Is intermittent fasting just a fad or is it really worth it?
There is a theme for which I became more popular on my journey, most likely because it is something completely outside of what is generally recommended and what we always hear about.
A few years ago, about 4-5 years ago, I heard about a protocol called IF, which means Intermittent Fasting, or in Portuguese, Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting basically consists of a protocol in which we eat our meals for a certain period of time, for example 8 am, and the rest of the day we eat nothing, that is, we do a period of fasting.
This topic aroused my interest for the most diverse reasons, namely for the wonders that it made possible, notably:
- Eat a lot at each meal
- Eat what you wanted after your workout
- Grow and dry at the same time
Of course it was a misinterpretation of my reality, as I was looking again a magic formula that doesn't exist.
This protocol has been more and more famous over time, however, discredit it whenever you hear things like this:
- "Calories don't count as long as you eat within an 8 hour time window!"
- “Your body will assimilate all the garbage you eat after training, because it will transform everything into muscle and not fat!”
Although IF is a protocol that I have applied to a lot of people I have worked with and used, even with myself, for many years, I conclude the following: there is no diet in which the hourly window overlaps in any way the total daily caloric intake or the respective division of macronutrients.
In this sense, the basis of any diet must pass through an appropriate caloric intake, with the macronutrients properly adjusted.
In my particular case, I used the IF, with an 8-hour time window in which I ingested the calories and was daily 16h without eating. This why?
- It is much easier to prepare fewer meals
- It is easier to count macros, being more coherent and accurate
- We easily learn to control our appetite and feel enormous satiety after large meals
- Theoretically, some studies support that it would be an effective way to burn more stubborn fat. This will only apply to people with very low fat percentages (<10%)
Large meals vs Small meals
Why do I prefer to put people with bigger meals?
It is a matter of playing with the daily budget.
People with less calories (possibly in the cut phase) usually benefit, from a psychological point of view, by eating larger meals.
What about simplicity?
Most people will have a hard time following the 8-meal-a-day bro-bodybuilding style. More difficult will be to stick to 3-4 meals a day, trying to hit the same number of calories, with the same results (at least).
Deep down, what most shocks people is avoiding one meal a day, breakfast.
But really, is this meal really that important?
Let us make a small analogy.
Breakfast in English is called "breakfast", break means break and fast means fasting. In this sense, breakfast is the meal that breaks the overnight fast, that is, this protocol only extends the fast, making the first meal at lunchtime.
The number of meals per day, or the time at which they are eaten, does not have a beneficial effect on the final result with regard to the level of body composition.
Therefore, try to use your personal preference for this purpose.
Create a routine that suits your life and that allows you to use the caloric intake appropriate to your goals, without living stuck for hours or restricted numbers.
In my particular case, I live well with two meals a day, but I don't blame anyone who has to divide them into four or five, as long as that division allows you to maintain rigor and precision.
In short, is this protocol worth it?
It is not a magic formula, but in many cases, it is a great asset to achieve your goals without unnecessary sacrifices, and achieve excellent results.
Finally, here are some interesting studies related to the topic.
This study makes a comparison between one meal a day and three meals a day.
Individuals who consumed only one meal a day had a decrease in fat mass and cortisol.
This study concludes that having seven meals does not increase metabolism compared to having two meals a day.
This study shows that there are no significant differences in fat loss between 3 meals a day and 6 meals a day.
This study shows that the frequency of meals does not increase metabolism.
Two meals compared to six meals, again without major differences.
Article written by Team Sik Nutrition
[author image=”https://ginasiovirtual.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/logo-sik.jpg” ]Team Sik Nutrition, is a recent group of people passionate about the world of Fitness. The Team's focus is to guide, educate and motivate those interested in achieving their health and fitness/performance goals. All this sharing is based on scientific facts and the experience of the Team members.
The CEO of Team Sik Nutrition, is João Gonçalves. Amateur powerlifter, passionate about Fitness and writing articles.