Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular as new research is proving its merits. We break down everything that you need to know!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular as new research is proving its merits. People are using it to lose weight, improve health and simplify their healthy lifestyle. Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you live longer.
In simple terms, intermittent fasting is basically an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. There are various versions of intermittent fasting methods. Here are the most popular:
1. The 16/8 Method
Requires skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, while fasting for 16 hours in between.
Requires fasting for a 24 hour period for 1-2 days per week.
3. The 5:2 Diet
Requires only eating 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week.
How Does It Work
It is actually makes perfect sense when you think about it. After you eat, your body spends the next few hours digesting that food, processing it and then burning what it can as fuel. Your body will take the most readily available energy source, which is the food you just ate, rather than the fat you have stored.
This is especially true if you just consumed glucose (aka sugars and carbs), as your body prefers to burn glucose as energy before any other source. If you are in a fasted state (i.e. where you haven't recently consumed a meal), then the body doesn't have that readily available glucose to use as energy, so it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body. And as we know—once you start burning fat, good things happen!
As described above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat BECAUSE you are forcing your body to burn stored fat as fuel.
Simplified Meal Planning
Most intermittent fasters skip breakfast, meaning that is one less meal to have to plan, prepare and eat. So not only are you saving money, it is one less decision you have to make every day.
Taking long breaks between meals gives your digestive system a break where it isn't actively trying to process and breakdown food. This break allows your body to rest and heal.
Giving your digestive system a rest can also energize your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently by regulating your digestion and promoting healthy bowel function.
Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance & lower blood sugar, both of which are great for weight loss (1).
Intermittent fasting increases a brain hormone called BDNF, may aid the growth of new nerve cells and may also protect against Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia (5).
Is it Safe?
For the most part, the only negative side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. Most people only experience that side effect in the first few days, while there body is still adjusting to the method. For people who have issues with blood sugar regulation, suffer from hypoglycemia or have diabetes, intermittent fasting may not be advised.
Like anything new in your diet, check with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting protocol.
Other Keto Guides and Resources
- Debunking Common Keto Myths
- 5 Steps to a Clean Keto Kitchen
- Must Have Keto Pantry Staples
- Why the Keto Diet Makes You Thirsty
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