What's So Great About Intermittent Fasting?

What's So Great About Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting was the driving force of my weight loss a few years ago. I lost 35 lbs in 6 months. But I got lazy. So I am again looking to take off a few pounds and naturally I am starting with the i.f. regimen.

Intermittent fasting is a popular dietary trend that involves alternating periods of fasting with periods of eating. There are several different types of intermittent fasting, including:

  • Time-restricted eating: This involves restricting food intake to specific hours of the day, such as eating only during an 8-hour window and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Sixteen hours of fasting is the scientific minimum required to put your body in a fasted state. Some more advanced fasters will choose a “Fast 5” option which means eating only during a 5-hour window and fasting for the remaining 19 hours.
  • Alternate-day fasting: This involves alternating between days of eating normally and days of eating very little or not at all.
  • The 5:2 diet: This involves eating normally for 5 days and restricting food intake to 500-600 calories on the other 2 days.
  • Warrior Diet: You only eat one meal each day, usually a very large meal including appetizer and dessert.

Time-restricted eating is my choice. I don’t have the discipline required for the other options. When intermittent fasting, I eat between 11:30 AM - 7:30 PM. I fast the other 16 hours of the day. It took a lot of trial and error to determine the right hours for me. You can have black coffee and water or other liquids with no calories during your fasting periods. I have black coffee in the morning and that settles my rumbling belly for a hours. I am a night owl and can’t quit eating too early in the evening because I can’t go to sleep on an empty stomach.

There are several ways that intermittent fasting can help with your weight loss goals. When eating only in an 8-hour window instead of any time you want, you won’t need 3 large meals plus between-meal snacks. This allows you to reduce your daily calorie intake. There are no restrictions on the foods you can eat. You can eat the same foods you always eat but you will find that you need less of it.

Also, when your body is in the fasted state, insulin is low so the body burns stored fat for energy. This is a great tip to keep in mind. I try to get in as much activity as possible before my first meal so that I am burning stored fat. A nice long walk before brunch makes for a lovely day for me. Any kind of exercise that you can get during this time is beneficial. Find what you most enjoy and do that.

I also see other benefits when I fast, both mentally and physically. With this method I find that I have more time. I’m not constantly grazing or preparing meals, increasing my productivity. It also interrupts addictive patterns such as my ice cream habit. It gives me a huge energy boost. And buying fewer groceries saves me money.

Intermittent fasting is not a magic formula for weight loss. You will not rapidly lose 10 pounds. But if you are consistent you will see a consistent loss such as 1 pound per week.

Intermittent fasting is more than just a weight loss method. It is a secret weapon for rejuvenating your whole body. It can improve metabolism and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. This pattern of eating has also been shown to improve brain function, including memory, concentration, and learning. This is likely due to the fact that fasting stimulates the growth of new brain cells and improves the function of existing brain cells.

The benefits of intermittent fasting are numerous and well-documented. It may be a useful tool to add to your health and wellness routine.

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