Secretly going to the refrigerator at night, grabbing snacks on the couch after training or fighting cravings with a chocolate bar in the home office: Does that sound familiar to you?
Too often we eat quite uncontrollably and for the wrong reasons. There is a sustainable and everyday method that brings structure to your eating behavior and thus not only supports your weight optimization concept, but can also promote your athletic performance: Intermittent fasting .
In order to explain the concept, highlight the advantages and show you how the diet optimally supports your active lifestyle, this time we talked to two experts: Birgit Schweyer and Maria Hochschorner.
As a nutritionist at Nutricuisine, Birgit Schweyer has been successfully dedicated to the health and holistic well-being of her customers for over 20 years. The enthusiasm for science, cooking culture and food trends is reflected in her work as an inspiring speaker, motivating coach, passionate cook, recipe developer, journalist and food tester.
Maria Hochschorner is a qualified sports scientist, Hatha yoga teacher and Touch For Health kinesiologist. She incorporates her versatile expertise and many years of experience as a personal health coach, consultant in corporate health management and in the implementation of health-oriented team events.
You explained everything worth knowing about the topic in connection with an active sporty lifestyle. But let’s start from the beginning:
What is intermittent fasting anyway?
First things first: It is not a diet. While normal diets often only produce short-term successes, these are basically almost always doomed to failure.
As soon as the diet is over, the discipline usually ends and old habits come back. Greetings from the yo-yo effect. With intermittent fasting it is possible to reduce or maintain weight in the long term and to optimize your own health.
There are several forms of intermittent fasting (also called intermittent fasting), with the following two being the most popular:
There are 16 hours between the last meal of the previous day and the first meal of the current day. In the eight hours that you are allowed to eat, two meals are consumed.
5: 2 method
People eat normally five days a week and nothing or almost nothing on two days.
Fasting means doing without. With intermittent fasting, you do without food for hours or days without changing your diet. However, this is not a free ticket to simply eat something during the time when food is allowed.
Due to the smaller time window in which food is allowed, you can now eat even more calories per meal. What you should pay attention to, however, is a healthy diet and that you do not have any calorie surplus every day.
Benefits of intermittent fasting for your health:
- Improvement of the digestive tract
- Regulation of blood sugar levels
- Increased fat burning
- Easier entry into ketosis (ketogenic diet) and increased mental performance
- Faster regeneration of nerve cells
Who benefits from it?
Everyone who wants to lose or maintain weight in a healthy and long-term way and thus do something for their physical and mental health, as well as athletes with the aim of increasing their performance.
There are also a few contraindications: you should be particularly careful with cardiovascular problems, low blood pressure, metabolic diseases or other chronic diseases. Intermittent fasting is completely discouraged for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Two particularly interesting aspects for athletes are the optimization of fat metabolism and the increase in human growth hormone (HGH), which increases muscle growth and fat burning. Intermittent fasting therefore benefits strength athletes by promoting the build-up of lean body mass.
But endurance athletes also benefit, because a proportionately higher fat metabolism activity means that the limited carbohydrate storage in the liver, muscles and blood is spared during training.
What does a workout look like that fits this nutritional concept and what should you pay attention to?
Movements with light to moderate intensity can be combined very well with intermittent fasting. These include fitness training in the area of endurance and strength, team sports, punch sports, dancing, yoga as well as trend and freestyle sports.
During intense physical exertion , however, you should keep a few things in mind: Never train on an empty stomach or on fasting days. This avoids cardiovascular problems and poor performance.
If a weight reduction is desired, you can consciously train according to the “train-low principle” with empty glycogen stores before breaking the fast, so that a particularly intense stimulus for the metabolism is set.
For strength athletes with a focus on muscle building, training between meals is recommended or should be placed in such a way that food is consumed after the workout.
Overall: All athletes should ensure that they have a sufficient protein intake so that the body does not become excessively acidic due to the increased fat breakdown.
Tips for a successful implementation:
- Make sure that you are generally healthy and please discuss individual questions with your doctor or experts on the subject.
- Start with a gentle start and give it to your body the necessary time to adjust to the new time-based concept.
- Find your personal rhythm and try to keep these times.
- During the eating phases, 2 – 3 balanced meals are optimal.
- Provide your body with enough water or unsweetened tea during the fasting phase.
- The highest calorie meal should always be consumed after training.
- The composition of the nutrients depends on your personal training goal. You can consume more calories and carbohydrates on training days, while you should keep your protein intake constant on all days.
- Always listen to your body and interrupt your fasting if necessary, especially if you feel uncomfortable or notice a loss of performance . There are people for whom it just doesn’t work.
Intermittent fasting can therefore help you to better control your eating habits and, due to its numerous positive effects on physical and mental health, your athletic activities To optimize services.
If you are looking for a diet with many health benefits that will help you as an active person to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, this concept could be just right for you