Intermittent fasting, have you heard of it? This is a new avenue for me, and one that I’m actually pretty excited to travel down!
So what is it?
Intermittent fasting (IF) isn’t a diet, it’s a dieting pattern.
So, basically put, you’re eating your calories within a certain window of time and not eating outside of that window.
There area few versions of intermittent fasting:
- Regularly eat during a specific time period. For example, only eating from 12:00-8 PM, essentially skipping breakfast. You can even choose to make your window smaller, and eat during 6 or even 4 hour windows!
- Skip two meals one day, taking a full 24-hours off from eating. For example, eating on a normal schedule (finishing dinner at 8PM) and then not eating again until 8PM the following day.
How does it work?
When you eat, your body spends a few hours processing that food, and burning what it can from what you just consumed. This means it will use energy to burn what you just ate rather than energy from fat storage.
During the “fasted state,” your body doesn’t have a recently consumed meal to use as energy, so it is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body, rather than the glucose in your blood stream or glycogen in your muscles/liver.
The same goes for working out in a “fasted” state. Without a ready supply of glucose and glycogen to pull from (which has been depleted over the course of your fasted state, and hasn’t yet been replenished with a meal), your body is forced to adapt and pull from the only source of energy available to it: the fat stored in your cells!
How cool is that?
There’s also some other benefits to be gained with intermittent fasting:
- It simplifies meal prep! Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
- It promotes stronger insulin sensitivity and increased growth hormone secretion. So, weight loss + muscle gain!
- There is some evidence that intermittent fasting can help you live longer. Studies in rodents show that it can extend lifespan as effectively as calorie restriction!
- When fasted, we get significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as a drastic increase in human growth hormone. Some research also suggests that it can help protect against diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Can you drink while fasting?
Yes! Drink as much water, coffee, and tea as you like. As long as you stay under 50 calories, your body should stay in a fasted state. So don’t add tons of sugar and cream to your coffee or tea, and you’ll be fine.
So, could intermittent fasting be for you?
As anything else, it’s not for everyone. If you feel sick, lightheaded, or too drained then stop the fast. Just use common sense, and you should be fine. The best way to see if it’s right for you, is to just give it a try! Some start with a big window and shrink it over time, and other people find it easier to dive right in.
The best way to find out if this is for you is just to try it! You still have to eat healthy foods during your eating periods. If you’re eating junk, then you’re missing the point.
If you have tried intermittent fasting, or have any questions, then leave a comment for me!