Intermittent Fasting in a Nutshell – Benefits and Tips
Intermittent Fasting in a Nutshell – Benefits and Tips
Have you been thinking about starting intermittent fasting? You’ve heard about all the benefits and its power, but you don’t know where to start? Well, if that’s the case, this article is for you.
We’re going to dive deep into the science of this form of fasting. The article explains what it can do for you, your body, and mind. It also teaches you what you should be doing to reap all the benefits from it. So that you can live a healthy life and have the figure you’ve always wanted.
If you see this article, then you probably know something about this form of fasting. Intermittent fasting has been very popular in recent days. But in case you haven’t heard about it, here’s a quick explanation of what it is:
Intermittent fasting is simply a method of losing weight. It is an eating pattern that defines cycles between eating and fasting. Simply it’s not a specific diet of any kind, but rather a model, as to when to eat, and when to stop eating. It’s all about getting an optimized amount of nourishment and fat loss over certain periods. It is safe, and it’s reasonably easy to do. Are you interested? Then let’s dive into it!
Key points of this article:
· Basic benefits of intermittent fasting, such as fat loss, and muscle gain.
· Mental, focus and rejuvenation benefits
· How to start fasting?
· How much time should you fast before you start eating?
· What you can consume during the fast and when you’re breaking it?
· How to break your fast?
· Should you work out? If so, how and when?
· Different types of fasting (Choose the one for you!)
· Fasting for men vs fasting for women
· Common concerns
· Putting it all together
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are a lot of people that are attracted to this form of fasting. Also, a lot of people have been successful with it. But what are the main benefits of it?
That’s probably the most important advantage of this method. It allows you to burn a lot of fat from your body while maintaining muscle. That is why so many people have had those incredible results with it!
It increases muscle tone and muscle density. Furthermore, it has a lot of smaller benefits that are worth mentioning here. One of them is the improvement of your vascular functions and your overall look. By applying this method, your skin can become much purer and clean.
Other benefits include the improvement of nails and hair. Where do all those benefits come from? You might wonder that it’s simply not eating for some time, how can it improve so many things?
Well, that’s mainly because of the release of catecholamines, adrenaline and norepinephrine. It allows your body to tap into your fat stores and preserve muscle in the process.
That is the exact reason why this method is so powerful. Not so many other methods allow you to lose fat, and not lose any muscles at the same time.
Since you’re not eating, and since your body releases so many chemical compounds (like adrenaline) into your organism, your mind goes into survival mode.
Now, before you get scared and give up on intermittent fasting, let me tell you that in fact, it’s very good. You end up being much more focused and determined to do the tasks at hand. If you’re highly neurotic, your thoughts stop rushing through your mind, and you can finally pay attention to essential things.
Most importantly, however, your body starts producing ketone bodies. It doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with ketosis. Instead, ketones end up being an incredible source of fuel for your brain! Now you have to admit, that’s a lot of benefits for solely not eating for some time.
Another major benefit of intermittent fasting is cellular rejuvenation. When you fast, your body produces something that’s called “autophagy”. It’s a process when your old cells get eaten and are replaced by newer, more efficient and powerful cells. It makes your skin look young and you end up living longer!
How to Start?
If you’re excited by all the incredible benefits of intermittent fasting and can’t wait to start your fasting journey, we have good news for you. It is easier than you thought! But there are a few things to consider when you’re just starting out. Let’s discuss them.
Stopping your consumption straight away might be a big shock for your organism. That’s why it’s always good to eat something high in fibre. This can make you a lot more satiated. If you started fasting at 10 pm the day before, you might want to have some little thing to eat, that’s high in fibre the next day at 10 pm. That is to make sure you won’t have the annoying stomach rallies. Don’t worry, you’ll still have all the benefits of fasting. It’s simply to make sure, the whole process isn’t too uncomfortable for you. Furthermore, fat and protein are also good in small portions. That’s to make sure your body can produce the precious ketones we talked about earlier. We recommend eating something simple, and not overcomplicating it too much. Broccoli and coconut oil should do the trick.
How Long Should I Fast?
This is a highly popular question for people who are just starting. This is also very important as the period how long you fast is determined by what you’re trying to achieve. Hence, you must have an end goal in mind. The shorter you fast, the more composition effects you’ll get. The longer you fast, the more you’ll be tapping into the cellular rejuvenation effects. What we recommend for beginners is typically 16 hours fast. This technique is known as 16 eight fasting. This simply means that you’ll have a 16-hour fasting period, and then you can eat for the next 8 hours. In practicality, you probably won’t be awake the whole eating period, so you normally can eat for four or five hours. This adds up perfectly. It allows you to restrict calories and get the right metabolic effect.
But if You’re Motivated…
Sixteen-hour period is a good start. That’s when you start getting the real benefits of fasting. After those 16 hours, the benefits start to grow exponentially with every hour. The longer you can endure from there, the bigger the benefits will be. We recommend working your way up to 18-20 hours. Please note, that at the beginning, it might be challenging to endure this much. If you can’t endure this much, we’d like to emphasize that 16 hours are perfectly acceptable for the beginners. The next thing we have to discuss is what you can eat during the eating windows.
What Can I Eat?
· Black coffee (no sugar, no milk)
Black coffee is proven to have some benefits with regards to autophagy. It helps recycle the old cells from your organism and contributes to fat loss. So if you’re trying to achieve cellular rejuvenation, and lose fat quicker, add it to your list!
· Tea (no sugar, no milk)
Tea is also fine, and you can have it without any problems. Remember, though, just like in the case of coffee you cannot add any sweeteners to it. Because it can trigger an insulin spike that causes a metabolic response.
Sticking to black coffee is fine as it will complement the fasting process perfectly. However, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind. If you have been considering consuming branch chain amino acids during your fast, then we have bad news for you. They can break your fast instantly, and they are not necessary during the fast. So, keep them out of the equation, and you’ll be good to go.
Breaking your Fast
That is a highly significant and strategic point in your fasting process. First of all, you need to make sure you provide your organism with all the essentials so that it’s in excellent condition. We recommend breaking your fast with a bone broth. It will allow your collagen to help restore the gut. It’s quite common that after fasting, you can temporarily weaken the gut mucosal layer. There’s nothing to be afraid of, though, because after eating the broth, it will absorb everything much better.
Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure that under no circumstances, you combine fats with carbs. This can cause an insulin spike and lead to the wrong metabolic response. You certainly don’t want that. Keep this in mind, and everything will be fine. The best way is to either have fat and protein or carbs and protein. Summing up, eating a bone broth after breaking a fast is a great practice. And also, don’t mix fat with carbs. Now let us move to the next section!
Should I Work Out During The Fasting Period?
There’s nothing bad in working out during your fast. However, you can either work out during the fast or during the eating window. You can do whatever is best for you, but please note, that if you want to get a lot more physiological body composition effect, then you should consider working out during your fast. We recommend fasting somewhere around the middle of your fasting period. This way, your body still has energy from the last eating window, and you can work out without giving up on fasting.
There are some things to keep in mind if you decide to work out after you’ve eaten. Although this might seem to be a good option, there are some contraindications to it. As soon as you break your fast, your blood is going into your internal organs. Hence, if you start working out, you’ll most likely detract from that. That’s why this method is not recommended, because you won’t absorb the essential nutrients. This is the reason we recommend working out during fasting.
According to various studies, when you work out during the fast, you can burn much more fat than when you work out after it. That is mainly because Maya cellular lipids (which are bits of fat in your muscles) get evacuated when you work out during fasting. They proceed into the bloodstream where they get burned for energy, leaving the muscles intact. Hence, working out in this period is extremely powerful if you want to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.
Different Types of Fasting
That is the one we’ve been discussing, to remind you, it’s usually a 16-20-hour period of fasting and then going into an 8 hour period of eating. However, the longer you fast, the better. The exponential growth of body composition effects and mind benefits grows with every hour you add to your fasting period. However, you should not push it past 48 hours (unless you have a reason to), because the effects start to diminish after the first 24 hours and fall to zero after 48.
In this type of fast, you can consume liquids like coffee, bone broth, Bulletproof coffee etc. Basically, you can still have calories but in the form of liquid. This type of fasting is supposed to give your digestive system a break.
This is one of the most extreme forms of fasting because you can’t consume any food nor liquid. You shouldn’t practice this form of fasting unless it’s once in 3-6 months. Your body consumes fat because it intends to make water instead, to keep your body hydrated (fat contains hydrogen). This is called molecular water. This is an effective method in burning fat, but it’s something you should not be practising often.
Fasting For Men Vs Fasting For Women
There are many similarities between men and women when it comes to fasting. One thing that women have to remember is that because of their reproductive system, the body will send hunger signals a lot more aggressively than in the case of men. In a survival standpoint, it’s more dangerous for a female to fast because she needs the energy to carry a child. Therefore, their body might go into more of a fighting response. For women, it’s okay to fast 12-14 hours for the beginning and work your way up to 16 hours. You can still get some benefits of fasting after 12-14 hours, but the process won’t be so uncomfortable. For men, however, the matter is fairly straightforward. You won’t get as aggressive hunger signals as in the case of women, so you can start your fast normally.
Am I going to lose muscle?
In the case of intermittent fasting, various studies prove the opposite. You won’t lose the muscles, instead, you’ll likely gain them. A study shows, when you compare the intermittent fasting with other types of fasting, the intermittent one has proven to be much more effective in fat loss and muscle gain. However, if you fast for longer periods (3-5 days), you might lose some muscle.
Will my metabolism slow down?
If there are discrepancies between your calorie consumption after you’ve started fasting, your metabolism might change. However, if you keep your calories within their regular range, nothing is going to change in terms of your metabolism.
Will it affect my thyroid?
The study has proven that during fasting, your production of thyroid hormone might slow down. Summing up, fasting might have some effects on your thyroid, but the metabolism comes back to its original state when you get into the eating period.
When to take my supplements
It depends on the kind of supplement. If the supplement contains any carbs or calories, it is likely to break your fast. That is why it is important, your supplements won’t have any caloric effect on your body. Make sure they don’t contain any of that. If they do, you might want to stick to solely vitamins.
Can I drink alcohol during the fast?
Normally, alcohol is not recommended, because of your metabolism that is prioritising alcohol over everything else. If you drink alcohol, you won’t burn the fat as fast as you would without it. That’s why we don’t recommend it. If you want to consume some alcohol, you must do it after you’ve eaten something.
The bottom line
We hope this article has given you an idea about what intermittent fasting is. This form of fasting is good for everyone as long as you stick to the rules we’ve mentioned above. It’s a highly effective way of burning fat and gaining muscle, so if you’re interested in it, and thinking about starting, now you have all the information that you need. Give it a try and you might be surprised with its powerful effects!