If you are interested in health and weight loss then you have probably heard of intermittent fasting by now. It’s the new, hip, fast pass to losing weight and being healthy. You might not know where to start or how. It might seem too extreme or impossible to do. But I can assure you, it’s totally doable. Actually, it has been used for many, many years even from the ancient people for improving health, life, focus, and clarity.
Struggling with weight loss for most of my life I have tried almost everything that is out there as far as diets and tips for the past 10 years. And so far intermittent fasting is my favorite, easiest for me, more flexible and with best results. Also fits my schedule best(the good thing is that it can be adjusted to almost anybody’s schedule).
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Aids With Weight Loss
Besides the insulin that your body stops producing while you are fasting, your daily calorie intake can be lowered down. Metabolism starts working better which helps with burning fat too.
Studies show that it can prevent cancer or stop it from growing, kills cancer cells and improves your immune system in general.
Prevents Diabetes And Lowers Insulin Levels
When we fast our body stops producing insulin and uses all the stored sugar and fat in the liver for energy which aids for weight loss as well.
Intermittent fasting allows your whole body to detox and repair. Turning it on a regenerating and recycling mode. It slows the aging process and everything connected to it.
Improves Brain Health
Turning your body in regenerating mode makes it produce more and healthier brain cells. Therefore, you will notice increased energy levels, mood, focus, and clarity.
Helps you build muscle and get leaner
When fasting your body burns the stored fat, therefore you build more muscle and get leaner body when you work out.
Improves skin condition
While fasting you are detoxing your whole body and that includes your skin. Lots of skin issues are connected to an unhealthy diet and toxins in your body. When your body flushes the toxins it can help you get rid of acne, get clear and healthier skin.
Improves your immune system
Fasting helps your body regenerate, produce more healthy cells and clear the damaged ones. Your immune system will be stronger and your body will fight diseases better.
Increase energy levels
Giving your gut and liver a rest will increase your energy levels and productivity.
What type of Intermittent fasting should I chose
There are a few different fasts that you can do, but the most important is to find the one that suits you best and fit it to your daily routine.
16 hours of the fast and 8-hour eating window. This is the most common, easiest to apply for most people and perfect if you have never fasted before. You can do 10am-6pm eating window if you are used to 3 meals a day which allows you to have breakfast, lunch and early dinner. Another one could be a 12pm-8pm eating window for people who are relying on lunch and dinner to get their calories intake. Or again, make it fit your eating schedule depending on your agenda as long as it’s 16 hours of fasting(counting 8 hours of sleep as part of the fast too)and 8 hours eating window.
In my opinion, this is the easiest to do, but also you will see results way slower. If you are doing a 12 hour fast(counting 8h of sleep)that means that your body will have less time in that fat burning(ketosis), regenerating mode. Therefore you will get those sweet benefits slower. But again it’s perfect as a starter and to let your body adjust to fasting. You can do 12pm-12am, which simply means skip breakfast or 6am-6pm if your day starts early and it simply means skip dinner. Either way, it will give you the base of getting in the habit of fasting.
This one is good for the times that your schedule doesn’t really allow you to fast every day. Or for people who can hardly survive without food for long hours. For five days you will have a regular eating schedule and 2 days your calorie intake can be only about 500 calories split through the day (500 calories seem like very little, but with the right food you can easily not be starving and go through it.I will have another post about it later.)
Twenty-four hours of NO FOOD!?!?! (I know!)Twenty-four hours of ONLY LIQUID!?!?! (Keep in mind that high on sugar juicing is not part of it.)You can drink tea, coffee(no sugar or milk), water, infused water with no sugary ingredients(cucumber, mint). Pick a day or two a month or a week. Start counting 24 h from your last meal. The key to surviving it is drinking liquids non stop.
20:4 (Warrior Diet)
I have tried most of the methods (16: 8; 12: 12; 5: 2; 24h fast) and found out that the best for me and my schedule is 20:4. Also known as the Warrior Diet. (If you are new to IF I would suggest starting light with 12:12 or 16:8 for few weeks and slowly build it up to 20: 4, 5: 2, or 24h fast)
Warrior Diet is 4 hours eating window and 20 hours of fast. It sounds a little extreme at first(Trust me, I love eating and food in general, so I was a skeptic at first too). It fits perfectly for most of my weekly routine. It’s perfect for people with a hectic lifestyle, flexible schedules or not an exact setup routine depending on your agenda.
Intermittent fasting is NOT A DIET, it’s a way of living. Very flexible and you can do it for as much or as little as you would like. The most important is to listen to your body. You can still push yourself little by little. Make sure you find what’s best for you and go with it. Don’t compare your results to studies and other people’s results. AFTER ALL, NO ONE CAN TELL YOU WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR BODY BUT YOUR BODY, JUST LEARN TO LISTEN TO IT.