Intermittent fasting is gaining quite a bit of popularity for people who live active, on-the-go lifestyles. While you might naturally assume that fasting is inherently unhealthy and detrimental to your longevity, research suggests quite the opposite.
In fact, shorter phases of fasting (like 14-18 hours of no energy/calorie consumption) can have a multitude of therapeutic benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity, enhancing fat loss, stabilizing blood sugar levels, increasing growth hormone secretion, and more.
However, lengthy fasting phases (such as fasting for longer than an entire day) might do the inverse. Therefore, we recommend you stick to shorter fasts.
But how exactly does intermittent fasting (IF) work? And why is it an excellent protocol for individuals who are on-the-go and busy? Keep reading as this post gives you the information you need to know about IF and the best ways to make it work with your schedule!
Understanding Intermittent Fasting
In this context, IF denotes an eating pattern where you incorporate brief/"intermittent" lengths of time where no calorie-containing foods/liquids are consumed (with a couple of exceptions we will discuss later). Physiologically, fasting does not typically occur until you've gone around 12 hours without taking in any energy/calories, and the advantages of daily intermittent fasting appear to reach their endpoint as soon as you have made it to the 20-hour mark.
While most people believe that daily fasting is naturally unhealthy and dangerous, research findings contend that it's in fact rather advantageous for healthy aging and metabolic rate (over time).
Will I Lose Muscle Mass if I Fast Every Day?
Simply put: No, you will not lose much muscle mass (if any at all) while intermittent fasting. Keep in mind, even when you're not grazing on protein all the time like countless diet "experts" suggest, you will not go into "catabolic mode" in a matter of 16 hours or so. (Especially if you ate properly before beginning your fast).
Only substantial fasting durations (i.e. longer than an entire day) appear to trigger considerable decreases in metabolic rate (and break down of muscle mass for energy), which is just merely essential for survival reasons. Muscle tissue catabolism during shorter fasting periods is negligible. This is why it's prudent to keep your fasting durations brief and more frequent (e.g. less than 20 hours each day).
Intermittent Fasting Setup
As noted earlier, IF is simply a diet protocol where you fast for a brief interval each day and then eat within a specific timeframe. For example, if you follow an 18-6 IF schedule, your day might look like this:
6:30 AM -- Wake up
6:30 AM - 12:30 PM -- Fasting Period
( Begin eating phase)
12:30 PM-- Meal 1 ("Breakfast")
3:00 PM-- Meal 2
5:30 PM-- Meal 3
( End eating phase)
Thus, your feeding window is approximately six hours, meaning the remaining 18 hours of the day/night are spent avoiding calorie-containing food/drink. Note that you will likely be asleep for a large portion of the fasting phase, making the process quite a bit easier than it seems.
Also, note that you may consume small amounts of low-calorie liquids to keep hydrated while you are fasting; this includes things like black coffee, tea, etc.
Get Lean with Intermittent Fasting & Axis Labs
Step 1: Plan Your Fasting and Feeding Intervals
As mentioned earlier in this post, your fasting interval should ideally be around 14-18 hours. Some individuals may need to go a couple hours longer or shorter depending upon their lifestyle/schedule.
Here is an intermittent fasting regimen suggestion for someone who works during the day:
7:30 AM -- Wake
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM -- Work (Fasting Phase)
5:00 PM -- Meal 1 (" Breakfast")
8:00 PM -- Meal 2
11:00 PM -- Meal 3
12:00 AM -- Bedtime
Step 2: Split Up Your Macronutrient Intake Accordingly
There are no strict rules for how you should split up your macronutrients at each meal, but it is prudent to consume most of your carbs after exercising and/or in the first meal of your day.
Aside from that, IF is pretty simple to follow.
Let Axis Labs Help Fuel Your Intermittent Fasting Regimen!
Intermittent fasting is a great lifestyle for keeping healthy and reducing the stress of worrying about food while you’re working. For busy folks and business owners who simply don’t have time during the day to sit down and eat, IF is an ideal solution.
If you are also in a pinch for time to prepare your meals, try AXIS LABS MUSCLE DELIGHT delicious whey protein to help you get the quality amino acids your body needs to build lean muscle and help you recover.