Right now, everyone is clamoring about how effective Intermittent Fasting is for fat loss. Indeed, it works and has helped a lot of individuals lose weight when seemingly everything else had failed. Yes, it works and is an amazing tool for removing the extra poundage we carry around easily. But is it for everyone? Can we just whip out an Intermittent Fasting plan and make it fit everyone else’s needs and schedules? Let’s try to figure out if Intermittent Fasting for Office Workers is the best fitness choice for these troubled souls.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
For those who haven’t heard of IF or Intermittent Fasting, it is just an eating pattern. A schedule where one fasts for a certain “Fasting Period” and eats during a certain “Feeding Window”. Usually the ratio of fasting and feeding is split up in such a way the Fasting Period is at least twice the Feeding Window.
IF has branched off into a number of protocols, which is a clear indication of how customisable this system is. However, there are about 5 types that serves as the foundation to every one of these protocols floating around diet diaries and fitness sites.
- The 16-8 protocol or The Leangains Method – The fasting period is for 16 hours, usually scheduled at nighttime extending unto midday by skipping breakfast. And the feeding window is 8 hours when two or three moderately big meals are planned out.
- The 20-4 or The Warrior’s Diet – So called because warriors of the past before the advent of agriculture used an eating pattern similar to this by hunting or working all day long to eat only during a 4 hours Feeding Window. Small amounts of fruits and vegetables can be used sparingly during the 20 hours of restriction.
- OMAD or One Meal A Day – Almost similar to the Warrior’s Diet but this one will be an entire day’s worth of restriction for a single meal at night or any time of the day that can fit one’s respective schedules. And no fruits and vegetables during the Fasting Period.
- The 5:2 Protocol – This protocol, also called The Fast Diet is a pretty simple concept of fasting where one eats normally 5 days a week and restrict their calories to 500-600 on two days.
- Eat-Stop-Eat – This was structured by fitness expert Brad Pilon. This method involves fasting for 24 hours, twice a week. The remaining 5 days will ne normal days of responsible eating.
These are the few examples of setting an Intermittent Fasting Protocol and we can see clearly from this that fasting can go anywhere from 6 hours to well over 48 hours at a time. It can sound daunting for beginners but the fact stands that it delivers results…fast.
- It reduces body fat because of calorie restriction and healthy eating.
- It can regulate hormonal levels and boost Human Growth Hormone.
- Regulation of Insulin can ward off Diabetes Type 2.
- It increases mental focus and acuity.
- Gives us immense will power and determination.
As we can see, it has nigh magical properties if used correctly and many proponents of IF have pointed it out as the lifestyle of the next generation. However, many office workers in corporate and government offices have problems with adjusting their 9-5 jobs with this eating pattern.
So why do Office Workers often give up IF ?
- Many people are emotional eaters and tend to binge on a tonne of ice-creams and pizza at the slightest whiff of stress. And the office is the worst place to be to avoid stress, for 9-5 jobs often entail an astounding amount of responsibilities, with deadlines of important projects, missing files, bossy bosses and jabbering co-workers.
- Not many people respect our food choice and timings and some of them will go on trying to break the rules of fasting just for the sound of it and maybe a pinch of envy of our ever-reducing waistline. This kind of pressure can affect us emotionally and most eventually give in.
- For beginners to IF, cravings can become a real nuisance if not curbed in time and with extreme self-discipline. Perhaps if one stays at home, full focus can be given to mastering the timings of IF. But this dynamic can change with aforementioned stress and pressure of the office. And one thing about cravings that most of us might have a problem with is the Snowballing effect of one bite. A bite of harmless cookie bite can snowball up to a heavy greasy dinner filled with all sorts of unhealthy food options. And even more scary is the fact that this guilt eating can extend to well over days and weeks of uncontrolled eating. Adios to washboard abs and hola to diabetes.
Speaking from experience, the 16-8 Protocol or Leangains Method is the best bet for Office Workers. One can easily skip breakfast at 8-9 and with a tad of willpower, ignore the tummy rumbles till about 1 pm for the much awaited lunch. And then, one can always grab that ever tempting slice of pizza on the way home at 5 pm for the second meal. And then around the 8-hour mark of the Feeding Window, which if everything goes right, falls at 9 pm, one can always cap off a good day with dinner. Adios to diabetes and hola to washboard abs.
It always is much better to endure the cravings at morning and plan our meal times at our weak times and the 16-8 protocol does that perfectly. You don’t even need to be concerned about the lone obligatory cookie you were forced to eat by a well-meaning co-worker or that coffee with the hot secretary once you are about a week or two in into IF. The first three days are usually the hardest. Wait it out with whatever you have and you will be rewarded in the end.
However, IF is all about calorie restraints and you can’t stuff your face in during meal times with the sweetest and greasiest of fast foods. If you do that, not even the most rigorous of schedules and protocols won’t stop your descent to an ever expanding waistline and into the valley of type 2 Diabetes.
As a hand rule, learn to track calories and use a reliable TDEE Calculator. Eat lots of greens and proteins. Go moderate on carbohydrates and fats. Nothing can go wrong with this. In a way, Intermittent Fasting for Office Workers can be easy.
In a perfect world, we can all eat whatever we want and not suffer anything. However, reality can bite really hard and so, we need to take up certain steps by sacrificing a few inches off our comfort zones. Whatever it takes.