What Is Intermittent fasting?
First off Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It is an eating habit. In a world of abundance, we can literally grab a bite to eat anytime. Fast food joints are open 24 hours, snacks, chips, and candy are always accessible. This double edge sword allows us to go throughout our day mindlessly eating.
Growing up, breakfast has and still is being glorified as the most important meal of the day. Oddly enough it’s as if this campaign was pushed out by the marketing team of cereal companies to move more items off the shelf.
Intermittent fasting encourages you to skip breakfast. (Or dinner depending on your eating window – which we will get to later) To put your body in a fasted state longer.
This is where the health benefits kick in.
On average it takes your body 8 – 12 hours to break down the food you eat. Your body converts this food into energy or stores it as fat. Once the food is broken down completely you enter a fasted state.
Conventional wisdom states that we should eat when we are hungry. Because of this, most people never enter a fasted state.
When your body enters a fasted state. Fat storages are burned for energy. The goal of Intermittent fasting is to put your body in a fasted state regularly to reap these benefits. Continue reading this article to find out all benefits of Intermittent Fasting.
Overview: Intermittent Fasting is an eating habit used to burn fat and gain other biological benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
- Weight loss
Your body produces insulin when you consume food. Insulin is used to signal your cells to open up and take in amino acids and other nutrients.
Studies have shown that your body is more sensitive to insulin during a fasted state. Meaning once you start eating your body will be more likely to break down the food you eat and use it as fuel instead of storing it up as fat.
Intermittent Fasting will help you lose weight because it is naturally calorie restricting. (Unless you decide to eat a ton of junk food during your feeding time.)
Skeptics claim that by skipping breakfast you will binge eat during lunch and dinner when this is not true. According to the Neil’s Hallberg experiment, subjects that have a specific eating window of 8 hours eat 28% less calories than participants that do not have an eating time frame.
- Promotes Muscle Growth
Conventional wisdom claims that in a fasted state you are breaking down muscle and fat. This is also not true. During a fasted state you build muscles and burn fat due to the increase in human growth hormone. (If you are getting enough daily protein.)
Not convinced yet? Centuries ago our ancestors were hunter gatherers. They would wake up early in the morning to hunt their pray. (In a fasted state.) Then prepare the feast. Evolutionary we humans have adapted to burn off fat storages first before muscle to maintain peak performance for hunting game.
- You Will Live Longer
Research has shown that by restricting the calories of one group of mice by 30% they will live up to 30% longer than control group with a regular caloric diet.
This experiment has been replicated numerous times and with hundreds of other species and organisms.
Scientist believe the strong correlation would apply for humans. Although studies are still being tested on volunteering humans. A human’s lifespan is too long for any strong research data. But why not try it right?
- Increases Your HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
Studies show that in a fasted state your body produces more HGH. The longer the fast, the more human growth hormone your body produces. Research found that by fasting for 24 hours males HGH increase by 1360% and females by 470%.
Human growth hormone promotes quicker regenerative properties, optimizes for lean muscle growth, improves heart health, improves sleep quality, fat metabolizing and much more.
- Anti-Cancer Benefits
Intermittent Fasting prevents cancer. How? During Intermittent Fasting your body is limited on resources. This activates a mechanism called autophagy.
Autophagy is the process of breaking down cell organelles. This may sound harmful, but it is helpful for preventing cancer. Autophagy only targets inefficient cells to break down. Which in turns decreased the changes of cancerous cells and improves cell efficiency.
Overview: Weight loss, muscle growth, longevity, increased human growth hormone, and anti-cancer benefits are just some of the benefits too intermittent fasting.
How to Start Intermittent Fasting
In this article we will talk about one form of intermittent fasting. It is known as the 16/8 fast. Which means you will not consume any calories for 16 hours of your day and eat during an 8-hour eating window.
Personally, I think the easiest feeding window is 12pm-8pm. This way you get to sleep for most of your fasted state and not go to bed hungry. You can adjust this eating window to any 8-hour time span you desire.
During the fasting period. Do Not eat or drink anything other than water. If you hare having difficulties you may have black coffee or tea to sedate your hunger.
However, you are not allowed to add any creamer, milk, sugar, or any other additives to your beverage. Ideally you want to get to a place where you only drink water during your fasting period.
Overview: Set an 8-hour feeding time where you can eat and do not eat anything outside of those hours. During the 16-hour window where you are in a fasted state, focus on only drinking water. You may drink black coffee or tea without additives.
What to Eat During Intermittent Fasting?
Because this is a beginner’s guide to Intermittent Fasting we will not be talking about specific foods you should be eating during your feeding time.
It is recommended that you do not indulge in junk food. Not only will your body lack nutrients, it will make you feel hungrier during your fasted state. Focus on vegetables and sources high in protein. Limit your carb intake by swapping it for more vegetables.
Ideally you want to consume healthy home cooked meals. Stay away from preservatives that are added to processed foods such as TV dinners, fast food, soda, etc
DRINK A LOT OF WATER!
Drinking water is very important during Intermittent Fasting. While your body is breaking down fat during your fasting period, your kidneys and liver are working overtime. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your organs running efficiently.
Your body does not store water very well. It is better to drink smaller amounts of water throughout the day than a large amount in one sitting.
Good luck on your new Journey!
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Overview: Do not indulge in junk food. Make sure you are eating more vegetables and protein dense meals. Avoid preservatives and DRINK WATER!
Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.