It’s no secret that the average adult is spending more time being sedentary and eating more processed foods and carbohydrates than ever before. We are very busy but less physically active on average. However, the calorie intake remains the same or even increases in this least physically active sedentary life. The consequence is people are struggling with maintaining a healthy weight, obesity-related health problems more than ever. The recent pandemic even further fuels the problem. In this context, intermittent fasting emerges as a promising strategy to lose weight and maintain a healthy life.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, or intermittent energy restriction some called it, unlike other bio-hacking or fat loss strategies, isn’t only about what to eat; it is actually about ‘when you eat and in what interval. It is, in fact, a cycle of fasting and feeding time.
How does it work?
By delaying your first meal of the day and limiting your eating window (a window of time that you consume all of your food during the day), you are essentially intermittent fasting. In most people, your body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. This process is called metabolic switching.
You can do intermittent fasting in several different ways. These are all about choosing your time in between when you are eating and when you are fasting!. For example, you may choose to eat one meal a day two days a week (5:2 approach), choose a daily 12 hour fasting period or alternate-day fasting schedule, a weekly 24-hour fasts (fast day), or you limit your feeding time to 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours(16/8 fasting). Some studies have shown that consistent and regular fasting for 10–16 hours burns your body fat stores into energy, releasing ketones into the bloodstream. Thus, fasting for such long hours triggers weight loss.
What to Eat While in Intermittent Fasting Diet Plan:
Intermittent fasting does not mean you will go without food while fasting and packing your feeding times with high-calorie junk food, super-sized fried items, and treats. The fact is you can have water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee, tea, and Pure Therapeutic Ketones while fasting. And then, when you are open to eating, do not go crazy or berserk on eating. Instead, you’re expected to eat healthy foods, low-calorie, low-carb, and fibrous, nutritious, wholesome foods during your feeding times. People who are trying intermittent fasting to lose weight can follow various eating plans, like the ketogenic diet, mediterranean diet, low carb, paleo, or carb conscious plans.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
So, if you choose wisely the right intermittent fasting diet plan and consistently and honestly follow that plan, you may expect many health benefits. Renowned medical and health research hubs like Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Harvard School of Medicine have produced impressive scientific evidence on its support. That showed it does help people to maintain a healthy weight and save or even reverse some forms of non-communicable diseases. Here are some benefits that people get from intermittent fasting:
- Weight Loss:Recent studies on obese rats and humans confirmed intermittent fasting does help in burning fats that lead to considerable weight loss without losing muscle mass.
- Better Heart Health: Intermittent fasting lowers the cholesterol level in the blood and improves blood pressure and resting heart rates and lowers risks for heart disease.
- Hormones, cells, and genes get a chance to refresh: Intermittent fasting causes Human Growth Hormone (HGH) shots up that facilitates fat burning and muscle gain. It also has other benefits. During intermittent fasting, our body carries out damaged cell repairing and cell cleaning processes such as getting rid of wastes. In medical science, the process is called ‘autophagy. It regenerates newer and healthier cells. Intermittent fasting also helps the body induce the beneficial transformation of several genes and molecules related to longevity. The process also helps keep many non-communicable diseases at bay. A growing body of study indicates Intermittent Fasting helps shed pounds, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, slows the progression of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and reduces cancer risk.
- Inflammation check and slowing down aging: Oxidative stress is one of the significant causes of inflammation, chronic diseases, and fast aging. A series of studies confirmed that intermittent fasting excels the body’s resistance to oxidative stress and helps fight inflammation, an underlying cause of many common diseases.
- Memory and thinking ability boost up:According to some recent studies, intermittent fasting boosts working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.
- It is a better choice for a sedentary lifestyle:Intermittent fasting proves to be a more effective and accommodating diet plan for people who lead a very work-centric busy life. As a result, they don’t have time for exercise, prepare healthy meals, and consume healthy meals. Therefore, intermittent fasting suits a modern sedentary lifestyle and helps people enjoy a healthy and disease-free body.
- Improving insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting is known to improve sensitivity to the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulinand to protect against fatty liver. Most people associate fatty liver with excess alcohol, but in actual fact there has been a drastic increase due to more sugar and carbohydrates in our diets. This has also been a large contributing factor in increased insulin levels and diabetes rates in both children and adults.
Does Everyone Fit For Intermittent Fasting?
No, not everyone can do intermittent fasting. According to experts, children and adolescents under age 18, pregnant mothers, lactating mothers, people with a previous or current eating disorder, blood sugar problems, or diabetes are not fit for the intermittent fasting diet plan. Other than them, all others can safely adopt their suitable intermittent fasting plan after consulting their primary care practitioners and nutritionists.
Last but not least:
Fasting itself is not a new concept or practice among people of different faith groups or traditions. Since the beginning of human history, people abstained from food for a specific time to observe religious rituals and cleanse and purify their body and soul, for healing or just for food scarcity. But it is modern research that has discovered an array of health benefits associated with intermittent fasting. If you incorporate fasting gradually into your dietary routine, and practice sensible eating, you definitely will reap all health benefits associated with it.
If you’d like to learn more about intermittent fasting and how it can help you lose weight, reduce disease, or improve your overall long term health then check out our eBook Beginner’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting.
If you are ready for a bigger metabolic reset and want to join us in the 60 Hour Keto Reboot which we do each month, then grab your kit and check out this blog that explains all the benefits of getting into a deeper state of ketosis, like gaining control of your sugar and carb cravings, identifying emotional eating habits, completing a metabolic reset, accelerating fat loss, preserving muscle, and improving circadian rhythm.