If you read enough magazines, websites, blogs or twitter posts, things can get pretty confusing (I’m talking about health and fitness stuff here…). One of the topics that seems to regularly come in and out of fashion is “intermittent fasting”. Essentially this is the debate about the perfect meal frequency to support your fitness. In years gone by, the accepted school of thought has been that in order to minimise insulin spikes, the best bet is to eat small meals throughout the day, but recently there has been a bit of a movement to de-bunk this theory. Some studies have shown that by reducing the number of meals that the body has to process, then the easier it is for the body to lower blood sugar levels. This line of thinking has been taken further to the suggestion that going without food for substantial periods will aid weight loss (and support a healthy lifestyle). The trouble with intermittent fasting is that while it may have some benefits in terms of weight loss, it is going to undermine all of the hard work you are doing to build and maintain lean muscle. The body needs to get its energy (not only for day-to-day activity but also for cell regeneration) either from the intake of food or from energy reserves. So if you’refasting, then you’re not taking in the protein you need to rebuild muscle cells and generate new muscle cells. So you’ll end up just skinny — and who wants that?
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