What is Intermittent Fasting?

What is Intermittent Fasting? 

When health come to mind most of us think about the sugar we have over indulged in or the fact that we haven't been to the gym in a few months. Well what about when when decide not to eat? What happens then? 

Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. Many people don't realize how much we tend to over eat without using what we have already consumed as fuel. 

When you start fasting the body regenerates on a cellular level rejuvenating the body to its youthful state. Fasting puts the body under mild stress, which makes our cells adapt by enhancing their ability to cope. In other words, they become strong. This process is similar to what happens when we stress our muscles and cardiovascular system during exercise.

If you want to try it, you’ll first need to figure out how you are going to incorporate this style of eating into your life, especially when it comes to things like social events and staying active. 

Intermittent Fasting

What are the different ways you and begin Intermittent Fasting?

1.The twice a week method

  • This approach to IF focuses on capping your calories at 500 for two days a week. During the other five days of the week, you maintain a healthy and normal diet.

2. Alternate day fasting 

  • This variation involves “modified” fasting every other day. For instance, limit your calories on fasting days to 500 ― or about 25% of your normal intake. On non-fasting days, resume your regular, healthy diet. 
3.Time restricted eating (example) 16/8 or 14/10
  • In this option, you have set fasting and eating windows. For example, you fast for 16 hours of the day and are able to eat for only eight hours of the day.
  • 16/8 method: Only eating between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or noon and 8 p.m.
  • 14/10 method: Only eating between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

4. 24 hour fast or eat stop eat 

  • This method involves fasting completely for a full 24 hours. Often times, it’s only done once or twice a week. Most people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.

Since most people already fast while they sleep, this method is popular. It’s convenient as you extend the overnight fast by skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch.

Berries Snack

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting: 

Although fasting can be challenging and sometimes uncomfortable, the mental and physical benefits can:

  • May enhance heart health by improving blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels 
  • Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation 
  • Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance 
  • May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake And Boosting Metabolism 
  • Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Which is Vital For Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength 
  • Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity 
  • May Aid in Caner Prevention 

Risk and Side Effects 

Intermittent fasting is not safe for some people, including pregnant women, children, people at risk for hypoglycemia, or people with certain chronic diseases. Although many people report feeling great at the end of detox or other program designed to eliminate toxins, some may experience what is called Herxheimers reaction.

Herxheimers Reaction 

The Herxheimer Reaction is a short-term (from days to a few weeks) detoxification reaction in the body. As the body detoxifies, it is not uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, sweating, chills, nausea, or other symptoms. Although unpleasant, these are all signs that your body is working — and that you need this detox.

4 ways to use this information better:

  1. Avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (a sensible, plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet).
  2. Let your body burn fat between meals. Don’t snack. Be active throughout your day. Build muscle tone.
  3. Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day (between 7 am to 3 pm, or even 10 am to 6 pm, but definitely not in the evening before bed).
  4. Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.

 Sources 

Effects of intermittent fasting on health, aging, and disease. de Cabo R, Mattonson MP. New England Journal of Medicine, December 2019.

Alternate-day fasting in nonobese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2005.

Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition, August 2017.

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