TO do “IF” or to not do “IF.” That is the question. Many of you may be wondering, what the heck is “IF?” Well, “IF” is short for intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a dieting method that refers to periods where you fast (don’t eat) and windows/periods when you do eat for example 16/8, 18/6, or 19/5. The first numbers stand for time in the fasted state and the second number stands for the eating window that you have. The method that I find the easiest to follow and extremely helpful in my daily life is the 16/8 method otherwise known as the lean gains method created by Martin Berkhan. With this 16 hour fast since it is on the shorter side of hours spent fasting frequency and consistency is much more realistic than the 24 hour or even 48 hour fasts. Now I know some of you may be shaking your heads thinking why would I want to starve myself for half the day? Trust me the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
There are many ways “IF” can be effective and helpful in ones daily life and no it isn’t just some diet fad. First off “IF” can be a very effective in reducing insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to reduced risks of type 2 diabetes. In a study done by the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine they found that the reduction of weight was roughly the same for the group who was strictly reducing calories compared to the fasting group, however, when they looked at the differences in the visceral fat mass, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance the fasting group showed considerable differences.
Another benefit to intermittent fasting is that it helps lower inflammatory markers. In scientific research done by The National Center for Biotechnology Information which is apart of the US national library of medicine and the National Institutes of Health were they compared a HFD (High Fat Diet) to a LFFD(low fat fasting diet) they found that the HFD blocked certain cytokines in the brain that would allow for reduced inflammation. However, they found that a LFFD promoted a number of cytokines that enhanced anti-inflammatory markers and reduced macrophage activation, which is an indication of the presence of inflammation. Even though this study was conducted in mice it still clearly presents the anti-inflammatory effects that fasting can have on the body.
Last, but certainly not least “IF” not only provides scientific benefits such as lowers inflammatory markers and risk of type two diabetes, but it also allows for a more freeing lifestyle! Gone are the days of being restricted to your 6 meals a-day style of thinking (no fasting does not mean you will lose your gains, that is simply bro science speaking). I for one used to be a slave to my eating schedule and often times would turn down going out with friends or family just because it wasn’t time to eat. However, with “IF” you no longer have to worry about food constantly! With the time you used to spend meal prepping or eating on a 6-meals-a-day schedule you could be doing something much more productive while using “IF.” Intermittent fasting is also great for those on the go in the mornings or who have hectic early schedules. Bottom line “IF” can make life a whole lot easier and freeing. I know it sounds to good to be true
DN, Lavin. “Fasting Induces an Anti-inflammatory Effect on the Neuroimmune System Which a High-fat Diet Prevents.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21527899>.