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Is Intermittent Fasting Right for You? Pt. 2
Home Health & Fitness Nutrition & Supplement
By: Vince Delmonte Email Article
Word Count: 770 Digg it | Del.icio.us it | Google it | StumbleUpon it

  

In Part One, we shared some of the benefits claimed for IF (intermittent fasting) and a few things to consider in deciding whether to use the technique yourself. Here are a few more things to look at that may help you decide whether IF is the right path for you.

In Part One, we shared some of the benefits claimed for IF (intermittent fasting) and a few things to consider in deciding whether to use the technique yourself. Here are a few more things to look at that may help you decide whether IF is the right path for you.

IF is a method intended to burn off body fat. If you’re just trying to get buff for a photo shoot or a weekend at the beach, it’s not your best bet. Concentrate instead on reducing your caloric intake and enjoying intense workouts… you’ll get better results.

If you’re a 97 pound weakling, looking to bulk up, you may find yourself adding more fat than muscle, initially. IF could be a good option for you, at least until you get your system stabilized and can get into a calorie-deficient mode.

Don’t fast on your slowest day… you’ll be thinking about food every minute. Fast on your busiest day, for a double-win. You’ll be too busy to think about eating and you’ll save that time you normally use cooking, eating and cleaning.

The research we have

Keep in mind that much of what you hear about intermittent fasting is nothing more that personal opinion. There’s very little reliable research to back it up. So approach it cautiously and realize that your results are almost certain to be different from the guy you heard it from. Differences in general condition, personal metabolism, diet and workout intensity all come into play.

Dr. John Berardi pointed out a couple of major issues surrounding IF, that you’re very unlikely to hear from folks singing its praises:

Issue #1: There’s a terrible lack of information. The majority of IF research was performed on animals. What? Animals? Really? We’re supposed to believe that our bodies will react the same as a lab rat’s? Sorry, not buying that.

Some studies have been performed on human subjects, but unfortunately, many of them weren’t properly designed tests. Furthermore, some of them involved subjects that only fasted… they weren’t on a calorie-deficient diet and they weren’t working out. That’s not much more valid than using lab rats, for our purposes.

Such studies need to be performed scientifically, under uniform conditions similar to yours, in order to give results that can be considered valid for you. There needs to be a control group to compare findings against, methods of measuring and recording data that’s identical for all subjects and a large enough sample group to provide meaningful findings. Failure to observe any of those requirements calls the results into question… failing to observe all of them… well, you get the picture.

Issue #2: Most of these studies dealt with subjects on "normal" diets. Everything else being equal, that might be fine, provided you were on a normal diet. But the diet for a bodybuilder is far from normal. "Normal" North Americans consume more than they burn (Fat City, here we come), whereas bodybuilders seek to consume less than they burn, to keep their BFI low.

A person could easily find themselves wondering whether the supposed benefits of intermittent fasting are actually from fasting, or simply as a result of ensuring that we burn all the energy that we consume. Just a point to ponder…

How to get started

If you’ve decided you want to try IF, you should first get your diet and physical training underway and stabilized. Once your system is accustomed to the regimen, your fasting will render better results, and beginning your fasting before then will simply slow the process.

Whether you’re out to get ripped, just want to improve your general health or are a serious bodybuilding competitor, you’ll need to test for yourself to determine how often and for how long you should fast for the best results. Perhaps one day soon we’ll see some reliable test findings, but until then, there are a lot of unknowns. So be cautious, monitor your results and don’t overdo it.

I am known as the skinny guy savior. A former skinny guy myself, I developed the no nonsense muscle building techniques that turned me from a skinny guy to a national champion fitness model. I share my training exercises, diets and inspirations on my blog, Vince DelMonte Fitness, and on sites such as AskMen.com and Ironman Magazine.

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