What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a method of eating where you only eat certain times of the day. By doing so we allow our body to have time to regenerate and recover from the previous meal, and refill those stores of nutrients that were depleted after eating.
One of the most popular methods of intermittent fasting is called the 16/8 diet. In this type of IF, you fast for 16 hours each day and then consume food for 8 hours. Another way to do this would be to have 2 meals per day instead of three.
How does it work?
The basic premise of intermittent fasting is that instead of consuming all of your calories over a 24 hour period, you only consume some of them at specific times during the day.
There are two types of IF:
Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) – where you skip breakfast and lunch.
Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF) – where you eat normally throughout the day but restrict yourself to eating no more than 6 hours at any given time. There is some TRF – 5:2 diet, 16/8 Diet, 21 Day Fast, and many others.
How to get started with intermittent fasting
When following an IF plan, you would consume all your daily calories within 8 hours of waking up, and not eat again until after your last meal of the night. You’d skip breakfast entirely and drink plenty of water throughout the day. When it comes time for your evening meal, you would consume less than half of the amount of calories you normally eat.
Intermittent fasting has been proven to help people lose weight, lower cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, increase brain function, and even live longer. People who practice intermittent fasting follow a strict schedule of what they eat and when they eat.
You should always consult your doctor before starting any diet regimen. If you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart disease, kidney problems, liver problems, cancer, or any other medical condition, you need to speak with your physician first.
Note: We recommend starting out slow if you haven’t done any kind of fasting before. Begin with just skipping breakfast, then work up to skipping dinner. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You’ll know what works best for you once you start trying different things.
What Research says about intermittent fasting
- A lot of research shows that IF helps reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to many chronic illnesses, including obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.
- A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that participants who followed a TRF diet had higher antioxidant activity, reduced oxidative damage to DNA, and improved immune system functioning compared to those who ate normally.
- Many studies show that IF diets are safe and effective for anyone looking to lose weight. However, IF diets are not recommended for pregnant women or people with type 1 diabetes.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Here are 7 things that intermittent fasting helps achieve:
1. Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. Fasting is a great way to lose weight. When we eat less than normal, our bodies have to work harder to digest food and burn fat stores.
2. Improved insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting can help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for overall health and weight loss.
3. Reduced inflammation: Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is a major risk factor for chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
4. Lower cholesterol: Intermittent fasting can help lower cholesterol levels, which is another risk factor for chronic diseases.
5. Improved brain health: Intermittent fasting has been linked to improved brain health, including a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
6. Longevity: Intermittent fasting may help improve lifespan by protecting against age-related damage and chronic diseases.
7. Increased energy: Many people report increased energy levels when they start intermittent fasting. This is likely due to the increased fat burning that occurs during fasting.
Tips for making the most of your intermittent fasting experience
The first way intermittent fasting works is by eating only once per day. By doing this, you force yourself to eat at a specific time each day. If you skip breakfast, then you have to wait until lunchtime before you can eat again. You may find that you feel hungrier later on in the day if you do not eat anything between meals. However, if you eat three times a day, you will never get hungry.
Another way to make intermittent fasting work is to eat smaller portions throughout the day. Instead of having two big meals, try eating five small meals instead. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and prevent hunger pangs.
Drinking water before eating helps you feel fuller sooner and reduces cravings. Drinking water also helps keep your stomach contented, which makes it easier to control how much you eat.
Processed foods are high in calories, fat, and sodium, and they often lack nutritional value. When you eat these types of food, you are likely to gain weight and become unhealthy. Try to avoid fast food restaurants and snacks that are full of preservatives and additives.
A meal planner can help you track what you eat and when. This way, you can plan out your daily meals and stick to them.
Snacking between meals can provide extra fuel for exercise and help you maintain a healthy diet. Making your own snacks can save money and time.
What happens when you start as a beginner
1. When you start fasting, you’ll feel hungry and tired. Your body will begin to burn fat stores for fuel, so you may experience headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and cramps. These symptoms will last about 24 hours after you stop fasting. After that, your hunger will go away and your energy levels will return to normal.
2. Even though fasting seems daunting, if you stick to the guidelines, you won’t regret it. Most people find that their cravings decrease while they’re fasting. And some people actually enjoy the feeling of being hungry.
If you decide to try IF, make sure you follow a strict plan. Intermittent fasting may be for you! This popular dieting method involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating.
Also, remember to always consult your doctor before starting any fitness program.
I think you do better in life when you FEEL GOOD.
For me, leading a healthy lifestyle involves much more than just working out. It involves warming up, stretching, eating a healthy diet, and having the required rest and sleep. I enjoy assisting people in seeing and experiencing what their bodies are capable of with just enough effort. I make it my mission to assist you in leading a happy and balanced lifestyle that will reduce your risks of getting future health problems.