What is interval fasting?
Interval fasting is a diet for weight loss and healing the body, consisting in a periodic refusal of food. The technique is based on the fact that the day is divided into two so-called windows - all meals per day are stacked in one of them, and in the second there is starvation. The duration of the windows can be different - 12/12, 10/14, 1/23 hours, however, the most common option is 16/8.
On the principle of interval fasting, a popular 16/8 diet is built, consisting in periodic abstinence from eating for 16 hours, followed by 8 hours when possible. According to the rules of the diet, it is necessary to refuse a late dinner and an early breakfast - in this case, most of the fasting period will be spent on sleep, and meals are distributed throughout the day.
The result of interval fasting is that by optimizing insulin secretion, conducting such “fasting days” makes the body less sensitive to carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, reduces the power of hunger and normalizes appetite. All this makes interval fasting an effective method of optimizing metabolism and metabolism.
The benefits of fasting for metabolism
Scientific studies suggest that the rate of disposal of the accumulated "debris" in the cells (in particular, from defective proteins and organelles) directly depends on the energy level in the body. When there is little energy and the cell is hungry, it destroys damaged or old proteins more intensely, making them a source of energy. Ultimately, it renews the body.
The main advantages of periodic fasting include improving the work of the cardiovascular system, normalizing blood pressure and normalizing blood sugar levels (which, in turn, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes ). In addition, one study showed that intermittent fasting reduces the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Interval fasting: the rules
The key rule of interval fasting is the periodic refusal of meals for several hours. As we already mentioned, the duration of these intervals is different - the most popular variations are given below. In this case, no fundamental restrictions on food or on the total calorie intake are usually required.
Types of interval fasting:
- 16/8 - regular alternation of 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours for meals. Most often, it means refusing a late dinner and refusing breakfast. Food can be consumed from noon to eight in the evening, the rest of the time only drinks are allowed.
- 14/10 - the regime of periodic fasting for beginners, 14 hours of hunger alternate with 10 hours when you can eat. Subject to this regimen, it is also recommended to control the glycemic index of foods and reject simple carbohydrates.
- 24/0 - a full fasting day. Unlike other schemes, this option of interval fasting is recommended to be used no more than once or twice a week. In addition, the first meal at the exit from the fasting day has a number of rules.
- 48/120 - two days of fasting, alternating with five days of regular food. The difference is that this regimen does not recommend complete starvation, but only a limitation of daily calories to a minimum of 500 kcal. Also not recommended for beginners.
Lingains (eng: "dry set") is a variation of interval fasting in 16/8 mode, suitable for bodybuilding and for practicing power sports. Like the regular 16/8 diet, lingains involves a daily combination of 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours that allow meals. This diet is considered one of the most effective for drying muscles.
The logic of the technique is based on the analysis of hormonal changes associated with periodic fasting. Strength training performed on an empty stomach and with low blood sugar leads to increased production of growth hormone and increased testosterone levels. Ultimately, this has a positive effect on both increasing muscle strength and burning subcutaneous fat.
Rules for training and nutrition for drying
In case you use the method of interval fasting 16/8 for drying, it is important to follow a number of rules. Firstly, it is necessary to take into account the daily caloric intake, reducing it by 500 kcal from the norm. Secondly, strength training is held in the afternoon, after the first meal (it should consist of meat, vegetables and a small fruit).
The main meal according to the lingains technique should be in the post-workout time and include an increased number of sources of complex carbohydrates (primarily cereals and starchy vegetables). In days free from training, calorie content is reduced by 25% from normal, and cardio is recommended to accelerate muscle drying processes. Strength training itself is based on the principles of the inverse pyramid.
Interval fasting reviews
Numerous reviews of the results of interval fasting indicate that regular refusal of food not only makes the body burn fat reserves, but also teaches the body to use internal resources more efficiently. As scientific studies show, on average, weight during periodic fasting decreases by 3–8% in 3–24 weeks³.
Experts believe that periodic fasting helps fight insulin resistance and normalize the production of saturation hormone and leptin hunger. Another advantage of this diet is that the lack of food in the stomach has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, allowing it to “relax” without food.
It must be remembered that interval fasting has a number of contraindications. It is not recommended for many chronic diseases - including after myocardial infarction, in the presence of cardiovascular insufficiency, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, type 1 diabetes, thyrotoxicosis, thrombophlebitis, tuberculosis and hypotension.
In addition, periodic fasting can exacerbate problems with the gall bladder, adrenal glands, stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer. In addition to the above, fasting is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Intensive starvation is allowed to elderly people exclusively under the supervision of a physician.
Interval fasting is a nutritional technique consisting in the periodic refusal of food. The most popular option is a 16/8 diet - in her case, alternate 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours for eating. The benefits of periodic fasting are both in updating the cells of the body and optimizing metabolism, as well as in losing weight or drawing muscle mass (“drying”).
- Intermittent Fasting 101 - The Ultimate Beginner's Guide, source
- Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems, source
- Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention, source