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Why intermittent fasting is so popular now?

MissChriss_ Posts: 4 Member
I noticed that Intermittent fasting is getting a lot of media attention this year. Are most people really able to stop eating their favorite meals periodically? Article on bodybuilding.com that titled "To Eat Or Not To Eat: Your Fast Guide To Fasting" says that fasting give us the freedom on what and when to eat. And that's why it's so powerful. But what you think?

"Perhaps the most important reason behind the increasing popularity of intermittent fasting for both men and women alike is that it's convenient. Think about it: You wake up in the morning and, instead of spending your time in the kitchen, you can make a beeline for the java (or not) and then get straight to work.

There's no food prep, no cleanup, and nothing getting in your way of your productivity. Additionally, many people report (and I personally have found) that being in the fasted state puts them on a high of sorts. They say they feel more energized, more alert, and consequently more able to accomplish things.

Raise your hand if you're a snacker in the p.m. Should be most of you. Now keep your hand up if you frequently find yourself hovering around the kitchen in the evenings, opening and shutting the food cabinets, somehow expecting different snacks to magically appear before your eyes.

Pushing back your feeding window means you can afford to eat more in the evening, when willpower dips to its lowest. Why is this great? It takes a normal weakness and turns it into a huge strength. Really, during your moments of vulnerability, does it make sense to deprive yourself of the things you want? It doesn't have to be that way.

Some people crave simple satiety through treats or wholesome foods. Others yearn specifically for carbohydrates and gravitate toward rice, sweet potatoes, bread, and the like. Still others (such as myself) reach for the gummy bears and desire nothing more than to snuggle up in bed with a bowl of butter pecan ice cream before drifting off.

Intermittent fasting offers you the freedom to deal with your cravings in a finite space, rather than battling them over and over through the day and subsequently amplifying them. Many people find they can still eat what they want, within reason, and stay trim. Under pretty much all systems, you can fall asleep with a full stomach and a *kitten*-eating grin plastered on your face, and you can still nail your macros for the day.

That means you can shed fat without feeling like you're dieting. In general, you will face a whole lot less resistance with your food choices in your day-to-day life.

How Do I Know Which System is for Me?

At first glance, you don't. At second glance, you'll realize that one appeals to you a bit more than the others and that you have some reading to do.

I know, you want me to tell you exactly what to do. You want the answers, and of course, the Big Man behind each method will tell you that his way of eating is the best way. But coming from a financially unbiased stance, I can tell you that different approaches will work best for different people. The trick is to find the best one for you.

Here's the CliffsNotes version of five of the most popular current intermittent fasting methods. These are rudimentary summaries, so I encourage you to click around and do your research to learn more about each approach. Each of them also has a different notion of how you should recalibrate or behave during a "break-in" period, so keep that in mind when you research further.

Lean Gains by Martin Berkhan

Involves an 16/8 protocol (meaning fast for 16 hours of the day, eat for 8).
Macronutrients and overall calories are cycled throughout the week: more carbs and calories on training days, more fats on rest days.
Cheesecake and other yummy goods encouraged several times per week in specific windows.

Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon

Fast for 24 hours once each week; eat regularly the rest of the week.
Freedom to eat how and what you want on your feeding days.

Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia

16/8 feeding cycle (14/10 for women) with the majority of carbohydrates falling in the evening.
Very health-focused: organic, whole foods; though the approved food list is fairly short.

The following two diets are often grouped with intermittent fasting diets, but they can allow for a limited amount of food consumption during the day. As such, you may not spend your day in a "fasted" state, which is generally considered to begin 8-12 hours after your previous meal (hence the word "breakfast").

The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler

20/4 daily feeding cycle: undereat during the daytime, overeat at night.
Undereating window can include limited amounts of raw fruits and veggies, poached eggs, yogurt, coffee, and tea.
Encourages eating ad libitum from all food groups during the feeding window until full.

Carb Backloading by John Kiefer

On Kiefer's 18/6 protocol, you consume protein and fats throughout the day, saving most carbs and calories for the evening after training.

Encourages consumption of high glycemic index foods in the post-workout meal, including cherry turnovers, donuts, and pizza.

What to Watch Out For

You may look at the above list and feel like one of them has to work for you, but it's possible that none will. Although many of my clients and I have had great experiences with different variations of fasting, I feel obligated to inform you that it is not for everyone.

First and foremost: Fasting isn't just an excuse not to eat. I know women who have reported that the discovery of intermittent fasting has essentially eliminated much of their chronically disordered eating behavior, while others have experienced the opposite, with increased episodes of binge eating, anxiety, and neurosis surrounding food.

On a purely physical level, some of you may just feel like crap, unable to last through the morning hours without doubling over from the sharp pangs of hunger. Others will feel groggy, lethargic, and drained of energy with intermittent fasting. Some will find a way to abuse the rules of intermittent fasting. You may find yourself trying to justify your continued junk food-dominated diet because you've crammed it to an 8-hour window, as if that somehow makes trash more OK to consume (it doesn't). Maybe you'll become more obsessed with food: looking at the clock more often, counting down the seconds until you can break your fast.

If any of the above ends up being the case, then don't try to force yourself into something that doesn't fit. There's nothing wrong with eating smaller, frequent meals spread over the course of the day if that's what works better for you. Neither method is necessarily wrong. What is wrong is either being a slave to your diet, or being totally out of control."



  • King_Spicy
    King_Spicy Posts: 821 Member
    Is it popular now? I remember it being popular with my friends 2 years ago, but havn't heard a word about it since. I'm out of the loop.
  • ReaderGirl3
    ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868 Member
    edited April 2016
    I've done IF in one form or another since 2012. I think part of the reason it's gained in popularity is because of Dr. Michael Mosley's documentary/book/IF plan-5:2IF. This is/was a pretty big deal in the UK, and it's also generated a lot of interest in other places. He put a mainstream spin on the concept and it's turned into one of the latest dieting fads (though I think it's a pretty solid woe and it helped me accomplish my goals).

  • LKArgh
    LKArgh Posts: 5,173 Member
    For the same reason that flared jeans are in fashion. Because people need new things to attract their attention and fashions in all things come and go :)
  • schlafentzug
    schlafentzug Posts: 8 Member
    I think fasting in general could be the next big dieting thing, we've already seen it in the 5:2, IF and so on. I wonder if proper fasting will become a thing?
  • elroyalty
    elroyalty Posts: 30 Member
    It may be because now more sources are validating a natural way for many of us to eat... I was always told the way to be healthy was big breakfast and spread snacks and small meals through the day was the only way to eat or you would be fat and unhealthy from eating almost all calories later in the day, and I found it a miserable way to be since I naturally "fast" from morn until afternoon. But once research showed it was fine to eat that way I was all like yes! I'm totally into IF! Didn't really need a name for it, but helped validate my natural choices. As for people making themselves do it who aren't made that way, then it would be their "bellbottoms"
  • Nausicca55
    Nausicca55 Posts: 56 Member
    It's just the latest new way to create a calorie deficit. It does work for some people. I tried it and while it does work for me, I couldn't stick to it.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,859 Member
    Because fads come and go...diet fads, fitness fads, fashion fads, etc...they all come and go and usually come again and go again, etc...that's how the world turns.
  • daryan1203
    daryan1203 Posts: 15 Member
    Nausicca55 wrote: »
    It's just the latest new way to create a calorie deficit. It does work for some people. I tried it and while it does work for me, I couldn't stick to it.
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Because fads come and go...diet fads, fitness fads, fashion fads, etc...they all come and go and usually come again and go again, etc...that's how the world turns.
    aggelikik wrote: »
    For the same reason that flared jeans are in fashion. Because people need new things to attract their attention and fashions in all things come and go :)

    Agree with all of the above quotes. We're bombarded with all these schemes and tricks and fad diets that I think we get conditioned to think there has to be some gimmick or program to achieve weight loss. I was shocked when I found MFP and it was as simple as CICO.
  • Rom3oJuli3tt
    Rom3oJuli3tt Posts: 42 Member
    I like eating my smaller meals. But small to me is large to others. It's all relative.
  • mandyloose123
    mandyloose123 Posts: 21 Member
    I found personally that my body is on a natural IF schedule. When I started eating "right" I gained an excess of 20 lbs. When I listened to my body and found that I am only truly hungry in the evening after work. I eat reasonably until I am no longer hungry and repeat the following day. It comes naturally for me.
  • annaskiski
    annaskiski Posts: 1,212 Member
    zurac35 wrote: »
    Because people learned that 2+3 =5
    1.5 + 3.5=5
    So who cares when you eat.
    If the when does not matter than IF looks pretty attractive.

  • Ifitfits
    Ifitfits Posts: 46 Member
    Popular NOW ? I used to IF in 2010 man , Lean gains Martin Berkhan

    Currently I eat when im hungry there are no rules .

  • Soundwave79
    Soundwave79 Posts: 469 Member
    I tried the 24 hour fast last week and found myself pretty miserable the entire day. So probably not going to do that again. I can see how it would make sense for some people though.
  • kimdawnhayden
    kimdawnhayden Posts: 298 Member
    I think there is always going to be a new or better way to do things. We are always looking for a new solution.
  • Alluminati
    Alluminati Posts: 6,209 Member
    edited April 2016
    Marketing. IF is just another way for people to be in a caloric deficit. Of course the people in the diet industry like to hype up that they have the The One And True Way to lose weight and they market the hell out of it. Every dog has its day, whether it be Paleo last year, IF this year, or LCHF the next. They are all ways to eat at a deficit and lose weight. Find the best way that works for your lifestyle and stick with it.

    Eta: I use the IF method and it works well for me.
  • annaskiski
    annaskiski Posts: 1,212 Member
    I like IF because its my natural eating pattern (the 16:8 version), but here I'm linking to another discussion about a study on IF in which seems to imply a lot of other health benefits to IF.