Meals missed beyond this window were thought to result in a serious loss of gains. Eat six meals per day they said.
However, newer research has found that meal timing and frequency has little to do with overall progress and goals. Whether you eat three meals per day or eight meals per day, consuming 3,000 calories either way will cause the same end result.
There were also several other myths such as breakfast being absolutely necessary for weight loss. There are certain benefits to eating meals more frequently such as satiation and preventing hunger but in the long run the number of calories is the most important factor determining weight gain or loss.
One such style of eating that has become more popular in recent years is intermittent fasting. What is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting essentially involves limiting your caloric consumption to certain hours of the day and having a shorter eating window.
One example of this would be a 16 hour fasting period with an 8 hour eating window. You would have your first meal at 12:00pm and your last meal at 8:00pm before fasting again until the same time the following day. There are several benefits associated with intermittent fasting that makes it a popular style of eating.
Ryan Rodal discusses the basics of intermittent fasting.
7 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
#1 - Intermittent Fasting is ConvenientPreparing five, six, or more meals per day takes more preparation work as you are packaging several meals at a time.
Furthermore, the act of simply carrying this amount of meals around with you for the entire day can be a hassle to many individuals on the go, especially those without access to a refrigerator.
#2 - Intermittent Fasting Helps With SatiationWhen cutting you restrict your caloric expenditure and it can be difficult to avoid hunger pangs at times. However, by eating all of your calories in a shorter window you will feel fuller during this time period.
Many people get hungrier at night and if more calories are saved for later in the day there is less likelihood to overeat and binge.
#3 - Intermittent Fasting Helps You to Avoid OvereatingBy eating all of your calories in a shorter window you will be less likely to consume additional calories at night.
On the other hand if you are only consuming smaller meals every few hours you may be hungrier if your calories are severely limited. [imagemap id="24346"]
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#4 - Your Body Will Adapt to Intermittent FastingThe first couple of weeks intermittent fasting may seem to be difficult especially if you are used to eating breakfast on a daily basis. However, people that partake in intermittent fasting quickly adapt and report feeling fuller throughout the day.
#5 - Intermittent Fasting Will Help Increase ProductivitySince you are not busy preparing additional meals or stopping to eat every 2-3 hours your productivity levels will skyrocket.
People that switch to intermittent fasting are said to be more efficient in the workplace due to not making frequent stops to eat.
#6 - Intermittent Fasting Assists With Flexible DietingPeople that practice intermittent fasting have more freedom to have larger meals as they are not restricting their caloric intake to 300-500 calories per meal. With the flexibility of being able to incorporate certain "cheat" items into your daily diet you will be less likely to binge or overeat on cheat days.
Of course the main purpose of flexible dieting is to eat whole foods the majority of the time >80%. Do not try to rationalize half of your daily calories coming from ice cream and cookies.
#7 - Intermittent Fasting Increases FocusIntermittent fasting is said to increase the drive and focus of people practicing it. Fasting worked for the monks so why can't it work for you. Not only are you more focused mentally but won't you won't have to stop to eat putting your mind at ease.
There are many benefits to intermittent fasting. Although meal timing and frequency is not said to play a major role in diet, there are several other additional reasons why intermittent fasting may be the perfect choice for you. The key to any diet is to choose one that is healthy, balanced, and sustainable. Just remember a diet is not temporary, but should be a way of living for the rest of your life.
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