The basics of the leangains intermittent fasting method is not new.
Practices involving abstinence from food have been found in every culture since the beginning of times. Fasting can in fact be seen, as an expression of a high degree of self-control. In fact, it is a way to manifest the ability that a person has to control hunger. It represents the measure of his willpower on one of the most primordial instincts of man.
This concept has been translated from a different point of view. It has been aimed at the effects on metabolism and on the general state of health. Various protocols of food approaches have been studied (and still are), under the name of Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent fasting (or intermittent diet), involves several possible applications and sets rules on the ways in which, meals should be consumed.
The research in this regard, stems from studies on calorie restriction, a nutritional model that provides for the intake of a lower quantity of calories, without however reducing the supply of fundamental nutrients.
In short, it is about eating less but better, trying to enrich our food intake with important nutrients.
Initially the investigations had been carried out on primates. A famous study published by a group of American researchers in 2009 in Science, reported the experience observed on two groups of primates. One, treated with calorie restriction and the other, free to eat what he wanted.
Twenty years later the results had been surprising. In fact, survival had been significantly higher in the treated group than in the untreated group. Furthermore, a substantial disappearance of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart attack and tumours had emerged.
More recent studies and applications of calorie restriction in humans, confirm the old data. Also, they are consistent with the improvements in the reduction of the risk of disease and with the potential anti-aging effects.
In parallel and recently, protocols have been devised based instead on intermittent fasting, or on calorie restriction only within scheduled periods. The protocols alternate periods of normal food intake, on a recurring basis. There are several models:
– 16/8 scheme (or also called Leangains) in which you fast for 16 hours a day and eat the meals in the remaining 8 hours, generally performed on a maximum of 2 days a week;
– scheme 5: 2 (also called “Fast Diet”) in which calorie intake imitating fasting is expected (about 500-600 kcal) during 2 days in a week, while the remaining 5 are eaten normally;
– “Eat-Stop-Eat” scheme in which you fast for 24 consecutive hours one or two days a week.
16/8, the most popular leangains intermittent fasting method
The 16/8 method is the most common and also the one that can be applied most easily. It can be used, for example, by anticipating dinner and skipping breakfast the next day.
A weekly schedule may include skipping dinner, in order to allow the necessary time to pass during the night, taking advantage of the sleep phase. So, the time window in which to eat breakfast and lunch is reduced to 8 hours. For example: breakfast at 7am and lunch by 3pm. Then only calories-free liquids (therefore without added sugar, but preferably only water) until 7am the following morning. In this case 16 hours would have passed. You can move the window from 8 to 16 and resume the next morning at 8:00.
It is essential to maintain a certain regularity. Remembering that this diet, also called mima-fasting, should not be frustrated by overeating and bad eating. The 16/8 format allows you to combine physical exercise in the afternoon with a fast of sixteen hours.
Intermittent fasting is an hormetic stimulus: it means that if it is dosed in the correct way it produces a reparative and reinforcing response by the body, as happens in the case of physical training.
The leangains intermittent fasting has numerous benefits on predictive health indices and also contribute to weight loss, with:
– improvement in the level of insulin resistance.
– decrease in systemic inflammation.
– changes in the hormonal profile, with an increase in anabolic hormones that promote the mobilization of fats (cortisol, glucagon, testosterone, growth hormone.).
The other schemes, including those not mentioned, are difficult to follow due to the need for strict planning of both nutrition and sports activities.
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