Intermittent Fasting and Carb Back Loading – Diet advice
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting calls for one to consume all their daily calories during a restricted time period during the day, known as the “feeding window”. Once outside this allotted window you must refrain from eating all together, this is know as the “Fasted window”. The theory is that all the time you are fasting your body will have no option but to use fat as fuel, thus resulting in lipolysis, the breakdown of fat and a decrease in body fat.
Having a small feeding window rather than grazing throughout the day should naturally result in a lower total intake of calories- if performed correctly..
This type of diet is useful for people with a busy schedule or for people who do not like eating small meals often. Remember try and find a diet that works for you- if intermittent fasting is easier for your day to day life and are more likely to stick to it then it is more likely that it will work for you..
As with all diets i would advice you keep the food as clean as possible.
Carb Back Loading:
Carb Back Loading is a diet that i think will work for certain individuals but not for everyone. I was always taught to consume the majority of my carbs at the start of the day so that i can burn the carbs as energy throughout the day rather storing them as fat..
Carb Back Loading is however a fast growing trend in the fitness industry that goes against this principle.
The idea is that you eat light in the morning and virtually no carbs throughout the day until you have exercised. Since exercise would usually be performed after work or in the evening the first carb intake would be after your exercise has finished in the afternoon. You then continue to consume carbs throughout the remainder of the evening.
Why consume your carbs in the evening ? This diet takes advantage of your body’s natural daily fluctuations in insulin sensitivity in your muscle and fat cells, as well as the exercise induced increase in insulin sensitivity in your muscle cells.
By not eating carbs when your body is ready to store them as fat, (which happens to be earlier in the day), you instead consume carbohydrates when your body is starved of them (later in the day), and hence will be much more likely to store them as glycogen in the muscles.
After working out, your glycogen stores (‘reserve’ energy) will be depleted. This means insulin senitivity will be increased in your muscle cells, but will remain at a lower sensitivity in your fat cells. As a result, when you start eating carbs, they will instantly be utilised by your muscles, rather than being stored as fat.
- Less restrictive- being allowed to eat carbohydrates in the evening gives you a greater food choice when dinning out with friends and family and allows you to choose the foods you want guilt free
- A lot of people get food cravings in the evening and this is when diets are usually broken- due to the less restrictive nature of the diet you can enjoy some of your cravings when you want them (although i wouldn’t advise giving into the cravings all the time)
- Cortisol levels (stress released hormone) are usually highest in the morning- by avoiding eating carbs in the morning your body should store less fat throughout the day
- Improved sleep- consuming carbs increases the production of melatonin and serotonin in the body which help improve the quality of sleep (however this is based on eating slow releasing carbohydrates rather than sugary foods) (i do not agree with this point but it is one to take into consideration)