INTERMITTENT FASTING – Is it just a hype?
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
- Kick-start your metabolism
- No counting calories
- Improved workouts
- Improved mental clarity and concentration.
- Weight and body fat loss.
- Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels.
- Reversal of type 2 diabetes.
- Increased energy.
- Improved fat burning ability.
- Increased growth hormone. (yes we want this to build muscle & burn fat)
- Lowered blood cholesterol.
The Definition of Fasting
Fasting isn’t the same as starving yourself, which is what many people think when they hear “fasting.” And yet, fasting isn’t a diet, either. The literal definition of fasting is to abstain from food and drink from a specific period of time; it’s been around for thousands of years, as spiritual fasting is a part of many religions.
If you’re eating processed junk food, it’s unlikely you’ll reap the benefits of fasting. If that’s you, I encourage you to examine your diet before trying a fast. But if you practice fasting and stick to mostly a whole food diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and raw dairy (if you consume dairy), you will see change.
The beauty of fasting is that there isn’t one 'right' way to do it. In fact, there are several types that are popular, the key is to find the right fit for your body and lifestyle.
To Lose Fat, You Need To Retrain Your Body To Burn Fat For Fuel
There is another heavily researched fasting tip and that is to NOT eat at least 3 hours before you go to bed.
When you consistently eat every few hours and never miss a meal, your body becomes very inefficient at burning fat as a fuel, and this is where the trouble starts.
It's important to recognize that, with few exceptions, you cannot burn body fat if you have other fuel available, and if you're supplying your body with carbohydrates every few hours, your body has no need to dive into your fat stores.
When you apply intermittent fasting you not only avoid this but also will typically decrease your food costs and increase your health.
The Benefits of Avoiding Late-Night Eating:
If you want to live a long healthy life and avoid chronic degenerative diseases then it's important to have a minimum of three hours after your last food intake before you go to bed.
This is due to the way your body produces energy.
Many don't realize that your mitochondria (the powerhouse of our cells) are responsible for 'burning' the fuel your body consumes and converting into usable energy.
Mitochondria are tiny and live inside your cell, their job is to create energy from the food you eat and the oxygen in the air you breathe.
Your cells have between 100 and 100,000 mitochondria!
If you consume more calories than your body can immediately use, there will be an excess of ‘energy’, which back up inside your mitochondria.
This ‘energy’ then leaks out of the electron transport chain in the mitochondria. These excess electrons leak out and wind up prematurely killing the mitochondria, and then wreak further havoc by damaging your cell membranes and contributing to DNA mutations.
There are many knowledgeable experts that believe this type of mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the keys to accelerated aging.
So how can you apply this knowledge?
Simple: Resolve your insulin resistance as soon as you can, and do not eat for AT LEAST three hours before you go to sleep.
Your body will use the least amount of calories when sleeping, so the last thing you need is excess fuel at this time that will generate excessive free radicals that will damage your tissues, accelerate aging, and contribute to chronic disease.
Interestingly, if you have insulin resistance, intermittent fasting is, without a doubt, the most powerful intervention to help you resolve it
You might be ready to give IF a try.
There are a lot of different types of fasting, you can google and research them all but there are three main ones that I will mention below.
- The most common is the 16:8 plan, where a person fasts for 16 hours out of the day and eats only during an eight-hour window. This means you would eat dinner at 8 p.m. and not eat breakfast until noon. Or you could eat an early dinner at 6 and not eat until 10 a.m. the next morning.
- The easiest type of fasting is to allow at least a 12 hour break from eating...so just make sure that you finish your last meal before the time you want to eat breakfast in the morning.
- Some people prefer the 5:2 plan, where you eat normally for 5 days and then restrict your calories for 2 days, it’s really up to you and what feels right for your body and your lifestyle.
- Fasting is a change in eating patterns. Instead of set meals and meal times, you’ll have a window of eating.
- There are many types of fasting. 'Intermittent fasting' is the most common but there are a few different types of fasting, including alternate day and time-restricted eating.
- Deciding what type of fast you’re doing, what you hope to get out of it. Stocking and meal prepping with the foods you’ll eat will go a long way in a successful fast.
- The health benefits of fasting range from increased weight loss, normalising insulin sensitivity and possibly even slowing down the aging process.
- While fasting is healthy for most people, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid fasting entirely. If you have diabetes, a serious medical condition or are taking prescription medication, it’s best to consult with your doctor before embarking on a fast
You will find that a lot of people break their fast with a protein shake, so make sure you choose the best possible ingredients - we might know of one off the top of our heads...