Intermittent fasting is a trendy word right now, but I want to really break it down for you simply and clearly today. Research is continuing to be done but so many benefits have been found when you fast and they have way more to do than just your waistline. What they are finding is that when someone fasts they rely less on glucose and more on fat for fuel. Which is the goal in losing weight. Fasting also helps your body detox from stress by lowering the levels of stress in the cells. (It is important to note that we must detox on a cellular level as well as the body)
There are many different ways to fast and some of the top methods are:
- Alternate Day Fasting – This means you eat every other day. Some eat no food and others eat very little on the no fasting days. And on the eating day, eat normal and very healthy.
- 5:2 Diet – This is where you eat five days a week and fast for two by only eating 500 calories.
- Eat-Stop-Eat – Pick one or two days out of the week where you fast for 24 hours.
- The Warrior Fast – Eat only fruits and vegetables throughout the day then at night you have a large protein filled meal.
There are many ways to intermittent fast which is great because you can pick the one that works for your lifestyle and schedule the best, but for beginners I will share the best way to go through an intermittent fast. Time restricted eating is the most simple method. This means you skip your post dinner snack and skip breakfast the next morning. If you don’t eat anything till lunch the next day you have already fasted around 16 hours. Some of you might do that already and you didn’t even know you were fasting!
Four Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. Weight Loss
This is the main reason people fast, and it is a very effective one. You don’t have to measure your foods, and it doesn’t require a ton of counting calories and stress. The goal is to get your body to burn fat instead of sugar for fuel. When you don’t give your body glucose it uses what is there for fuel, aka fat. This is very similar to the keto diet as well.
2. Healthy Heart
Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase your heart health and lower the risk of many heart diseases. Research has found that it has the ability to lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good. We know that the heart can be effected by stress as well, so the fact that fasting helps our bodies manage stress is also a great sign of this lifestyle contributing to the health of your heart.
3. Improves Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. Its main job is to transport the glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells so that it can be used for energy. Anyone who has dealt with diabetes knows there is a breakdown in this process, which results in high blood sugar levels. Intermittent fasting can help with your blood sugar. How? It helps keep the levels regulated and prohibits spikes and crashes. Studies have found that it helped people with type 2 diabetes tremendously and they lost weight!
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural bodies’ response. Think about when you roll your ankle, your ankle swells. You then ice it, and stay off of it letting it heal and your ankle goes back to normal. However, chronic inflammation can lead to diseases and be harmful to your health. Diseases like cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart diseases are all linked to high levels of inflammation so learning ways to lower inflammation is very important for your health. Research has been done finding that intermittent fasting can lead to reducing inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can be one of the interferences we talk about in my practice. The body is able to heal itself but if there is something blocking the body then it cannot heal and that is when diseases form. Chronic inflammation is one of those and it can effect any and every part of the body.