Intermittent fasting is currently one of the buzziest diet trends around.
Here's everything you need to know about intermittent fasting—including how it works, intermittent fasting guidelines, and four intermittent fasting rules.
Read more → Don't worry—we won't leave you hungry! :)
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a trend that has been gaining momentum in recent years.
It involves periods of not eating with the intention of burning more fat than you consume, rather than fat-burning through exercise or other means such as caloric restriction.
It is called "intermittent" fasting because it is a self-selected schedule for eating based on your body's natural rhythms.
The primary benefits of all types of fasting, as reported by those who do it regularly, are increased mental clarity and lower levels of stress hormones.
Intermittent fasting is quite simple, contrary to popular belief.
During a fast, many people report feeling better and having more energy.
Not eating for 16 hours a day and limiting your food intake to an 8-hour window is technically fasting.
The 16/8 method is the most often used form of intermittent fasting.
Taking supplements while fasting is generally permitted as long as they contain no calories.
Alternatively, certain kinds of intermittent fasting allow for small amounts of low-calorie foods during the fasting phase.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern wherein you cycle between periods without food.
Many different types, such as the 16/8 and 5:2 methods, can help you manage weight quickly while still getting all your necessary nutrients.
IF has become increasingly popular over the years, partly because it's easy: just one day per week with an extended fast each time—no exceptions!
Because we don't get a break from hunger pangs or cravings, those who want something low stress might find themselves more successful at sticking with their plans when following IF compared to traditional diets that require monitoring calories every single day throughout even small meals.
Here are 5 health benefits of intermittent fasting that have been scientifically validated:
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- Insulin levels in the blood fall dramatically when you fast, allowing fat to be burned more effectively.
- IF enhances autophagy and other cellular repair processes, involved in removal of waste material from cells, which helps in cell renewal.
- Fasting causes positive changes in the expression of various genes and substances that are linked to longevity and illness prevention.
These changes in hormones, cell function, and gene expression are among the advantages of intermittent fasting.
Many people who practice intermittent fasting do so to lose weight by following specific eating schedules.
Intermittent fasting also improves hormone function, which helps people lose weight.
Decreasing insulin levels, increasing HGH levels, and increasing norepinephrine (noradrenaline) levels all help the body break down fat and utilize it for energy.
As a result, fasting for a brief period boosts your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories.
Intermittent fasting, in other words, benefits both sides of the calorie issue.
It raises your metabolic rate (calories expended) while decreasing the amount of food you consume (reduces calorie intake).
Intermittent fasting has been shown to be beneficial to brain function.
It has the potential to promote the creation of new neurons while also protecting the brain from injury.
IF aids in the reduction of:
- Inflammation due to oxidative damage
- Sugar levels in the blood
- Insulin resistance, a condition in which the body
Intermittent fasting has been proven in several studies in mice and rats to enhance the creation of new nerve cells, which should improve brain function. Fasting also raises levels of a hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
A lack of BDNF has been linked to depression and other mental health issues. Intermittent fasting has also been proven in animals to protect against brain injury caused by strokes.
IF is good for cardiac health.
IF aids in maintaining a healthy heart and preventing cardiovascular diseases. The mechanisms involved in preventing heart diseases are:
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Lowered blood pressure
- Decreased levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density cholesterol, which therefore limits the risk of coronary heart diseases (Bhutani et al., 2013)
IF may help you live longer.
In laboratory conditions, fasting has proven to be the most effective strategy to lengthen lifespan.
Extensive research on various animals, from fruit flies to rodents to primates, has effectively demonstrated an increase in the average and maximum lifespan of those that fasted.
While it will be some time before we know if fasting extends human lifespan, it lowers age-related disorders, hence boosting human health.
Furthermore, data from 19 studies involving a total of 1.5 million persons indicated that being overweight or obese (and probably underweight) is linked to an increased risk of death from any cause.
A BMI of 20.0 to 24.9 was associated with the lowest all-cause mortality.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight by the square of their height.
BMI is a simple and inexpensive way to see if you are underweight, healthy, overweight, or obese according to these guidelines.
Rules and guidelines for intermittent fasting
Whereas most diets focus on content and calories, the most essential aspect of intermittent fasting is when you eat and when you don't.
Here are the most important guidelines for intermittent fasting:
When Should You Eat?
The first step is determining how long you want your fast to last each day.
A minimum of 12 hours is recommended for first-timers, while a maximum of 20 hours is considered severe.
Then you need to divide your day into "eating" and "non-eating" periods.
For example, if you fast for 12 hours and then eat at 8 o'clock in the morning, you have until 8 o'clock in the evening to consume all of your daily calories.
Once you reach the “non-eating” time window, you cannot consume any more calories until the following day.
What Should You Eat?
It's time to determine what you want to consume after you've decided how long you want to fast each day.
Unlike other diets, there is no set criterion for the type of food you must eat.
This flexibility allows intermittent fasting to be used with different diet philosophies, such as low-carb paleo, vegetarian, or simply eating healthily.
However, it would be best to keep a strict eye on your calorie intake.
Because your hormones, blood sugar, and other weight-loss elements are doing all the heavy lifting for you, you don't need to go into a significant calorie deficit.
But intermittent fasting does not allow you to maintain a calorie surplus and still lose weight.
A 200-calorie deficit is more than enough to lose weight effectively.
Many dieters have lost weight and become leaner by employing intermittent fasting instead of calorie restriction.
They didn't change what they ate every day; instead, they simply followed the eating and non-eating time frames without making major calorie modifications.
You can expect to lose more weight if your calorie deficit is higher.
When Should You Exercise?
It is recommended that you exercise during your non-eating time.
If you've heard the term "fasted workout," you've probably heard of someone who follows an intermittent fasting regimen.
When you're in the final stages of a fast, it can be challenging to exercise, especially if it's cardio, but it's proven to be helpful for fat reduction.
Your body prioritizes specific resources above others, and calories consumed are at the top of the list.
When you don't have any calories from a recent meal, your body is more inclined to use fat stores for energy during exercise.
Breaking Your Fast Is Not A Good Idea!
"Don't break your fast" is the most crucial rule.
It matters more than how many calories you consume every day or how you schedule your meals.
Consecutive non-eating hours are the key to reaping the benefits of intermittent fasting.
You won't get the benefits of improved blood sugar, enhanced growth hormone secretion, and decreased hunger if you never enter this fasted state because you snack every few hours.
Be wary of zero-calorie meals, since many include trace levels of calories that can break your fast if consumed in large quantities.
To assist moderate hunger cravings, drink plenty of water and incorporate a fiber source with your meals or take a supplement.
Pro Tip: Add GLYLO to your morning routine to help regulate appetite, manage weight, and slow the aging process!
As we mentioned, there are many different types of intermittent fasting, and each person responds differently to the process.
The 16/8 method is an excellent way for people to lose weight quickly or change their relationship with food without completely depriving themselves.
If you’re looking to manage weight or want a more sustainable way of eating, intermittent fasting may be the answer.
To help make your journey easier and healthier, try adding GLYLO to your morning routine.
A natural, appetite-regulating supplement, GLYLO can also slow down signs of aging as it helps regulate hormones that play a significant role in maintaining health.
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