Short-term fasting is real? It is real to gain muscle mass and get rid of fat without eating food every 2-3 hours? And is short-term fasting suitable for you?
Author: Jeremy Scott
Among the revolutionary ideas concerning the diet of athletes, a special place is taken by short-term starvation. The fundamental principle of this concept can be called, at least, controversial, as it completely contradicts the traditional approach to compiling a diet in the world of fitness and bodybuilding. Therefore, let's start studying this concept and get acquainted with short-term starvation closer.
In order not to complicate, let's say that short-term fasting is fasting in certain periods of time every day. This means that you need to fast – that is, to refrain from eating – for 16-36 hours, depending on which schedule you choose based on your priorities. In general, this can be compared with interval training. Short-term fasting is interval training, extended to meals.
The standard version of fasting is as follows: a person eats in the interval from 12 hours a day to 8 hours of the evening, and the remaining 16 hours of the day fast (mode 16-8). There is only possible within this 8-hour window: from noon to 8 hours of the evening. It turns out that you have 8 hours for meals and 16 hours for starvation. Sounds a bit strange, does not it? At first it really seems strange, but if we connect science and study the effect of starvation on the body, how our idea of starvation will change radically.
If you analyze your daily schedule, you will notice that during the 5-9 hour-long night's sleep, you do not get food. This, my friends, is also starving, because you do not eat anything for these 5-9 hours. If at the same time you also refrain from eating for 1-2 hours before going to bed, the period of your daily fasting is even greater. In the light of this information, 16 watches do not seem so crazy anymore.
Nevertheless, the concept of short-term fasting gets a lot of criticism, and we suggest that you focus on the most problematic and controversial points.
Breakfast: the most important meal?
Myth number one: "Breakfast is the most important part of the daily diet."
I will not deny the importance of breakfast, especially since for many people this meal is really of great importance. Suffice it to say that according to a scientific study conducted in 2011, 90% of Americans eat something for breakfast.
At the same time, most Americans are in very bad shape, and you can not argue with that. Obesity in this country has long out of control. Now I ask the question: if breakfast is really important, and most Americans eat breakfast, then why are they in such a depressing form? The key factor is those products that we choose for breakfast. Go to the nearest cafe and look at the counter – cakes, biscuits, eclairs, donuts, buns, etc. You know, the list goes on.
A healthy breakfast is good for most of us, but if you think you can eat a bagel and drink it with a glass of orange juice . then I advise you to think again. It is better to eat nothing at all, than to throw in a stomach the overfilled carbohydrates forage.
Personally, I have not had breakfast for more than a year. And I can not say that I do not have enough morning meals, because I'm in better shape than ever. My opinion – breakfast is not indispensable, in a magnificent form can be and without breakfast. Short-term fasting is an additional confirmation of this.
Frequent nutrition is an integral part of a healthy diet?
We pass to the next cornerstone of dietology. Myth number two: "Feed should be 7 once a day, that is, every 2-3 hours."
For many years we sincerely believed that to accelerate the metabolism you need to eat every 3-4 hours, and if you do not follow this commandment, the skeletal muscles will melt like snow in the spring. I myself recommended that my customers eat every 3-4 hours. Moreover, I still give many people the same recommendations, but for another reason – not to increase the intensity of metabolic processes.
We used to think that eating every 2-3 hour increases the metabolic rate due to the thermogenic effect of food. In fact, there is no difference whether you eat 7 times, 3 or even 1 once a day – only the energy and nutritional value of the diet has value.
I know that many of my words are surprising to say the least, but you can easily find numerous proofs, especially for the 16-8 mode, in the literature. For a more detailed study of the issue, I recommend studying the results of the experiments of Martin Berkhan (Martin Berkhan) on the collection of muscle mass. The revolutionary nature of the new approach to diet is that while you get enough calories and macronutrients, the amount of meals is irrelevant.
The main reason why I still recommend to my customers every 3-4 hour is that they do not overeat because of lack of willpower and could avoid the appearance of an insurmountable feeling of hunger during the day. And I do not believe that frequent meals help to speed up metabolism and burn more calories.
It seems to me that one of the options for short-term starvation can be tried by everyone, just to make a personal assessment of its effect on the body. But I do not think that this method will suit everyone. I just dare to hope that it can be extremely useful for those who dare to at least try.
I personally stick to 16-8 mode for most of the year, and sometimes I switch to 20-4 or "Warrior Style", popularized by the book "Warrior Diet". I realized that for my lifestyle these options are best suited. And now I do not need to carry a plastic container with food, eat every 3-4 hour and be afraid that if I miss a meal I will lose all my achievements.
For my purposes fasting was an excellent decision and made my diet much more convenient and simple. There are many options for starvation and even more studies confirming its effectiveness and useful properties, among which I would like to highlight the increase in the secretion of growth hormone and increase the sensitivity of tissues to insulin.
Concluding remarks on short-term starvation
What I want to emphasize is that short-term fasting should not be considered a diet. It is a way of life that changes your eating behavior and attitude towards food in general.
I support this concept for several reasons. Firstly, I became healthier and slimmer than ever. Secondly, I have a lot of free time, and I do not need to cook my food every three hours. But more importantly, my digestive system does not have to process food in 24 / 7 mode. As a result, I have more time and effort for the training process, and my body can direct this liberated energy to training, and not to digest food.
Does the 6 system work meals a day? Working! Can I lose weight by eating every 3-4 hours? Can! But is this a necessary condition? No! I do not want to upset those who feed 7 once a day every 2 hours, but I want to say again that most of you do not need to achieve these goals.
Fasting does not suit everyone, but for those who do not want or do not have time to eat all day long, it will be an excellent solution. Depending on your goals and lifestyle, you can choose one of the short-term starvation schemes: 16-8, 20-4 or 24-36.
In short, if you are tired of a monotonous and morally obsolete diet, if you are trying to lose weight and at the same time want to get a little more free time, give the chance for a short-term starvation!