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Is Intermittent Fasting Worth It?

by James Mainier

The following information is based on the book, “Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength.” In his book, Dr. Stoppani conveys not only information about exercise and diet but also details on the topic of Intermittent Fasting (IF). Dr. Stoppani has a PhD in exercise physiology with a minor in biochemistry from the University of Connecticut.

To lose fat, the first technique is to lower your carbohydrates down to 0.25 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. To continue to lose fat, Dr. Stoppani recommends intermittent fasting.

“Intermittent Fasting is a technique where you can fast for a good portion of the day and then you have a window of time where you can eat,” Dr. Stoppani says.

The most common IF concept is the 16/8 rule. This means to fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours. You can pick your hours and then follow it religiously. For example, you can eat between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.–an 8-hour window. It doesn’t matter exactly when you eat, just that it’s within the 8-hour window. Another common 8-hour eating window is 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you break the cycle or continue to adjust it, it won’t work.

Dr. Stoppani said this is a proven method for weight loss, and he’s done postdoctoral research at Yale University School of Medicine on it.

“Our group published several papers showing that one of the key mechanisms in fasting-induced fat loss has to do with an increase in the activity of genes that increase the number of calories the body burns,” Dr. Stoppani said. 

However, there are no facts formulated from research that suggest IF helps in muscle building.

Most people eat less food in an 8-hour window as opposed to their previous diet, therefore calories are reduced. This means further weight loss. However, the diet can have positive effects on more than just weight.

“Research also suggests that fasting provides numerous health benefits, such as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels,” he said.

Dr. Stoppani’s book is available online, in both ebook and print versions, for around $20.

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