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.
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
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.”
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!