Three ways intermittent fasting and eating at night can help you
Intermittent fasting is all the rage these days. You've probably talked to someone in the last year that has at least experimented with it (if you haven't, here's a basic guide- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide).
The scientific research into benefits is growing, but the jury is largely still out on some of the specifics. Anecdotally, I've had a great deal of success with myself and others, although I tend to employ intermittent fasting a bit differently than others.
Aside from some of the scientific benefits that are theorized, there may be some psychological or lifestyle benefits you might not have thought of!
Thinking outside the box with intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is done using specific "windows". Most people start their eating right away, however I personally do the opposite and eat right up until bedtime.
Despite going against mainstream advice, I use this window and sometimes suggest others try it for specific reasons.
- Hydration. Most of the people I deal with (guys especially) are consistently at some level of dehydration. During the fast, water is the only option; you inevitably drink more water during your fast than you do during your eating window. You cannot drink water while you sleep, so it makes more sense to have your heaviest period of water consumption at the start of the day. If your fast ends hours before bedtime, it's also not ideal to be filling your bladder before bed, potentially interfering with sleep.
- Energy. Unless your diet is absolutely immaculate, eating all your calories during the day can slow you down. Once your body adjusts to not eating right away, most people have a "light", energetic feeling in the mornings. The last hour or two before the fast ends can be a bit tough, but it's often better than the sluggish feeling people get from less than perfect food choices in the morning.
- Psychology. Working all day while looking forward to an evening of water is generally unrealistic and doesn't sound very fun. There might be some slight nutritional advantage to not eating before bed, but it's far less than most health zealots would have you believe. Having your window at night means you have all sorts of calories in the bank to enjoy the foods you love.
Think about lifestyle
Remember that the most crucial aspect of any diet or workout program's effectiveness is in it's potential for adherence.
Intermittent fasting at night and not eating before bed may offer some benefits (I emphasize "may"), but doesn't make sense for most people. It just plain sucks. Focus on changes that you can stick with permanently!
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