Fitness, weight control, and general appearance have become almost like an obsession for many people worldwide. We all aim to look our best either for health or personal reasons. Further, fitness is one approach that allows me to look and feel confident. While we all want to look good, the fitness journey is characterized by myths, concerns, and recommendations that can be quite intimidating and confusing for those looking to embark on this journey. Notably, intermittent fasting has been a recent trend in the fitness world. Over the years, I have witnessed many people take up intermittent fasting to lose weight and control portions consumed. As a technique that has been adopted by many fitness enthusiasts and taken over the industry, we are interested in understanding what it entails. How does it work? How does it help us achieve our fitness goals? Here is everything we need to know about the importance of intermittent fasting in the fitness journey.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that revolves around the short term and regular fasts or limited or no food ingestion sessions. With intermittent fasting, foods that should be consumed are not dictated but rather when we can eat them. Essentially, intermittent fasting is not a diet plan but just a guided eating pattern. The theory behind this technique is that it will reduce our appetite by slowing down the body’s metabolism.
With intermittent fasting, we have the liberty of choosing what works and what we deem as comfortable. There are a variety of methods that we can use to achieve our intended objectives. For instance, the most popular methods include the 16/8 approach, 5:2 diet plan, eat stop eat technique, the warrior diet, and alternate-day fast. We are spoiled for choice, but the trick is identifying the method that best works since they can all be efficient.
How Intermittent Fasting Aids in the Fitness Journey
Weight Loss and Reduced Calories
Evidently, losing weight is a key concern in any fitness process. Intermittent fasting helps us lose weight since we get to limit calorie intake. As we eat, our bodies tend to store glycogen as a form of energy resource in our liver. During the fasting period, with low-calorie consumption, glycogen will be exhausted since the body does not restore it. In this case, the body needs to find an alternative energy source, and hence initiates the ketosis process. This is when our body is converting the fat into ketones, which is then converted to energy. The loss of weight and waist circumference reduction is because as we limit calorie intake, our body utilizes the fat reserves to generate energy.
Maintaining Muscle Mass
I know how frustrating it can get when we start to lose muscle mass. Intermittent fasting is considered beneficial in helping us maintain our muscles while we lose body fat. It is an ideal way to burn fat and maintain and build muscle as we exercise. Our bodies will produce more human growth hormone and testosterone during the fast period while dealing with insulin resistance. This combination alone will help us maintain and build more muscle, increase the recovery period, and maintain our gains. We may lose some muscle mass during fasting. This is why we need to put a little effort into ensuring we still exercise and stay fit because, with intermittent fasting, it is possible to maintain muscle mass.
We cannot underestimate the importance of eating healthy before and during the course of our fitness journey. Even as we fast, we need to ensure that our food portions accommodate the different food groups. With intermittent fasting, we get to enjoy the simplicity that comes with the entire process. Also, intermittent fasting allows us to stay disciplined in our quest for a healthy lifestyle. The best dietary plan is one that allows us to achieve both shortterm and longterm goals. In this case, intermittent fasting is our best bet at staying consistent based on our long health desires and weight management goals.