Intermittent fasting is the secret of the health of our ancestors. It has been practiced throughout human history. Although it has been forgotten for a long time, it has recently returned to favour, as it can bring measurable health benefits: cause weight loss, help fight type 2 diabetes or increase energy levels.
Isn’t intermittent fasting starving? It is not. Fasting differs from starving because of one important difference. Starvation is an unintended, unwanted lack of food. It is neither purposeful nor controlled. Fasting, meanwhile, is a deliberate abstention from eating for a variety of reasons.
There is no “standard” length of fasting because this is just a time when we are not eating. For example, we fast between dinner and breakfast the next day, which is about 12 hours. This is why fasting should be seen as a natural part of life.
Fasting allows the body to burn excess fat. It should be understood that fasting is a normal process resulting from the evolution that has made it possible for us to fast without harm. Body fat is simply a stored energy resource.
By eating, we absorb energy that can be used up immediately. Some, however, is postponed. The key hormone involved in energy storage is insulin.
As you eat, your insulin levels rise to help you retain energy in two ways. Sugars are linked into long chains called glycogen and are stored in the liver. However, this capacity is limited, and when it is full, the liver begins to convert glucose into fat. This process is called De-Novo Lipogenesis, which translates directly to creating fat from scratch.
The process goes the other way when we are not eating (fasting). Insulin levels drop, signalling the body to start burning any stored energy because it is no longer coming with food. Blood glucose levels drop, so the body needs to stockpile it to keep it energized.
Glycogen is the most readily available source of energy. It is broken down into glucose molecules and provides energy to other cells. The glycogen stores in our body are sufficient for about 24 hours. After this period, the body begins to draw energy from the burned fat.
The human body really only works in two states: when it is full (high insulin levels) and when it is fasting (low insulin levels). In one, we put the supplies down, in the other we burn them. If both of these states are in balance, no weight gain occurs.
If we start eating as soon as we wake up and don’t stop until we go to sleep, we will spend practically all our time in the first state. Over time, this will result in weight gain as we do not give our bodies time to burn off the energy that we put into it.
In order to restore the body’s balance and lose kilograms of fat stores, it is necessary to increase the amount of time our body burns energy, i.e. fasts. If we eat all the time, we are not able to use the energy provided and burn the stored fat. We will only put it aside when there is nothing to eat. This is how evolution has programmed us.
The most obvious benefit of intermittent fasting is weight loss, but it was known in antiquity that it had many more benefits.
The periods of fasting are called “cleansing” or “detoxification.” The idea is to refrain from eating for a certain time to achieve health benefits. Hundreds of years ago, people believed that periods of abstinence from food purify our bodies and allow them to be rejuvenated and refreshed. They were absolutely right.
Here are some of the benefits attributed to fasting:
Intermittent fasting has many advantages over other dietary methods. Diets complicate life, while fasting simplifies it. Diets can be expensive, while fasting is free. Diets take time, while intermittent fasting saves it. There is no more effective method for lowering insulin levels and losing weight than using intermittent fasting in combination with a low-carb ketogenic diet.
Intermittent fasting can be used in many ways. You can fast long or short, but there are some common patterns. In general, short periods of fasting are used more frequently.
For this regimen, you should fast for 16 hours. It is also known as the 8-hour eating window. All meals should be eaten within 8 hours and the remaining 16 hours fasted. You can do this almost every day.
For example, all meals should be eaten between 11:00 and 19:00. In practice, this means skipping breakfast. However, you can eat 2 or 3 meals in a period of 8 hours. This is the type of fast we recommend!
This means a 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast. For example, you can eat from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and fast for the remaining 20 hours. During this period, you can eat one large or two smaller meals.
This means fasting from supper to supper (or from lunch to lunch). If you eat dinner on the first day, you skip additional meals the next day until dinner. This means that meals are eaten every day, but only once a day. This scheme can be used 2 to 3 times a week.
This scheme was popularized by Dr.Michael Mosley in his book “Fast Diet”. In this regimen, you should eat as normal for 5 days and fast for 2 days. During these 2 days, meals with a total value of 500 calories can be eaten. They can be eaten at any time of the day, as one larger or several smaller meals.
Means a 1.5 day fast. For example, if you eat dinner on the first day, you fast for the next day and night, and your first meal will be breakfast on the third. This scheme allows you to lose weight as quickly as possible.
For fasts longer than 48 hours, it is recommended to consume multivitamin supplements to prevent micronutrient deficiencies. However, fasting longer than 14 days is not recommended due to the risk of re-feeding syndrome, also known as food shock.
Who SHOULD NOT fast?
They should not fast:
Under supervision, they may fast:
Won’t intermittent fasting make me starve?
No. This is the most common myth about fasting, while the truth is exactly the opposite. Research shows that intermittent fasting increases the level of the metabolism.
Can you exercise during fasting?
Yes. You should do everything you normally do, including exercising. Food is not needed to provide the body with energy for exercise. It will burn stored fat.
What are the possible side effects?
There may be a few troublesome side effects. Here’s what to do if any of these occur:
Why does my blood sugar rise during fasting?
This is because of the hormonal changes that occur during fasting. The body produces sugar to provide the body with energy.
How to overcome hunger?
It is important to realize that hunger does not exist in the stomach but in our brain. It is mostly sugar addiction that comes and goes in waves. Most people fear that hunger will only increase until it becomes unbearable. However, this does not happen and the hunger is gone. The best solution is to ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee (no sugar!), Optionally with cream and coconut oil recommended by us.
During longer periods of fasting, hunger usually worsens on the second day, but after that, it subsides. The body begins to be fueled by stored fat.
Will I burn my muscles while fasting?
No. During intermittent fasting, the organism first converts glycogen into glucose. Fat is then burned to provide energy. Amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) are also used for energy, but the body does not burn muscle tissue for this purpose.
What’s the best way to do intermittent fasting?
Here are the top nine quick tips:
How do I end a fast?
Gently. The longer the fast, the calmer the return to eating should be. Eating too much food can cause an upset stomach.
Is breakfast important?
No, it’s not. This is an old and wrong assumption based on supposition. Skipping your morning meal gives your body more time to burn fat. Hunger in the morning is usually very low, so it is breakfast that is easiest to let go of during the fast and finish it later that day.
Can women fast?
Of course. The exceptions are women who are underweight, pregnant or breastfeeding. Besides, there are no contraindications. It happens that women do not achieve the expected results, but the same is true for men. Research shows that the average weight loss between men and women is the same in fasting.
Will I lose weight by using intermittent fasting?
Of course. It is virtually impossible not to lose weight without eating.
Now that you know the basics of intermittent fasting, you’re ready to start. Just follow these steps:
It is that simple!
Receive tips, articles and all the goodies absolutely free, straight to your inbox!