Intermittent fasting is a hot topic lately. Lucky for me, (and you because you can live vicariously through me) I rub elbows with the best in the fitness industry and I can chat up pretty much anyone I want to. Recently, when I was in Las Vegas for a fitness meeting, I sat down with my good friend John Romaniello who happens to be an expert on intermittent fasting.
Nutrition can be a controversial subject and it was clear that Roman and I had differing opinions. As most of you know, I’m a pretty regimented eater, for me I’m a big believer in eating six meals a day: low glycemic carbs, lean protein, portion control, never getting too full or ever feeling hungry. And as you know, your nutrition is really important for performance for your challenge workouts. The less flub around your belly, the more pull ups and other fun stuff you’ll be able to do.
So when it came to intermittent fasting, Roman had a lot of convincing to do to bring me to the dark side….
I trust Roman, I mean look at him: he’s the picture of health, lean muscle (oh la la – Oh, did I say that out loud?). In any case, he’s as knowledgeable as he is good looking, so, I figured I should be open minded and hear him out.
Traditionally we’ve been told six meals a day are the best way to keep the metabolic fires burning. Intermittent fasting takes the same principals of healthy eating but breaks the “old rules” and frees people. Experts, Roman included, say you don’t really need to eat six times a day and you can get the same benefits from eating 2-3 meals a day.
Wow, would that ever help free up prep time and make things less complicated.
Intermittent fasting, simply put is abstaining from food for various periods of time. We do this already at night and it’s why our first meal is called ‘breakfast’, or ‘break the fast’. With intermittent fasting we’re looking to expand that fasting window anywhere from 16-36 hours. Lots of experts have different views on how to do this. They all agree that there are many hormonal benefits to intermittent fasting. Research shows that not only is there an increase in growth hormone with intermittent fasting, but also the less frequently you eat the less often you are going to experience an insulin response. The more often you have an insulin spike, the more likely you are to become insulin resistant or have increased insulin sensitivity. For fat loss especially, insulin sensitivity is no beuno. These are just two of the benefits of eating less frequently with intermittent fasting.
Roman told me how for years he struggled to try to balance work, training, school, meal prep, meal time and so on. Intermittent fasting has freed him from being tied to Tupperware containers and has allowed him to really enjoy the food he eats. He sees the same great results but without rigid structure. Intermittent fasting has even allowed him some cheat days
If you struggle with the rigid structure of eating six meals a day, maybe intermittent fasting is something for you. You might find this way of eating more convenient and a nutrition plan that you can live with. If you’re able to achieve the same results with less hassle, you have no reason not to give it a try.
In the end, I realize that there are many ways to skin a cat (ug..who thought up that saying anyway?). Find the nutrition structure that brings you the most benefits and stick to it. The main thing is for you to have a well thought out plan rather than just eating willy nilly. Having a purpose and researched plan in regards to nutrition results in better over all health and wellness (and kick a$$ energy for your challenge workouts).