by CardioNinja.com – Thinking about trying intermittent fasting for fat loss? It’s an incredibly effective diet when done properly and introduces built in discipline and structure to help you shed a few pounds.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent is a diet plan that separates your entire day into two large blocks of time. One block lasting 12-16 hours is the fasting period. During this phase you aren’t allowed to consume food, or beverages with a lot of calories.
This is followed by your eating time frame, lasting 8-12 hours depending on the schedule you choose. You consume all of your daily calories in this time frame. The longer your fast, the shorter your time to eat all your calories.
This can be a huge advantage because it means your meals are going to be huge leaving you feeling satisfied and less likely to binge between meals.
Fasting for 16 consecutive hours is considered an extreme fast, and most people will successfully complete a 12-14 hour fast without much of a problem. The main benefit of the diet is the built in structure and discipline it provides.
You’re given a well defined eating schedule, down to the minute, telling you when to eat and when to wait. This basic structure is often enough to help you maintain diet discipline and stay within your allotted calories for the day.
There’s more to intermittent fasting than just structure though. There is science and proven benefits of short term fasting. This fasted state has shown to significantly boost your natural growth hormone which aides in muscle growth and lean muscle mass.
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If your goal is mainly fat loss, one of the best times to exercise will be on an empty stomach. When there isn’t any food digesting in your stomach your body will need to break down body fat to use as energy.
There are some drawbacks to fasted workouts, however. Trying to exercise when you haven’t eaten an ounce of solid food in the previous 12 hours can prove incredibly challenging. That’s why it’s most beneficial for fat loss, and not necessarily for strength gains.
What To Eat
Intermittent fasting tells you when to eat, and some have guidelines for how much you should eat but deciding WHAT to eat is entirely up to the individual. For instance you know that low carb means you eat mostly meat, and Paleo means that you eat mostly organic.
What about intermittent fasting? There isn’t a food discipline attached to it. It’s most often combined with another form of diet to fit within the fasting structure.
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Here’s a quick list of supplements that can help you get the most fat loss while on an intermittent fasting diet:
Caffeine – This supplement can boost your metabolism by as much as 10-15%. It’s also a valuable tool while fasting because it can suppress your appetite until your fasting period ends.
Yohimbe – This pre-workout supplement is only effective when your insulin levels are low, making it ideal to use with a fasted workout. It lowers fat cells resistance to being mobilized and helps tackle your stubborn fat areas.
BCAAs – If you’re going to be doing some fasted workouts, you’ll want to supplement with BCAAs. While your body is likely to break down fat cells without food digesting for energy it can also cannibalize your muscle tissue. BCAAs aide in the preservation in muscle tissue during workouts.
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