Intermittent fasting is nothing new. It is an ancient tradition used to improve concentration, spirituals, cholesterol, and much more. Intermittent fasting for weight-loss has become a popular conversation and here’s why…
Recently fasting has been reinvigorated as an excellent lifestyle promoting health and wellness. Often popular weight-loss diets like low-carb KETO use intermittent fasting as a means to achieve optimal weight-loss results. This article aims to cover the basic questions and provide additional information around the benefits of intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
It is important to understand intermittent fasting is not a diet.
Definitely not a reduction in calorie intake. In fact, you eat the exact same amount of food you would normally on a daily basis. Fasting is a meal timing lifestyle where food intake is consolidated to a specific period of time. And food consumption is restrained outside of that consolidated period. Fasting promotes KETOSIS. Ketosis is a state when body fat is used for energy and is induced by depriving your body of carbs or sugar for an extended period of time. Typically it takes anywhere between 12 to 24 hours to initiate ketosis when fasting. Many practicing the keto-diet use intermittent fasting to accelerate ketosis. In addition for many it helps burn fat and increase weight-loss.
How do I fast?
Let’s go over the top 3 most popular fasting methods.
12/12 method. Beginners are encouraged to include their sleep period as part of fasting. For example, if your bed time is at 10pm and you are participating in 12 hours of intermittent fasting; food consumption would stop before 10pm until 10am the following morning when you break fast. Your daily meals would take place outside of these hours.
Another popular intermittent fast is the 16/8 method. This approach involves fasting for 16 hours and allowing food intake only in the remaining 8 hours of the day. It is a bit more challenging than 12 hours of fasting. Unless you are eating every hour, an 8 hour window will only allow 2 to 3 meals.
Lastly the most challenging of the 3, the eat-stop-eat method. This form of fasting involves no food consumption for 24 hours straight. You will practice this for 2 to 3 days per week. For example you may decide to exempt yourself from food on Tuesday and Thursday. Follow your normal meal routine the remaining days.
What if I become hungry during the fasting period?
“Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable” – Bill Gates
The single best approach is to prevent fasting hunger in the first place. Do this by eating adequately during your eating window. Although, eating whatever your little heart desires during eating periods may still result in weight loss. You want to stick with high quality protein and healthy fats. If you have carbs, complex carbs are the way to go as it gets digested a lot slower than simple carbs. For example try these ALMOND FLOUR KETO BAGELS, a delicious healthy low carb alternative.
OK, what if I’m still hungry?
Water is your best friend. Drink ample amounts of water during and after fasting. The National Academy Of Science recommends men and women should drink an average of 3.7 and 2.7 liters of water per day. Set this recommendation as your minimum threshold. Aim for 4.5 liters or almost 20 cups of water daily to subside hunger. Feel free to mix it up with seltzer water, tea and coffee to spice things up.
It’s imperative you stay occupied and away from food temptation such as cooking shows and folks eating. Its true boredom and stress that can lead to excessive eating. If the mind stays busy, odds are time quickens and hunger pains will not be an issue. Lastly, find your motivation and surround yourself with individuals sharing common goals.
Tell me about the benefits
- Intermittent Fasting For Weight-loss – lose the weight and belly fat without calorie restrictions. In addition, intermittent fasting may lead to eating fewer calories altogether which is conducive to more weight reduction.
- Lowers risks of type 2 diabetes – Since fasting contributes to weight loss, it naturally means it’s conducive to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because obesity is the main factor of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, fasting causes insulin resistance which protects against type 2 diabetes.
- Heart health improvement – A reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol are benefits you could experience from intermittent fasting. In essence you will be reducing the chances of heart disease as these benefits are all risks factors.
- Anti-aging – a study shows intermittent fasting can expand lifespan. The study subjected 24 rats to an every other day intermittent fasting lifestyle and fed another 28 rats only when hungry (ad libitum diet). The experiment concluded rats subjected to intermittent fasting’s lifespan increased by 83% in comparison to those in the ad libitum diet.
- Improved brain functionality – Intermittent fasting can improve your memory as well as learning abilities. A study fed mice every other day resulted with better memory and learning skills when subjecting them to Barnes Maze and fear conditions.
Are there any side effects to fasting?
Side effects are minimal. In the beginning stages of fasting when your body is adjusting to the changes, you may experience weakness. Your brain may not feel up to par as well. Do not worry. These are normal occurrences for a beginner and will change with time. However, if you have a medical condition(s) or taking medication, always consult with your doctor before implementing intermittent fasting.