Intermittent fasting, it seems to be #trending in the fitness world and as you will see below, I can understand why!
If you are an avid YouTube watcher, as I am, you would have noticed that many influencers are talking about how this lifestyle is changing their fitness journey.
People claim that they are losing weight much faster and that their digestion is much better. But, we will get into the benefits in a bit.
Disclaimer: I am not a health care specialist, I am simply documenting my personal experiences and perspective based on research I have found from other sources. I do not speak for anybody but myself and cannot gauruntee that works, or doesn’t work, for me will work for you. Please contact an educated health care specialist if you have questions or want to change your diet or lifestyle.
What’s Intermittent Fasting You Say?
Intermittent fasting is, unlike what you might think, not a diet but a pattern of eating. Hence, why I coined it a lifestyle because it does affect the way you live (in a way). It refers to dedicating a certain amount of hours during the day to eating (typically called your window of eating), and a dedicated time to fasting (when you are not eating).
In a way, it’s like you are skipping breakfast or pushing it back a bit later than normal.
Basically, when you are going about your day and eating regularly, your body is in a fed state as it absorbs and digests food. During this period of time, it’s much more difficult for your body to lose fat because your insulin levels are too high.
The post-absorptive state is when your body isn’t focused on processing food. This phase lasts about 8 to 12 hours after your last meal. It’s a lot easier for your body to burn fat at this state because your insulin levels are lower. However, most people never reach the post-absorptive state because they never leave enough time after their last meal of the day (people stop eating late, sleep 8 hours, and eat as soon as they wake up).
So, intermittent fasting allows your body a break from digesting food and gives it more time and energy to burn fat. Also, it is really great for digestion because it gives your system a break.
Keep reading until the end to learn how to begin intermittent fasting depending on your lifestyle!
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3 Benefits to Intermittent Fasting
1. Intermittent Fasting can Help You Lose Weight
Basically, the way this works is that during your fasting window, your body begins an important cellular repair process and changes your body’s hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. This is also how some people burn fat so well when intermittent fasting.
It also causes your body to drop Insulin levels which helps with fat burning. Plus, your blood levels of growth hormones can increase which helps with fat burning.
Furthermore, you tend to eat less while practicing intermittent fasting as you may eat fewer meals and fewer calories.
A couple of studies have been done and there is one in specific which was done on animals. The study shows that intermittent fasting boosts the metabolism and burns more calories.
What you should take from all of this is that intermittent fasting allows your body to go into a state that burns fat instead of sugar. This is key to losing that extra fat in your tummy area.
2. Intermittent Fasting can Reduce Oxidative Stress.
If you didn’t know, oxidative stress involves free radicals (unstable molecules) that react with and damage other important molecules like protein and DNA. Not Good!
There are many studies that show how intermittent fasting can help the body’s resistance to oxidative stress. This type of stress is hard on our bodies and by preventing it you can also slow down aging (visible aspects, of course, this isn’t magic!).
From the research I have done, it is not certain how intermittent fasting helps with oxidative stress. (Please leave a comment below if you know!).
The city is beautiful but it also adds toxins to your body.
3. Intermittent Fasting can Help With Brain Health
One popular aspect of this lifestyle is how it promotes brain health and prevents neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease.
This occurs because omitting food is a challenge to your brain and this causes it to take measures to prevent diseases.
Also, this lifestyle causes your body to burn fat instead of sugar which produces ketones. In response, the ketones boost your energy and get rid of brain fog.
How to Start Your Intermittent Fasting Journey
There are two common ways to do intermittent fasting. And depending on your lifestyle, schedule, and eating habits, one may be better than another for you. However, there is no right or wrong, it all depends on your needs.
The 16/8 Protocol
With the 16/8 protocol, you are fasting for 16 hours and then giving yourself a window of 8 hours to eat.
The time you begin eating is up to you. You can begin eating at 10 and finish at 6 or push it further and begin at 2 until 10. What’s really great about it is that you can really adapt it to your lifestyle and make it easier.
The 24 Hour Protocol
Here, you don’t eat for 24 hours. You can begin the night before at 5 pm and go the next day until 5 pm, or you can begin your fast at 10 am and finish it the next day at 10 am.
I would recommend this for people who can’t fit intermittent fasting into their lifestyle because they only have to do it once or twice a week when it is most convenient.
When Doing Intermittent Fasting, Here are Some Things to Consider Doing
- Do you research and talk to a doctor: Although intermittent is very flexible and safe, not everybody is recommended try it. For example, pregnant women should not try this lifestyle.
- Begin slow, start by not eating after dinner the first night and then don’t eat breakfast the next day. From there you just keep going!
- Intermittent fasting is not as effective if you are not eating healthy and exercising. Like any diet or weight loss technique, it can only do so much on its own.