Fasting vs Calorie Restricted Diets

Having been a Fitness Professional for 14 years I have seen many different forms of diet iterations.  Whenever I have had time to try them I have just for a little while to use myself as a case study for clients who would inquire.  What I found out was very interesting when I tried both a Calorie restricting plan (reducing your total daily calories or any combo of days with restricted caloric intake) and intermittent fasting (taking a break from eating altogether for 24 hours once or twice a week).  Here’s what I found for both of these plans:

CALORIE RESTRICTED DIETING

THE BAD

  • I had less energy on a daily basis
  • I felt workouts were less productive and I lost anaerobic strength
  • I was in a state of constant hunger
  • I felt fuzzy and light headed at times

THE GOOD

  • I could plan my meals and even though food portions were smaller or lower in calories I was able to eat
  • I lost body weight

INTERMITTENT FASTING 

The concept of not eating at all or taking in any calories, goes against most philosophies that have been preached over the years by nutritionist and Personal Trainers, however there can be some real benefits of fasting:

THE BAD

  • The first couple of times you fast you have the obvious signs of hunger, lightheaded, hungry, however I did not experience tremendous energy deficits
  • You can’t intake any calories only water or calorie free drinks

THE GOOD

  • I actually got better workouts, my strength went up
  • Although my weight went down, it was primarily a change in body fat
  • HGH in your body spikes in the final hours of fasting which helps your workout gains
  • After the first week I fasted I got used to not eating the days I fasted and it wasn’t so bad especially on the busy work days
  • Don’t have to worry about what to eat since your fasting

These are just my takes on the difference between the two dieting protocols.  I preferred intermittent fasting (fit my schedule more), yielded more results and felt great.  Intermittent fasting isn’t great for everyone and of course you should consult a doctor before your begin any diet or program.  So if your the kind of person who needs to constantly eat then calorie restriction would be better, however if you are busy and have will power than intermittent fasting is for you.
Here’s to your success,

Micah