It can be hard to sift through all the latest fad and trendy diets out there, most of which are total crap. But one diet that’s gotten a lot of praise and attention over the years is intermittent fasting (IF), a method of flexible dieting that is said to have a load of benefits beyond simply helping you lose weight.

We asked Max Lowery, creator of the “2 Meal Day” for his input on why IF is so good for you.

Photos by: http://www.facebook.com/tomjoyphotography • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto

What is intermittent fasting?

As the name suggests, it involves fasting intermittently. The most popular methods involve either restricting your calorie intake to an 8-hour window, or on 2 days out of the week.

“Intermittent Fasting is a general term for various eating patterns that involve fasting (not eating) for short periods of time. Unlike a typical weight loss diet or weight loss plan that restricts how much or what you eat, it’s all about integrating periods of fasting into your day to reap the many proven health benefits of Intermittent Fasting like burning stored body fat for energy, feeling less hungry and improving many biomarkers of health.

Max Lowery, 2 Meal Day
Photos by: http://www.facebook.com/tomjoyphotography • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto

The 16:8 strategy involves eating whatever you want (though not actually) for 8 hours during the day, then fasting for the remaining 16 hours.

The 5:2 strategy involves eating whatever you want 5 days a week (again, not really), and restricting your calorie intake to just 500-600 calories for the other 2 days.

In my opinion, Intermittent Fasting is a more natural way of eating. Rather than eating because the clock tells you to, or because “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, you learn to eat when you are hungry. This is why Intermittent Fasting diets are key becoming a successful lifestyle change for hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. There are different methods, the 5:2, 16:8, eat stop eat, and my method The 2 Meal Day.”

Photos by: http://www.facebook.com/tomjoyphotography • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto

Health benefits of intermittent fasting

There have been some noted health benefits besides losing weight that has added to IF’s popularity. A USC study found that intermittent fasting reduced participants’ risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other age-related diseases. These results are exciting and promising, but, as the authors themselves cautioned, need much further research before they are properly validated.

“There are many health benefits to losing weight, but it seems that Intermittent Fasting may have health benefits even in the absence of weight loss. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.”

Why you should try intermittent fasting

Though we hate the term “diet”, taking control of your nutrition is the best way to see the results you want from your training and exercise. IF is just another way to do that. At the end of the day, it involves controlling the number of calories you eat and makes you question your eating habits. If diet and nutrition is something you’ve struggled with before, IF could help.

Why you shouldn’t try intermittent fasting

If you have any kind of negative relationship with food (i.e. starving yourself, binging, or emotional eating) then IF could make matters worse. Your physical health will be affected by your mental health, and denying yourself food can seem like a punishment that you don’t deserve.

“Anyone that has any history of eating disorders, a poor relationship with food, any underlying health conditions, especially diabetes, and pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid.”

Other than that, IF is an easy and effective way to make better nutritional choices, which will ultimately improve your health and fitness.

Be sure to check out Max’s 2 Meal Day for more information about intermittent fasting. Plus his Instagram is full of pics like this, so be sure to follow him there too!

View this post on Instagram

My 4 Week Fat Loss Challenge – Swipe Left! • As part of the @bodydevelopment mentorship program, we have been tracking body composition every month. • January and February I was above 11% body fat, which for me is quite a lot. I have always sat quite comfortably under 10% body fat. • At the end of February, I set myself the challenge to get under 10% body fat again. • I planned to do this by tracking my calories and maintaining a manageable deficit over the course of 4 weeks, by manipulating calories and training. • However, as some of you may have seen I was on holiday for three of the four weeks, skiing in Andorra and then Lanzarote. • Quite early on I decided to stop tracking my calories, for me, it’s not enjoyable and it was having a negative impact on my holiday. • I decided to extend my fasting hours from about 14-16 hours to 16-24 hours depending on what was going on, that is the only dietary change I made. • As you can see I achieved my results and managed to drop down to 8.9% body fat which is almost 2kg of fat loss. • You're probably all thinking, yes, of course, you lost weight, you extended your fast and therefore ended up eating less overall which is absolutely true. • However, at the time it really did not feel like I was eating less, because I was eating BIG satisfying meals when I was eating, at the same time as drinking 2-3 beers every day and I ended up training much less than I anticipated, so with all this I was thinking I would have put on fat. • This is why I am so passionate about Intermittent Fasting and The 2 Meal Day, I achieved these results without any feelings of deprivation, feeling full of energy and I actually felt less hungry overall and is something that I can easily maintain over a long period of time. • Many people describe IF as “Just” another way to restrict calories, which is partly true. • CONTINUE READING BELOW!

A post shared by Max Lowery (@max.lowery) on