Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular diet method and seems promising. Many websites indicate that it is healthy and that you burn fat more easily. What is true about this? Is the IF diet more effective than a regular diet that you eat every few hours?
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet where you take or exclude specific food products. It does not tell you what you eat, but when! Within this diet you do not eat 5 or 6 times a day, as in a common diet. At IF you alternate periods in which you steady (ie do not eat) with eating moments. With an IF diet, you may drink water, coffee or tea during the periods when you do not eat anything. The point is that you do not take products that contain calories.
You can apply IF in a number of ways. Below you will find an overview of the 3 most common forms.
Alternate day fasting: here are several options, for example: 24 hours of food and 24 hours of fasting or 12 hours of food and 36 hours of fasting.
Whole day fasting: you have a full day. For example 2 of the 7 days, spread over the week. The other 5 days you eat according to a regular pattern.
Time restricted fasting: this is the most used one. You stuck at daytime moments. For example: you eat 8 hours a day and 16 hours you get stuck. Or you use a ratio of 4/20.
Do you fall off faster through intermittent fasting?
First back to the basics: you fall off by eating less than you need. In other words, a negative energy balance leads to weight loss. So you can get through an IF diet and lose weight. If you eat more calories than you need, you will arrive. And vice-versa.
Whether you manage to lose weight with IF depends mainly on your mindset . The IF diet costs a lot of perseverance. Practice shows that not everyone can afford this. And this is also logical, because you have to resist all kinds of temptations almost all day long.
We regularly see that the appetite during an IF diet leads to unhealthy food choices.
Research indicates that there is little to no difference between IF and a diet with caloric restriction. So you do not necessarily fall off faster by IF. Interesting fact: studies on the effects of IF use a lot of subjects who participate in Ramadan. The only disadvantage of using this sample is that it is not drunk during Ramadan, so the results may be slightly distorted.
Advantages of intermittent fasting
You do not have to eat all day (saves time).
Gives you something to hold on to.
For some people, it is an effective method to lose weight.
Disadvantages of intermittent fasting
Costs a lot of perseverance.
Difficult in social situations where you are expected to eat with you.
Effect on sports performance may be detrimental.
Not suitable for everyone. There are a few exceptions in cases where you do not have to follow an IF diet
Conclusion: intermittent fasting a must?
The research by 4elbowsrem.com/ shows that Intermittent fasting offers no advantages over a regular dietary pattern in which you spread meals over the day and take into account your macro nutrients and calories.