Intermittent fasting is all the rave these days! Is it true though that simply by collapsing your eating window, you can gain superhuman strength, have the ability to walk through walls, and have superhuman vision?
It does seem that in today’s world of black and white, the IF camp will make some very unbiased, and crazy claims.
So first of all, what is intermittent fasting? Let’s break it down in simple terms.
Just to set the record straight, I’m a fan of this when in the right context…
First off, let’s discuss what the science says. Is it beneficial for fat loss?
In a year-long randomized controlled trial, in which calories were controlled. 112 participants had reduced kcal intake of 26-28%
One group followed a standard eating window, the other group followed a time-restricted regimen. Weight loss was similar between groups. 8-9kgs lost on average.
Improvements in biomarkers such as blood pressure, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol were found, but no differences between groups.
The IM group did report more hunger.
Now: let’s look at the other reported benefits of IF.
These were found in a mice trial by Dr. Satchin Panda.
There’s a caveat though. They found that the issue with the rats coming into this was they had disturbed circadian rhythms.
This in and of itself can cause hormonal issues, particularly starting with cortisol and cascading from there.
It does appear though that time-restricted feeding revealed a number of benefits.
- Decrease in BF
- 12 hr window same calories
- Increase in lean muscle mass
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved lipid profile
- Higher mitochondrial volume
- Protection from age-related fatty liver
- Increased production of ketone bodies
- Gene expression
- Cellular repair
My conclusion: again, it’s a lifestyle preference.
However, studies do show a slight increase in insulin sensitivity in fasted groups; there is still no significant difference in terms of fat loss.
I will typically recommend this to clients if in a purpose of either resetting a problem (digestive issues, insulin resistance) or if it’s a busy individual, who is on a lower about of kcals that fitting within a small window makes sense.