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Adé festive pounds with intermittent fasting

The festive season is fast approaching and speculoos, gingerbread and the like are already tempting us. By Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve at the latest, all the delicacies will be noticeable on the scales. Find out how to avoid excess holiday pounds with intermittent fasting without giving up Christmas treats in our blog post.

Many Germans put on weight over the festive period

Gaining weight over Christmas is not difficult. In this blog post, we already reported on various studies that showed that the last few weeks of the year in particular (including the first two weeks of January) contribute to an increase of up to one kilogramme. This may not sound like much at first, but it accumulates on your hips over the years.

How intermittent fasting works

In intermittent fasting, you either fast or eat in two different periods of time. The most common form of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method, also known as "lean gains". This involves fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours. Some people skip breakfast and often end their fasting period at 12 noon. They then start fasting again in the evening at around 8pm. Another option: eat as usual for 5 days and fast for 2 days.

Miracle cure intermittent fasting? Studies show:

In a recent study, for example, a group using the aforementioned 5:2 method lost almost 1.5kg - and did so throughout Advent and into the New Year. This was not the case for the control group. In addition, their insulin and blood lipid levels worsened - in contrast to the 5:2 group.

Further studies

In another study, eight overweight men and women shortened their eating window to ten hours. The result: 5 kg less on the scales! They were also able to maintain their weight for a year, although the opposite often occurs. Participants in another study who followed the Lean Gains method (16:8 method) did not lose weight, but reduced their body fat percentage by almost 2%.

Muscle building with intermittent fasting

Another benefit of intermittent fasting? Higher levels of the growth hormone HGH! Especially as it plays a crucial role in muscle growth. The hormone increases strength and training performance. Low levels of growth hormone tend to lead to undesirable effects such as more body fat. As soon as we eat, our body releases insulin. Although the hormone also stimulates muscle growth, a constant release disrupts natural HGH production.

Study participants who fasted for just two days, on the other hand, were able to increase their HGH production fivefold. Especially as a decrease in body fat leads to increased HGH production. However, HGH production appears to have a different effect on the training performance of women and men. Muscle strength changed slightly in men, but not in women.

A reduced body fat percentage and a higher muscle percentage were observed in both sexes. However, these effects were slightly more pronounced in men.

A "problem" with intermittent fasting

Some experts criticise the following: With intermittent fasting, only periods of time have to be adhered to, not specific dietary recommendations. This is an advantage for you over Christmas: if you eat a balanced and varied diet all year round, you can treat yourself to a few days of conscious indulgence. Because let's be honest, nobody wants to give up everything over Christmas.

The protein supply during intermittent fasting

Healthy Christmas biscuits such as our protein-rich cinnamon stars are also a good way to get into the Christmas spirit without putting on weight. Of course, you can also customise them to your liking with our Nature's Protein without sweetener and easily meet your protein requirements. Whether you're a man or a woman, give intermittent fasting a try over Christmas and see what it does for you.

5 tips for getting started with intermittent fasting

  • First think about when you want to set your time slot. If your family eats after 8 pm at Christmas, for example, then end your fasting period at 1 pm or even 2 pm.
  • It is also a good idea to gradually shorten your usual eating period over the course of a few days. Perhaps start with "12:12" and shorten the eating period by one hour each day.
  • It is also important to drink enough, as your brain often confuses hunger with thirst. Calorie-free drinks such as tea or water are best. Teas such as green tea, nettle tea, ginger tea, peppermint and rooibos also stimulate your metabolism, regulate your appetite and detoxify.
  • Of course, coffee is also suitable, as long as the drink is sweetened without plant-based drinks and only with stevia, erythritol or our Flave Drops, it also has an appetite-regulating effect.
  • Exercise is also a good way to distract yourself. Whether it's a long walk or a training session in the gym, both are great. For the latter, you are welcome to use our EAAs or BCAA Instant Powder  for a few extra gains.

Sources

  • R. Díaz-Zavala et al. Journal of Obesity. Effect of the Holiday Season on Weight Gain: A Narrative Review. 2017; n.p.
  • C. Rynders et al. Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Feeding Compared to Continuous Energy Restriction for Weight Loss. 2019; 2442.
  • Hofmann. BZfE. Intermittent Fasting - Effects on Weight and Health. 2017; 1-4.
  • S. Hirsh et al. Avoiding holiday seasonal weight gain with nutrient-supported intermittent energy restriction: a pilot study. 2019; 8-11.
  • MR Blackmann et al. Growth hormone and sex steroid administration in healthy aged women and men: a randomised controlled trial. 2002; 2082-92.
  • ML Hartmann et al. Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men. 1992; 757-65.