INTERMITTENT FASTING & 'STARVATION' MODE
Today I'm covering a topic that a few of you have messaged about, with concern to my current protocol of IF (intermittent fasting) and the so called 'starvation' mode.
When I first got into health & nutrition, the recurring theme was that you needed 4-6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism high and churning over (frequent eating). This was so engrained in the industry, that the idea of skipping meals would put your body into 'starvation' mode - referring to metabolic decline, initializing the breakdown of muscle, and increase in the rate of fat storage.
...The science behind this, shows that it's A MYTH.
Firstly, it doesn't matter how you partition your calories throughout the day, the Thermogenic Effect of Food (TEF) is the same given the same quantity - there's no metabolic decline if you are intermittent fasting in the day.
That said, if you were to fast beyond 72hrs, your body basal metabolic rate (BMR) MAY start to decline (but only as much as 8-10% max) and amino acids (muscle tissue) will slowly transition to your body's source of energy - once the carbohydrates and fats in your body have been exhausted.... But that is BEYOND intermittent fasting, which sticks within a 24hr window, typically with a 16-22hr fast.
Finally, the claim that it leads to greater fat storage is ridiculous. Whilst your body is in a 'fasted' state your body slowly transitions to burning fat for energy - actually depleting your stores. Your calorie balance followed by your macronutrient ratios is going to be your main determiner of whether you gain weight or not - there is no change in your body's physiological ability to store or break down fat. If anything it's ability to breakdown fat for energy may be improved.
Intermittent fasting is definitely not for everyone (or even for those that do, all the time – lifestyle and preferences change). It is a dietary style I’m experimenting with to learn more about. However with all my experiments, I ALWAYS stick to my healthy habits year-round on exercise and nutrition.
Hope this helps debunk the starvation myth for you.
Stay Healthy & Happy!
*** Posted whilst experimenting with Intermittent Fasting & Macronutrient-Counting***