What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends.

People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles.

Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating schedule that allows eating in a specific time frame and fasting for the remainder.

IF is not considered a diet, instead it is a pattern of eating. There is a lot of different models that you can follow. Some examples include:

1. Daily Pattern:

a) An 8-hour window of eating and a 16-hour of fasting

b) 6-hour window of eating and an 18-hour fast

c) 4-hour window of eating and a 20-hour fasting

2. Every Other Day Fasting

3. 1-2 Times a Week

The difficulty with Every Other Day Fasting and 1-2 Times a Week is the experience of severe hunger, brain fog, and sleep apnea. The reason for this is simply because the body has not yet had a chance to adapt. It is highly recommended to be consistent with fasting, regardless of which option you choose.

A Specific Pattern to do Daily

Choosing a pattern based on your body is the most important thing. A fast metabolism (and younger age) can benefit using the 16-hour fast with an 8-hour window to eat. The older you are, the slower the metabolism and the longer you want to fast.

It is vital to gradually work up fasting for 20 hours and having a 4-hour window to eat - eventually going to One Meal a Day. Consistency allows for the body to adapt, which gives it a chance to keep the insulin low and heal over time. It is crucial to do this gradually. Women should take a more relaxed approach to fasting than men, meaning shorter fasting periods, fewer fasting days, and or consuming a small number of calories on those days.

It is still essential to eat well during the non-fasting periods. If you eat a large amount of unhealthy, calorie-dense foods during this phase, you may not experience the same weight loss and health benefits. The best approach for fasting is one that does not result in any negative health consequences.

One way to succeed in this eating plan is to go into Ketosis gradually. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that helps your body to keep working. When your body has insufficient carbohydrates from the food, it then starts burning fat instead. Combine a ketogenic diet and Intermittent Fasting and slowly get your body to adapt to burning fat as a source of energy. And when you have adjusted, your hunger and cravings diminish, allowing for mental clarity.

Major Benefits of Fasting

  • Purges cancerous or precancerous cells.

  • A rapid shift to nutritional Ketosis takes place.

  • Decreases fat tissue.

  • Increases gene expression for longevity and health span.

  • Repairs and clears autophagy, cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier ones

  • Repairs apoptosis, which is programmed cell death

  • Improves insulin sensitivity

  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation

  • Enhances cognitive effects and neuroprotection.

Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do.

It’s simply one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Eating real food, exercising and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on.

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out.

If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your health.

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