I’ve decided to write this article to share my personal experience when it comes to dieting. This is an important subject when it comes to dieting and weight loss because I don’t see a lot out there being said about will-power management and how that relates to our nutrition.
To lose body we know that we need a negative energy balance. We need to expend more energy than we consume, to enable the mobilization of fat reserves and therefore reduction in body fat.
If a negative energy balance is combined with exercise (preferably including resistance training), a higher protein diet and sufficient recovery we can see drastic improvements in body composition.
This all sounds very simple but why do so many people then fail to reach their body composition goal? Staying in a caloric deficit for an extended period is not as easy as it sounds. Hunger, stress, anxiety, mood swings, and other life factors can make dieting hard.
This is where intermittent fasting – a diet technique with regards to smart maneuvering of meal frequency and timing to set 4-8 hour eating windows, helps many adhere to a caloric deficit.
Intermittent fasting, if done correctly, can help you a great deal in losing weight faster while maintaining an ideal body composition for you at the same time.
One often overlooked factor is the psychology of a diet, and more specifically how our will-power levels correlate with diet adherence.
Willpower is only required in huge doses for self-control when the right diet habits aren’t formed. Developing healthy eating habits and designing your environment to facilitate healthy eating is a highly efficient way to create lasting change.
However, there are still times where we do need to use willpower to fight off cravings, hunger and to make sure we stick with the right calorie intake.
Where intermittent fasting comes into play is that it trains a meal pattern where the first meal is post-postponed for a few hours, and we’re not rushing to eat as soon as we wake up.
A lot of people have no problem delaying the first meal for 4-6 hours. After waking up, our willpower is at its highest. We tend not to feel the starvation, so we don’t experience food cravings.
On the other hand, if we look at how our behavior and will-power levels change in those last few hours of the day, after training and work hours we see that this is the usually the time where most diets fall apart.
Cravings for high sugar, high-fat foods is at its highest, willpower levels are depleted, and all we can think about is that tub of ice cream that’s waiting for us in the fridge.
Intermittent fasting enables more calorie consumption in a shorter period of time which means bigger meals and more satiety. These big meals also conveniently are available when we are sluggish and most prone to fall of the diet.
Additionally, this approach will give us more flexibility to live a healthy social life and facilitate the occasional meal out.
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