A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 2: Basic Nutrition 35 Figure 2.1. Correlation between Muscle Glycogen Content and Exercise Duration Intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is not as much a diet as it is a particular pattern of eating. Some of the more common types of intermittent fasting include: 16:8 (i.e., 16-hour fast with 8-hour eating window); 20:4 (i.e., 20-hour fast with 4-hour eating window); 5:2 (i.e., 5 days no restrictive with 2-days of fasting); 24-hour fast; 36-hour fast; alternate day fasting; and spontaneous fasting / skipping meals. The theory behind intermittent fasting is that the body burns more fat in a fasted state than when food is consumed on a more regular basis. Some research suggests that intermittent fasting may be an effective weight loss strategy for obese individuals; however, there is only limited data to suggest similar benefits for healthy, normal-weight individuals (Anton et al., 2017). In terms of performance, research has shown that eating before exercise, as compared to exercising on an empty stomach, helps to improve athletic performance (Aird et al., 2018). In terms of aesthetics, current research shows that fasting can be used when performing lowintensity endurance training to improve body composition. However, it is not recommended to perform fasted exercise for bouts lasting more than 60 minutes or when performing high-intensity exercise (Guillermo & Barakat, 2020). This is because being in a fasted state while performing long duration or high-intensity exercise can result in a catabolic state where the body is forced to break down muscle tissue in order to produce and provide available energy. Although intermittent fasting may work for some individuals, it isn’t for everyone. For example, intermittent fasting is not recommended for individuals who require a more frequent feeding schedule