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What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a diet that has gained popularity due to its efficiency and simplicity. Also known as time-restricted eating, it is one of the world’s most popular health and fitness movements.
This approach requires alternating periods of eating and not eating. It may help you lose weight, prevent illness, and perhaps increase longevity.
Intermittent fasting is a method of eating in which you cycle between meals and fasting periods.
It’s all about when you eat, not what you eat.
There are multiple fasting approaches. This approach to eating divides the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.
Whether you know it or not, you are fast every day when you’re sleeping. Intermittent fasting may be as easy as extending the length of the fast.
Intermittent fasting, despite what you may believe, is actually simple to accomplish. Anecdotal evidence suggests that you may have more energy and feel better.
Hunger is rarely a problem, however, it can initially be an issue while your body adjusts.
During the fast, no food is allowed, but non-caloric drinks such as water, coffee, and tea are permitted.
Low-calorie foods are occasionally permitted during the fast period in certain forms of intermittent fasting.
While fasting, you’re generally permitted to take zero-calorie supplements.
History of Fasting
Fasting has been with us for millennia.
It was a regular occurrence when food ran out and no alternative existed.
In many cases, it was done as a religious ritual. Fasting is required by many religious groups, including Christianity (Lent), Islam (Ramadan), and Buddhism (Roku Sainichi).
When ill, people and animals instinctively fast. Fasting certainly does not appear to be strange or abnormal, and our bodies are well-adapted to go without food for long periods of time.
When we don’t eat for a long period of time, many processes in our bodies change to enable our bodies to function properly during food scarcity.
During periods of fasting, we experience major drops in blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as a substantial boost in human growth hormone.
Many individuals simply like the ease of intermittent fasting. The fewer meals you need to plan, the easier it will be to organize your life.
It also saves time by eliminating the need to prepare and clean up after three to four meals each day.
Intermittent Fasting Plans
Intermittent fasting has been increasingly popular in recent years, and several distinct options have gathered momentum.
This approach to IF entails a 24-hour total fast once or twice a week. You may eat supper at 7 p.m. one night and then fast until 7 p.m. the following day, but you should not do this more than two consecutive times per week.
If it’s a fasting strategy that works for you, this approach is most likely to help you to lose weight. Naturally, fasting for a full day can be difficult.
This approach to intermittent fasting requires fasting every day for sixteen hours and limiting yourself to an 8-hour meal period. Usually, people avoid breakfast and eat, for example, between 1 pm and 9 pm.
The 5:2 plan means that you set a limit to 20% of your usual caloric intake on weekends and resume your regular eating habits on weekdays.
On Saturday and Sunday, men would generally consume six hundred calories, while women would max out at 500 calories.
Alternate-day Fast (ADF)
This diet, which has the same name as its approach, entails fasting every other day. There are a number of variations of this plan, with some allowing you to eat up to 500 calories during fasting days and others pushing you to consume considerably less or even zero calories on fast days.
The 14:10 diet
Like the 16:8 fasting ratio, the 14:10 regimen means that you fast for 14 hours and eat during a 10-hour window. Of course, this strategy aligns with the way most people already plan their meals.
Hence, it may be more difficult to achieve a daily calorie deficit and lose weight. if you’re not extremely careful about calories.
The 14:10 may be a good option to transition to one of the more restrictive IF plans.
The Warrior Diet
At the most extreme end of the IF spectrum lies The Warrior Diet. Health expert, Ori Hofmekler gave this fasting regime its name which is apropos considering the level of commitment you might need to succeed if you follow it.
Essentially, it means consuming small amounts throughout the day and rewarding yourself with a big meal in the evening. The catch is your nighttime meal needs to occur inside a 4-hour period.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
As you might guess, fasting activates some chemical changes in your body. Beyond weight loss, these changes have many health benefits.
- Lower insulin resistance. Hormones changes make your body burn stored fat due to lower insulin production. Intermittent fasting drops sugar levels, thereby significantly improving insulin resistance.
- Increase metabolic rate. Higher levels of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and decreased insulin levels, in addition to more HGH and growth hormone, speed up the breakdown of body fat and make it available for energy. Human growth hormone (HGH) will be elevated allowing for an increase in muscle and burning of fat.
- Improve cell health. There is an increase in autophagy, the process where your body disposes of damaged cells.
- Loose abdominal fat. A 2014 analysis reveals that in a period of 3-24 weeks, you can achieve an incredible 3-8% of weight loss. This includes visceral fat (abdominal), the most detrimental to your health.
- Prevent disease. Research shows that IF can mitigate and prevent chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues, hypertension, and inflammation, and cancer.
- Lower stress. IF lowers the level of the stress hormone, corticosterone.
- Live longer. New studies show that lifespan can be increased through IF since you derive more energy from ketones than glucose (sugar).
- Look better. The value of looking better should never be underestimated. It is hugely important since it can improve self-esteem and mental health.
- Save time. Time is precious and following IF means less meal prep (and the resulting mess), freeing up your schedule.
Intermittent Fasting May Be a Solution for You
The beauty of intermittent fasting lies in its simplicity. Studies prove the health benefits. Choosing a plan that aligns with your goals and daily routine is the most important factor in successfully adopting this way of eating to lose weight.
If you’re undecided and need advice, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll point you in the right direction.
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MEDICAL AND NUTRITION DISCLAIMER…Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I am simply recounting and sharing my own experiences on this blog. Nutritional break downs are done using a commercial nutrition calculator. Nothing I express here should be taken as medical advice and you should consult with your doctorbefore starting any diet or exercise program. I provide nutritional information for my recipes simply as a courtesy to my readers, this should never be construed as medical advice.