Intermittent fasting has been around for thousands of years. However, it has not been without controversy and dispute over the actual benefits on your health.
The idea of fasting is simple: you have a specific time during which you eat, then for the remaining hours or days, you fast. But does this technique help you with weight loss?
In this article, we will look at the history of fasting and address whether or not it is a safe and healthy alternative to weight loss.
- 1 What is intermittent fasting?
- 2 How does intermittent fasting work?
- 3 The history of fasting
- 4 Different types of fasting
- 5 What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
- 6 What are the risks of intermittent fasting?
- 7 How do you begin your fasting journey?
- 8 Conclusion:
- 9 F.A.Q.
- 9.1 What are extended fasting periods?
- 9.2 Can intermittent fasting help me lose weight?
- 9.3 How can I make fasting easier?
- 9.4 Can intermittent fasting lead to eating disorders?
- 9.5 How can I know if my body needs more food?
- 9.6 Is there such thing as too many fasts?
- 9.7 Do I have to adopt healthy habits while intermittent fasting?
- 9.8 What is the warrior diet?
- 9.9 Is it healthy to feel hungry?
- 9.10 Do I have to be in ketosis while fasting?
- 9.11 What if I cheat on my fast and eat outside the eating window?
What is intermittent fasting?
When people think of a diet, they think of limiting what they can and can’t eat. Intermittent fasting is not about what, but about when you eat!
Fasting means to go without food, and intermittent means occurring at different variables or times.
Put the two together and: intermittent fasting is limiting food intake for extended periods.
The key to fasting being effective is making sure you eat healthy while in the eating time frame so when you are coming off the fast, your body will be able to digest food properly without any adverse effects.
How does intermittent fasting work?
There are multiple ways in which intermittent fasting can work.
One form of intermittent fasting is eating only within an eight-hour window each day and fasting for all other hours of the day.
The theory behind fasting is that after a certain amount of hours without food, the body burns through the stored sugar and begins burning fat.
Once the body has burned through the caloric intake from your final meal of the day, you can then go into a fasting mode, and your body will begin to burn calories at an increased rate.
The history of fasting
Fasting has been around since ancient times, and it can be traced back as far as the Biblical story of Jesus Christ fasting in the desert for 40 days before being tempted by Satan (Matthew).
In more recent history, people have utilized intermittent fasting for weight loss and to improve their health.
Fasting is not eating or drinking anything but water for 20-24 hours every day, taking one full day off each week where you eat normally from breakfast until dinner (intermittent fasting).
However, many different forms of fasting do not require abstaining from all food and drink: alternate-day fasts restrict calories on an alternating 24-hour cycle with normal intake during other.
Different types of fasting
There are many variations of fasting, and each one has different health benefits and risks.
Alternate-day fasting is restricting calories on an alternating 24-hour cycle with regular intake during other days, and 18-hour fasting where you only eat within a six to eight-hour window.
However, we will discuss the three main categories of fasting and how each one can be implemented into your lifestyle.
CALORIE RESTRICTION FASTS
Calorie restriction intermittent fasting is the most basic form of fast. This form means to go without food for extended amounts of time.
This fast is one where you restrict your caloric intake to less than what the body needs over a period of time.
There are a few ways this can be done, either by intentionally eating fewer calories or by severely restricting food and calorie intake for 12-24 hours, then increasing it back up again on “feed” days or every other day.
Studies show a link between fasting diets and weight loss success in some people, but still, there has not been enough research into how it affects long-term health outcomes like diabetes and heart disease risk factors.
If you decide to try the calorie restriction fast, it is essential that you adopt healthy habits of exercise and eating proper food when in the eating periods.
MACRONUTRIENT RESTRICTION FASTS
Macronutrient fasting is a type of fast in which you consume fewer carbs, protein, and fat than your body needs.
This type of dieting is popular among people who are looking to lose weight and improve their health at the same time.
Some people will lower or eliminate one macronutrient while still eating enough calories from other sources to not feel hungry during this period (i.e., reducing carbohydrate intake but continuing with adequate levels of proteins and fats). Others choose to reduce all three macros equally, thereby eliminating food for extended periods again, with strict caloric control outside the “fast” period.
Some people incorporate fasting into their lifestyles by following a seasonal eating pattern.
This is typically when the person will consume most of their calories in the summer and fast during winter times, or vice versa (skipping breakfast for months at a time).
The goal with this type of dieting is to eat only when food sources are available, so it does not interfere with mental clarity and physical performance.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Here is a list of the benefits that can be associated with a professionally created intermittent fasting program.
Changes the function of hormones, cells, and genes
When your body is not constantly eating, numerous things can happen to your body.
When you do not eat for an extended period, insulin levels drop, which helps your body burn fat and decrease body weight.
Human growth hormone levels are expected to increase when intermittent fasting helps your body build muscle and burn fat.
The body goes into a state that can help it repair cells.
Help with chronic diseases
By changing the function of your hormones, you can ward off any possible diseases like diabetes or heart disease because these conditions require hormone production regulation and insulin sensitivity for prevention.
Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body
Oxidative stress can lead to aging and chronic diseases.
It occurs when unstable molecules called free radicals react with other essential molecules such as protein and D.N.A., causing them to be damaged.
Intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress by generating more mitochondria to convert fat to energy.
Intermittent fasting can help improve the following risk factors:
- Low blood sugar levels
- Blood triglycerides
- LDL Cholesterol
- Blood pressure
However, most studies have been made on animals, so make sure to approach this with caution still.
Increase life expectancy
One of the most exciting findings from intermittent fasting is the possibility of increasing life expectancy.
The studies have only been done on rodents but show promising results.
In some of these studies the effects were quite dramatic.
In an older study, rats that were fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats that didn’t fast.
What are the risks of intermittent fasting?
If you have type-one diabetes or any other chronic conditions that may affect how food is digested and absorbed by your body, this could pose a severe risk.
If you are not eating healthy foods during your eating period, your body may lack nutrients, leading to low blood sugar and other adverse effects.
Avoid processed foods as much as possible to maintain that healthy diet.
How do you begin your fasting journey?
The first thing you should do before committing to a fasting program is to talk to a professional or an expert on the subject matter.
Your doctor is a great place to start when seeking any medical advice.
After that, one of the easiest fasts to begin your journey with is meal skipping.
Meal skipping is a flexible approach to intermittent fasting that could help a beginner.
How it works is this:
The person chooses what meals they skip based on a set level of hunger or time limitations.
Meal-switching is likely to be most successful when individuals watch their appetites.
People must eat healthy foods during their meals, such as fruits and vegetables.
Some eat when it is hungry and skip out of food when it is not.
Some people, they may find s fasting more natural than others.
Before fasting, always talk to a professional who can provide medical advice specific to your body and needs.
Intermittent fasting can be very hard on the body if not done correctly, so before committing, make sure you have the right program.
However, if you learn how to fast correctly and follow a healthy program, many health benefits can accompany you on this journey.
From weight loss to cellular repair, fasting can be a great way to improve your overall health and lose some unwanted weight or fat.
If you are interested in learning other weight loss tips and tricks check out this article here or leave a comment below!
What are extended fasting periods?
This type of fasting means limiting your daily eating window to just eight hours per day, which leaves 16 hours without any food at all.
Can intermittent fasting help me lose weight?
Many studies are showing the benefits of intermittent fasting when it comes to weight loss, but there have not yet been long-term studies on its health effects, such as lowering risk factors for diabetes or heart disease.
So if you decide to try this type of dieting, do so after consulting with your medical professional first!
How can I make fasting easier?
It may be difficult at first to get used to an eating schedule where food intake is restricted from time to time, especially during social gatherings and events where other people’s food choices are in front of you all day long.
Can intermittent fasting lead to eating disorders?
Studies show a link between intermittent fasting and eating disorders but not enough evidence to determine whether it is the cause or effect.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, speak to your doctor about making any changes to what you eat as well as how often before trying intermittent fasting again.
How can I know if my body needs more food?
Your hunger levels will tell you when your body is hungry for nutrients, so try not to use anything else (i.e., scales) to indicate when this might be happening unless they’re digital!
Is there such thing as too many fasts?
There is not enough evidence to determine whether fasting too often can decrease long-term health outcomes.
However, find yourself feeling dizzy or tired after periods of fasting. Your body may be craving nutrients, so make sure to eat something healthy and nutritious as soon as possible!
Do I have to adopt healthy habits while intermittent fasting?
It’s not necessary to adopt any other healthy habits while intermittent fasting in order for it to be effective.
However, if you are looking for weight loss, incorporating physical exercise into your routine would help a lot. Speaking with a medical professional about what dieting plan is best suited for you is always recommended!
What is the warrior diet?
The Warrior Diet involves eating nothing but fruits, vegetables, and some protein for a short period.
Is it healthy to feel hungry?
Research shows that there are many health benefits to not always being full. If you eat until you are full, your body goes into fat storage mode, leading to weight gain.
Do I have to be in ketosis while fasting?
If you are looking for more health benefits, being in a ketosis state is always recommended! Ketosis occurs when your body has adapted and starts using fat as its primary energy source instead of carbs.
Does intermittent fasting affect my menstrual cycle? Yes, it may cause irregular periods or stop them altogether if fasts become too frequent or long-term. If this happens, consult with your doctor about how best to proceed.
What if I cheat on my fast and eat outside the eating window?
Don’t worry, fasts are not a competition or are meant to be followed 100% of the time.
Many people find it hard at first but what’s important is that you’re making progress and trying your best.
What should I do when my body says no?