The Rundown on Intermittent Fasting (IF)

You may have noticed intermittent fasting trends among Instagram fitness models, or heard mention of it in the gym locker room. IF is especially popular with the keto community. So what’s all the hype about?

The Rundown on Intermittent Fasting (IF)

If you’ve ever skipped breakfast, you already have a general sense of how intermittent fasting works. It’s not a diet, but rather a cyclical pattern of eating. Starving yourself isn’t the goal, and your trainer won’t ask you to eat cabbage soup, or count points. Instead, the intention of intermittent fasting is to create a compressed eating window.

You may have noticed intermittent fasting trends among Instagram fitness models, or heard mention of it in the gym locker room. IF is especially popular with the keto community. So what’s all the hype about?

The Rundown on Intermittent Fasting (IF)

If you’ve ever skipped breakfast, you already have a general sense of how intermittent fasting works. It’s not a diet, but rather a cyclical pattern of eating. Starving yourself isn’t the goal, and your trainer won’t ask you to eat cabbage soup, or count points. Instead, the intention of intermittent fasting is to create a compressed eating window.
For example, someone might finish their last meal before 7 p.m., then fast until 11 a.m. the next morning. This would leave them with an eight-hour timeframe to get their calories in. There are other methods, but this 16/8 split is one of the most popular.

The Role Insulin Plays

When we eat carbohydrates the amount of glucose rises in our blood. This is followed by a spike in the main fat storage hormone, insulin, which is released from the pancreas. Insulin has the important task of allowing glucose into our cells. It’s like a key. Without it a person would eventually starve, no matter their caloric intake.
Whether we throw back whole grain toast, or peach cobbler, both sources of carbohydrate are broken down into useable sugars. This metabolic pathway is called glycolysis, and it provides carb-eaters with energy. A compressed feeding window minimizes blood glucose fluctuations, which means lower levels of the fat storage hormone insulin.

Other Benefits of IF

In addition to an improved body composition, intermittent fasting may also enhance cellular repair, gene expression– in certain genes related to longevity, as well as hormone function. Our ancestors couldn’t have known this, but intermittent fasting was a part of the natural cycle of things. They couldn’t stock up at Trader Joe’s. Our primal diet was subject to the availability of the seasons. We ate whatever we could hunt or gather.
With type 2 diabetes on the rise, and unprecedented amounts of sugar added to processed foods, IF can be a powerful tool in your fitness program– whatever your goals or dietary lifestyle.