Ten years ago if you had told me I would have some clients use fasting or time-restricted eating (TRE) as a method to get better body composition and that it would be popular in the future, I would have said you were as crazy as a loon.
No way was fasting going to be the next fitness craze….
Oops, I was wrong.
However, is fasting a useful method for better body composition? I read in MuscleMag (RIP) that fasting strips all the muscle off you and within 4 fasting sessions you will fit down the drain in the shower.
Nope, not true Bro-ski.
Recently there was a very nice review done on a form of fasting called time-restricted eating (TRE)(1). In short, it shows benefits in several populations, but like most things – more science is needed.
Here is a cool geeky pic from the research to show some benefits.
TRE is just a fancy pants term for not eating over a specific portion on each day compared to ad libitum -aka – eat whatever you want whenever you want sans plan.
Even today I find forms of fasting to be a valuable intervention.
I don’t start every client with fasting nor think each client has to do fasting /TRE for better body composition, but it is an option.
A massive pro is that fasting is simple and cheap. Just don’t eat for a period of time. Simple.
Like all tools, you must understand the context of when to use them and the specifics too; otherwise you are dangerous. That is why I have an entire module in the Flex Diet Cert on Intermittent Fasting / TRE.
There you can learn 1) how fasting fits into the big picture, 2) the specifics of fasting condensed down to just 1 hour, 3) five specific action items to use with fasting.
Fasting is just one of 8 total interventions on nutrition / recovery within a complete system to improve their body comp and performance…without destroying your health in the process.
Plus, if you are a trainer, and you do not have an online system to manage your clients nutrition and recovery when they are not with you, you are not only hurting your income, your clients are getting inferior results. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. Even if you don’t use the FDC system, use something.
For more info, go to www.flexdiet.com
Fasting for the win!
1) Regmi, P., & Heilbronn, L. K. (2020). Time-Restricted Eating: Benefits, Mechanisms, and Challenges in Translation. iScience, 23(6), 101161. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101161
Mike T Nelson CISSN, CSCS, MSME, PhD
Associate Professor, Carrick Institute
Owner, Extreme Human Performance, LLC
Editorial Board Member, STRONG Fitness Mag