Thank you for checking out The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype! This episode of The Community Conversation is a NUTRITION EDITION! Typically, The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness. For this episode, we have two of our Prototype Nutrition Coaches dropping some Nutrition knowledge bombs!
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For this nutrition edition of the Community Conversation, Prototype Nutrition Coach Jon Collette and Prototype Nutrition’s Registered Dietitian, Sam Hally will be discussing Intermittent Fasting. If you’re looking to learn more about nutrition for yourself or pick up some good eating habit tips, you will want to check this out!
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Thank you for tuning in to the community conversation brought to you by a prototype training system home of CrossFit prototype. Sam and I are back with another nutrition episode to help provide you with some education and some strategies to better your nutrition while still enjoying your social life. There’s a lot of misinformation on nutrition, we want to aim to provide you with some clarity on some of these topics. Today, we wanted to talk about intermittent fasting in particular, and some of the claims behind intermittent fasting in regards to weight loss. So we’ll start a little general with Sam, what, what is intermittent fasting? Exactly? Okay, so in preparation for this, I looked it up. And turns out, there’s a ton of different kinds of intermittent fasting.
I think when we think of intermittent fasting, we think like, skipping breakfast, like not eating in the morning, and then eating in like an eight hour window from 12pm to 8pm. And then fasting for another 16 hours, which is like the 16 eight or 816 method I forget which which way the numbers go. But I’ve seen apparently on the internet, and there’s a lot of different ones that like you do five days of normal eating, and then two days a week where you like, basically fast all day. There’s like a handful of different types. But I think for today we’re focusing mostly on like the 16 eight concept when it comes to intermittent fasting Have you eat in a very small window of time. And then outside that window, all you’re having is just something to drink, like water, or maybe coffee, but nothing of nutritional value.
The days we you the only thing you can have is stuff that doesn’t contain calories.
Yeah, pretty much. Unless you want to talk about something different, john, but I think this is the track we’re going.
Yeah, no, I mean, that’s, that’s the role of intermittent fasting, I guess, of like black coffee, tea and water. Um, and I think I don’t think there’s anything else that you can i don’t think that you’re able to have any form of zero calorie beverages or anything like that, because there’s some added vitamins and minerals and the small traces of calories. So it’s like a zero calorie type of thing. Um, okay, so why would someone do intermittent fasting? Or why would someone consider doing intermittent fasting based off of some of the claims out there?
Yeah, so probably the most common one is weight loss, I feel like this is another fad diet that has made its way into the forefront of, I don’t know if it’s the media or like, just like the nutrition world in the last couple years of it has been a successful weight loss diet for a handful of people. So it’s kind of gained some traction of people who want to lose weight, find that intermittent fasting might work for them. I guess there’s several claims about other things like it, raise your metabolic rate, lowers your risk of diabetes, like it changes your cholesterol, it changes your gut health, there’s like a lot of different ones. But I think, by and large, the same reason someone looks to a keto diet of like, they want to lose weight, nothing, quotes, air quotes, nothing is working. And so this seems like the next solution, which we’re probably going to talk about in a little bit depth of like, intermittent fasting can be a solution or like a way to lose weight, but it’s not necessarily going to be the best way to lose weight. Um, now, john, do you want to start talking about that a little bit of like, why does intermittent fasting work as a weight loss diet?
So I think the theory behind intermittent fasting is that because you’re not eating for 16 hours, your body is essentially just going to be running off your reserves, right. So if we think like that, if we just think black and white, it’s 100% true. If you’re not consuming anything, your body is still needing energy. So you are going to your body is going to oxidate adipose tissue, so body fat, but as soon as we consume calories, then your body starts using the calories you’ve consumed as energy. So the argument is intermittent fasting, a better alternative to just a calorie restricted diet where we don’t necessarily eat all of our calories in only an eight hour window, but we eat throughout the day. Is that Is there any benefit to doing one over the other and based off of some of the research out there? Um, there’s like some pros and cons to each thing. The pros is that for some people eating in an eight hour window is more satiating for them to consume all their calories in a shorter period of time. So that leads to consuming fewer calories. Now, does that mean that within eight hours you can’t out, you know, over consume your calories and put yourself in a calorie surplus? You certainly can do that. But it might be more difficult to do that in a smaller window of time. That’s part of why there’s some benefits for some people to do that, because it just makes it more difficult to over consume calories. But from what we’ve been reading up on, is now the argument is, is it more beneficial in the sense of weight loss or more beneficial in the sense of fat loss when we compare eating all the calories in an eight hour window? And or just consuming our calories throughout the day? Let’s say it was calories equated through both methods. So scim want to talk about that a little bit? Um, what was some of the research that we just touched just right upon when comparing intermittent fasting, and just a calorie controlled diet where you’re still eating in a calorie deficit? What were some of the comparisons between the two,
I feel like you should talk about this, this comes from your favorite guy in the world. I’ll get started and then I’ll let you finish it out. But basically, when you’re eating calorie restriction, typically you’re balancing out your macronutrients a little better than you would in like a time restriction. Because if you’re thinking like I’m eating a weight loss diet, typically you’re going to put focus or emphasis on protein. And like, then add in the carbs and fats versus eating in this eight hour window, there’s no restriction on the foods that people are eating. So eating habits might not necessarily change. And so someone would eat between that eight hour window and be in a natural calorie deficit, but still be eating low protein, so there’s not as much. So there’s not as much fat loss, but there’s overall muscle loss. But I’m gonna let I’m gonna let you talk about it. This guy is like, what’s his name again, Leigh Norton,
Ole norns. Oh, you broke down a study that was comparing a calorie restricted diet and a diet done the intermittent fasting format, so essentially, just, you can either eat all your calories in eight hour window or not. And they gave them a little bit of like education on how a healthy diet should look. But they didn’t have them. They didn’t give them like a necessarily calorie range, or a, or even like macros or anything like that. So they didn’t get any guidance on that. And the reason why they didn’t get any guidance in those areas, because they wanted to see, like, if someone was doing intermittent fasting, if they would just consume fewer calories, because they’re eating in a shorter window of time, versus the other group that was monitoring their calories. Um, and the results were that both groups because both groups were, you know, focusing on controlling their calories in some way, both groups lost weight, but the difference was that the group that was doing intermittent fasting, I should just take a step back. So when you’re, if you lose weight, let’s say you lose 10 pounds, there’s gonna be some of that weight that’s going to come from lean body mass, okay, there’s, there’s not ever going to be a 100% all pure fat loss without losing any form of lean body mass, if you lost 100 pounds, I wouldn’t just be 100 pounds of fat, there would be some muscle loss in there. And just think like simply because your body doesn’t need to have that much muscle of is it carrying around that much weight. So anyways, they compare the two groups, the one doing fasting and one just doing calorie restricted, and they both last week, but the difference was that the group that was restricting your calories and eating whenever they wanted throughout the day, they lost I think it was like 30% lean body mass. Now the group that was doing intermittent fasting was 65%, lean body mass. So the theory behind this even though you don’t know how much protein they’re exactly having is there’s fewer opportunities to eat protein throughout throughout the day in an eight hour window and protein, super satiating. So it’s going to be hard to meet protein requirements and a shorter period of time and sensitives more filling. It’s also going to make it easier to not get enough just for that simple fact that proteins, more satiating, and if you were eating just protein in your eight hour window, it would leave you pretty, pretty low energy overall, with everything else you’re consuming. Um, well, there’s other research out there on protein and timing and things like that, when it comes to, if you’re having protein, every three to four hours, and somewhere between the, I think it was like 20, to 50 gram range, you’re going to have what’s called muscle protein synthesis. So it’s going to have an elevated response. So that just means that you’re going to almost think like, there’s like this, like, I know, if anyone’s listening on Spotify, they’re not going to see my hands. But if there was like, there was like a, you know, a back and forth like teeter totter, you’re going to have like, a, you’re gonna have breakdown and muscle protein synthesis, right? When your body is under breakdown, your muscle protein synthesis is lower, right? Because you’re,
you’re essentially you’ve put stress on the body with muscle breakdown. Now, when you aren’t working out, right, that breakdown is gonna start to go down, that’s basically, you know, recovering, right? muscle protein synthesis is what aiding us in recovery. If we have enough protein into our diet, muscle protein synthesis is going to be more elevated. And if we can have more feedings of protein throughout the day, then that is going to make it so you’re going to optimize maintaining muscle for the fact that you’re keeping that protein synthesis higher than you would if you were to only have protein in one, the twos feeding. So if you’re eating for 16 hours versus just eight hours, you can probably feed yourself like five, four or five servings of protein. But then if you’re only eating in eight hours, then you know, you’re probably only having anywhere between one to two because most people use intermittent fasting as a strategy to only have one or two big meals. And there is an upper limit. It’s why, you know, I mentioned that, you know, 20 to 50 grams is kind of where you’re, you know, if you have more than 50 grams, it’s not like your body doesn’t absorb protein, but you don’t really get too much more benefit after having more than that. So you can’t go ahead and have your 200 pounds have 200 pounds of protein in one setting and get the same benefit as you would if you spread out and had four servings of 50 grams. So it’s basically what’s happening is in that study is that that probably just came down to the people weren’t consuming either enough protein or they just weren’t getting the same benefits as they would if they were to spread it out. So the guy that actually did the study was Layne Norton does a really good job breaking down these studies. So if you don’t follow bioline, his Instagram page, if you’re like interested in nutrition like we are, he’s someone that I always look up to. He explained that the guy that did the study, once he, once he got the results of the study, person that did the study did intermittent fasting because they lost weight doing it and they did a study to see if you know if that was the reason why. And after they did the study, they realize that the results weren’t exactly what he expected. So he changed his diet and stopped doing intermittent fasting so he could have more feedings of food throughout the day. Because you just compare the two groups if if, if you can, you know have protein more often than not, then, you know, you’re probably going to benefit more than
definitely another interesting thing that came out of that, too. It sounds like the group that was intermittent fasting, decrease their exercise, unintentionally. So like that could be a big part of it too. But like if your exercise routine has changed, muscle mass might decrease with that as well. Now is that because they’re not being fueled like they were normally is that because like they’re lethargic in the morning, because they haven’t eaten anything. So people decreased the amount that they were moving around. I don’t know, jury’s still out on that. But definitely something to know. Like, if you’re fasting for eight no at 16 hours, like not eating or getting any kind of nourishment for 16 hours, like the body might make natural adaptations to that and like what that might be is less exercise or like fewer steps, I think is what the actual result was in that study. Because our bodies are smart, and we don’t want to move.
bodies are super smart. So if we look at things from like an evolutionary standpoint, right, and so, um, some of us aren’t hungry in the morning for breakfast, and so we don’t have breakfast. Okay, now why may that happen is that your body is pretty smart and sees that as there’s no point in wasting energy by signaling hunger that you’re Since you don’t eat breakfast, why signal hunger will signal hunger when you typically eat. This is how we get into patterns of doing things as well, I’m not hungry for breakfast. So that’s why I don’t have breakfast. But we get into patterns. So your body doesn’t signal that you’re hungry in the morning because you don’t typically eat breakfast the same way as if you, um, you know, do intermittent fasting, and you typically eat your first meal at one o’clock, you know, the first time, the first day of doing intermittent fasting might be really hard, but anyone that’s ever encouraged you to do intermittent fasting, like, No, I’m not even hungry, like I have, I have so much energy, it’s all kind of like, um, a little bit more like anecdotal as well as, like, this is how I feel. So, you know, this might work for for you as well, when if you’re normally hungry for breakfast, you know, just eat breakfast, like, you don’t have to fight that. But if you’re not hungry for breakfast, it that strategy might work for you. Right, but there’s not, I guess, what we’re saying is that there’s not really magic to the whole, you know, if you eat in this window of time that, you know, you’re, you’re gonna have increased benefits, because just based off of the research that’s out there, there’s not, there’s not gonna say you can you can do either, or it’s not to say that one is better or worse than the other, it’s probably more important to be able to sustain whatever approach, I know some people that do intermittent fasting, and they’re pretty well educated on the fact that it’s just easier for them to adhere to. It’s just like, you know, maybe their mornings are super busy. So it’s just easier to go ahead and not have to think about one more thing of eating breakfast. So they have, you know, their routine is at the lunch, maybe a couple snacks and dinner. If it works for you. It’s fine. But um, if you’re doing it because you think that it is, you know, the better alternative, then, you know, you don’t have to do it. Have you ever tried intermittent fasting have Yeah. fasting for? I think I did it for I don’t know, three months. And I it wasn’t. And it was exactly how I just explained, it wasn’t like the first week I was like, I felt like I was fighting hunger in the morning. And then after a while, I was like, Oh, this isn’t that bad. Um, but when your schedule get too busy, and you’re, you know, have back to back to back to back, you know, either coaching classes, or I have training and I can’t eat for for seven hours. And then I have more stuff to do after that me not having breakfast is too long of a time for me to go without having a meal. I can’t wait until you know, I’m almost dinner time might be the next time or words available, I have time during lunch, but I’m just not able to get my calorie needs. And if anyone knows me, I always get shit on that. I’m like this little guy. So I’m, I’m eating a lot of food, guys. I mean, I’m trying my best, I probably consume, like close to 3000 calories a day. And I can’t do that without breakfast. So for me, I need breakfast because my next opportunity to eat is probably like 11. So I eat around at 4am. And then I may not have anything besides a protein shake until like 11 or 12. So that’s I would feel exhausted if I continue that. So when I did do it, I get it. But then I realized like my energy was so low, I was like, I was tired leading up to my first meal. And if if I didn’t have to then, you know, I kind of thought that it was better like, like a better approach for you know, like, just to lay health in general, but seems that there’s no difference in blood markers or anything like that. And when you eat all your calories in eight hours, so you know, you hear like, Okay, well if you intermittent fasting gives your body a break and stuff like that, but creating all your calories in eight hours, guess what your blood sugar is going to be higher in that eight hour window than it normally would in the stable day. Your insulin level is gonna spike higher and it’s gonna stay higher and that period of time because you’re eating more frequently versus spreading your calories out. So yeah, for what it’s worth.
I felt more tired because I felt like my body was constantly trying to digest the next meal and then I was like, okay, like I need to get more calories in again. Yeah, so
we have a natural rhythm like our blood sugar spikes and drops naturally and so like if we feed it like the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner time, like those are when the body naturally drops lower blood sugar, so it’s like it makes sense that we typically feed at like 8am at noon, we snack everything mmm eat dinner around like 6pm like there’s a reason for that because like that’s like the body’s natural rhythm of blood sugar drops They’ll be like, ignore that in the morning. No wonder like lunch rolls around and then you’re starving. Also, when you wake up at three in the morning, like, you can’t wait until noon time to have your first meal. That’s absurd. No. Can’t feel good.
Um, yeah, so, um, didn’t work for me. But I know some people that it works well for so not a this is the point of all these episodes on the podcast guys is to have you guys be more informed. So you can be better critical thinkers about, you know, some of the stuff you might hear on might not be turned on Dr. Oz might be saying that this is the best thing for your health. When you know, there’s got to be we got to think more critically about some of the claims that are out there. Because it’s really hard to know, like, what’s true, what’s false. So kind of think about anything sounds like it’s like this magic solution, it’s probably a little overblown. And it’s probably just a marketing tool to get you to either purchase a product or buy a service. And, you know, that’s the main point of what we’re trying to give you guys is more clarity. So when you guys make decisions with your nutrition, it’s based off of science based education, and not just like, you know, just not all anecdotes.
Yeah, exactly. Not. Right. Like you’ve seen people try things, you’ve tried things. Or you could talk about that all day. But is that based on science? Well, I mean, yeah, cuz you know it. But you can’t just say like, Oh, this worked really well for my aunt. So I’m gonna try it now, which is what I think people do a lot of time when they hear about intermittent fasting or keto or any of those other fad diets. So yeah, read the papers. And if you don’t want to read the papers, ask us to read the papers. Or watch the other people who do read the papers and break it down nice and smooth. for everyone to understand. Right? Did you have anything else john about this topic that you want to touch on today?
Um, nothing’s coming to mind at the moment. But I mean, questions, guys really help us be able to know what you’re curious about what you’d like to learn more about. So then we can, we can help. best we can. Even if it seems like a silly question, just message us. We won’t use your name. No, I don’t have anything to add more to, to this, I guess we could just summarize by intermittent fasting can be a tool for for weight loss, but it’s definitely not a magic solution. Um, you know, you got to see whether or not if it is something that you were thinking about experimenting with, you know, just think about a little bit of what we talked about is what’s the goal and how sustainable is that based off of your schedule your life? And, you know, would that make things easier or harder for you to go ahead and adhere to that type of diet?
Yeah, exactly. So with that being said, if you have any more questions, reach out. If you have suggestions for future podcasts, let us know and we hope you have a wonderful day.