Intermittent fasting has become very popular as a way to lose weight. But there are other benefits as well. Fasting can help reduce inflammation in the body and it helps your body’s natural detox mechanisms work even better. Here I’ll help you learn about intermittent fasting for the beginner.
What is intermittent fasting? It is simply staggering periods of eating with periods of not eating. There are several methods we’ll get into next.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are three popular schedules for fasting. We’ll start with the easiest to hardest.
The 16/8 method:
This is the most popular and the easiest to implement. Basically, you don’t eat after dinner and delay your first meal of the day until the next morning. 16 hours no food, 8 hours you can eat. Easy, peasy. This could almost come naturally if you don’t snack at night.
During your eight hours of eating, try to eat normal healthy foods without piling on junk foods. You’ll feel so much better. This is the method I use every day and feel great.
Alternate Day Fasting:
This one is a little tougher. With this method, you eat normally one day, then don’t eat at all or eat a small meal (less than 500 calories) the next. Personally, I would feel like I’m missing out on this schedule but it works for some.
This method has you eating normally for five days, then two days of just one small meal. You could pick any two days of the week, they don’t have to be two days in a row.
A little warning here. It is not a good idea to fast for more than 24 hours. It could cause your body to start storing fat as a defense mechanism to starvation.
Also, if you have diabetes, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are under a doctor’s care for another condition, check with your doctor before trying an intermittent fast.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Our bodies were built for fasting. Earlier man relied on hunting before we figured out how to farm and harvest our food. They sometimes had to go days before finding food.
Even 50 years ago before computers and cell phones, people tended to get outside more and eat a lot less. TV went to a blank screen at 11:00 pm so people went to bed instead of binging on TV shows and eating snack foods.
These days, we eat a lot of convenience foods and very often which is not a very healthy lifestyle (unless you’re eating raw veggies). Intermittent fasting actually helps our bodies burn more fat according to research by Mark Mattson and Rafael de Cabo (New England Journal of Medicine, 2019).
Intermittent fasting helps our body go into ketosis which switches our metabolism to burn fat instead of glucose. If we aren’t over-indulging during our ‘on’ time, we will actually burn fat.
Studies have shown obese adults lose weight through intermittent fasting. In animal studies, it showed intermittent fasting prevented obesity. Intermittent fasting is like a hack for weight loss.
Thinking and memory are improved with intermittent fasting. Several neurologists advocate intermittent fasting as a prevention for Alzheimer’s and also to improve brain health. Dr. Dale Bredesen has a modified fasting schedule in his cognitive decline program. Fasting is great for your brain.
Intermittent fasting also can improve blood pressure and resting heart rates.
Improves the body’s own detox mechanisms:
It has long been thought that fasting helps us live longer. A review of the literature showed that the body can purge unwanted waste and toxins in our bodies much better with fasting. Just a simple daily fast can make a difference.
Kickstart Your 2022 Detox and Weight Loss Routine
There’s no better time to kick off your 2022 detox and weight loss routine than right now. Anytime is great for intermittent fasting. No special foods, no cost, it’s all in the timing of when you eat.
I hope this helped you understand intermittent fasting. It’s really a no-brainer to at least give it a try. If nothing else, it will help your overall health and brain health. I find it super easy and I feel a lot better.
Thank you for reading today. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the Comments section below. Thank you!