Everything you need to know about Intermittent Fasting!

Intermittent fasting is the new big hit and at the moment dominates both the fitness and the health industry. This type of fasting was an instant hit due to the fact that dieting in such a way helps you quickly lose weight and burn fat without putting you through the trouble of counting calories and having to pay special attention to what type of food you consume.
If you are curious about how intermittent fasting works and how you can benefit from it, just keep on reading and learn all about it.

What is intermittent fasting?

The first thing you should know about intermittent fasting is that it is not the same as other conventional diets and it can be better described as an eating pattern. Opposingly to “normal” diets, food is not the main focus of IF, it is more concerned about the way to time your meals and the attention is put upon when you should or should not eat.
Many variations of IF exist out there, however, we present you one of the most popular and heavily used fasting cycles:

  • Dinner: 8 pm on Monday
  • Fast: 9 pm on Monday till 12 am on Tuesday
  • Lunch: 12 am on Tuesday

The period of fasting varies and can stretch from a few hours up to even a day depending on the specific method you are following.
Benefits of fasting
There are various reasons why people fast, some do it out of religious beliefs, for others it is a necessity, and some choose to fast because of the overall health benefits it brings.
Intermittent fasting is certainly worth trying because it brings major shifts to the body on both hormonal and cellular levels which results in great benefits to our health. Start with the fact that fasting causes a switch in our energy source and our body starts using fat as a primal source instead of glucose. The fat we have stored in our body is energy fuel that is just waiting to be used and the process of starving makes it possible for this accumulated fat to be used and become our source of energy.
Other changes also start occurring in our body when we start fasting like:

  • Lower insulin:
  •  IF promotes the burndown of fat and decreases insulin levels, making extra fat our primal energy source.
  • Gene expression
  •  Changes in the function of genes happen and these changes can provide protection against diseases and might improve longevity prospects.
  • Increased growth hormone
  •  Amazingly, fasting can boost hormone growth levels up to 5 times. This is good both for muscle gain and burning fat.

These changes can lead to health benefits such as:

  • Reducing inflammation
  •  According to research, Intermitted fasting can significantly reduce oxidative stress which consequently lowers inflammation.
  • Anti-aging effect
  • Rat studies showed that IF can boost longevity up to 83 percent. The reduction of oxidative stress has also been linked to slowing down the aging process.
  • Weight loss
  • The easiest and most efficient way to lose weight is by providing your body with fewer calories than it burns. This comes easy with IF because your eating time is very small compared to your fasting time and it allows your body to get rid of extra fat.

How to start intermittent fasting?

When it comes to intermittent fast, there exist various methods and patterns which all include periods of eating and not eating. Most popular among them are:

  • The 24 method
  •  Choose to fast once or twice a week for 24 hours. For example, your fast at 8 pm and end it the next day at 8 pm.
  • The 16/8 method
  • Spend 16 hours of your day fasting and eat during the remaining 8 hours. You can fast from 8 pm till noon the next day and eat freely from noon till 8 pm.
  • The 5:2 method
  •  This method is put to practice only during to days of the week. It consists of limiting your daily calorie intake to 500 calories.

Though there are plenty of other methods, people mostly go with the 16/8 method because it is the easiest to build a lifestyle around.
Can you fast while on a diet?
Since IT is an eating pattern and not an actual diet plan, you can combine it with your diet. However, make sure to review your daily calorie intake so the combination won’t result in an unhealthy calorie deficiency. Intermittent fasting can be combined with most diets and it has proven to be very helpful because it can increase the effects of certain diets like the low carb keto diet and the Paleo diet.

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