What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a popular eating cycle that ties together fasting and eating. Instead of focusing on what you’re eating like many other eating regimens, there is a focus on when you should eat. This phenomenon has been show to aide weight loss and protect against some diseases. For some reading this, there is no doubt that you’re thinking ‘not eat for hours and hours?! No way!’ Don’t brush this aside just yet. Chances are you already fast daily. You may not know it, but when you sleep you are fasting. All you have to do is push the time you eat your first meal a bit later into your day. Often times, this method may prove to be convenient compared to eating 3-6 times a day. With fasting, the time spent meal prepping and cleaning up the kitchen allows you to focus your time elsewhere.
- By removing an entire meal from your day, you’ve successfully given up a couple hundred calories. As long as you don’t compensate in other meals, you will stay in deficit thus promoting weight loss.
- When exercising on an empty stomach, your glycogen reserves are depleted. This means that your body must search for other sources of fuel, like fat. Blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced. This results in increased fat burning.
- The body’s ability to burn fat increases because of high growth hormone and norepinephrine levels.
- There are studies coming out that show that fasting protects against diseases such as cancer, Alzheimers, diabetes.
- Metabolic rate (when your body is burning calories at rest) is also improved when practicing intermittent fasting.
- Reduced inflammation, stress, and insulin levels that come from intermittent fasting are beneficial to brain health.
How to Get Started
There are many different methods of intermittent fasting. It is encouraged to try different methods and listen to what works for your body. Below are a few of the most popular cycles.
- 24 hours of fasting, 1-2 times a week (nonconsecutive days)
- 16 hour daily fasts with an 8 hour eating window
- Eating only 500-600 calories 1-2 days a week (nonconsecutive days)
- Fast all day, eat a big meal at night before you go to bed
- Fast every other day
Too Busy Bullets
- Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between fasting and eating normal meals.
- Fasting has immense health benefits: weight loss, disease prevention, improved brain health, increased metabolic rate, and the ability to burn fat more efficiently to name a few.
- Pick a fasting schedule that works for you. There are many to choose from.
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