16/8 method, and those lean days will be harder to get through for some than for others – so it's not for everyone out there.

·       48-hour fasting: is for the even more serious. It means regularly eating for five days of the week and fasting for two days straight. Many people say this is a more beneficial way to fast than other methods because your body goes through an extended period without food.

What does intermittent fasting do to your body?

Intermittent fasting affects you in a few different ways. Depriving yourself of food causes hormonal changes that make it easier to burn fat reserves. It also reduces insulin levels and puts your genetic system into cell repair mode.

If you're interested in weight loss, intermittent fasting only works when you don't binge during non-fasting periods – no matter which method you use. That's because it promotes a reduction in calories – do it right, and you'll basically be eating fewer meals each week.

It's worth mentioning here that if you're a competitive bodybuilder or you're trying to bulk up or build muscle, intermittent fasting might not be for you.

Here at the personal training studio, we also strongly recommend that you talk with your doctor first before you try intermittent fasting – and that's particularly important if any of the following applies to you:

·       You're already underweight or have a diagnosed eating disorder.

·       You're breastfeeding.

·       You're diabetic or have low blood pressure.

·       You're trying to get pregnant or have fertility problems.

 

Personal trainer in Richmond, BC: Getting started with intermittent fasting

If you're interested in making intermittent fasting a part of your own fitness plan, the best way to do that is to come down and see us at BLK BOX and discuss your goals. Our team can help you with a broader nutritional strategy and advise you about calorific intake based on your unique profile and needs.

Many of the people who attend our personal training studio here in Richmond, BC, gradually integrate intermittent fasting, starting with 16/8 and working their way up from there if things go well.

Written by

Ken Lu

Ken has a Bachelor's Degree of Psychology from the University of British Columbia, specializing in Sport Psychology. As well as being a Certified Personal Trainer, Ken is also a Movement & Mobility Specialist, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has trained for and won the 2018 NPAA BC Men's Physique Championship.