an introduction to the main types of intermittent fasting – Tips and Benefits
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is currently one of the most popular things going in the world of health and wellness right now…. because it works!
Here is how….
I hesitate to call it a ‘trend’ because the word trend is usually synonymous with something that will soon die off as it lacks efficacy.
I Personally believe (through experience) that IF has a solid foundation in science and can be something, when done properly, that can greatly improve the overall health of an individual. Many studies have confirmed that IF has profound positive effect on your body and brain.
Intermittent Fasting is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating.
– Focuses NOT on what foods you should eat, but rather WHEN you should be eating.
– Thus, we do not refer to it as a “Diet” but rather a “Pattern”
– Commonly intermittent fasting will consist of 16 hour fasts each day or 2x24hr fasts in a week
– I personally go to the 16 hour approach as it consists of the 8 hours we are to be asleep anyhow.
– We have been fasting as humans for a very long time anyway
– Either for religious purposes or even further back in time, because as hunter-gatherers we didn’t have supermarkets at our disposal.
– That being said, it is ingrained in our chemistry at an evolutionary level.
– Some may say it is more natural for us to fast like this than eat 3-4x a day every day.
Three Major Methods to IF:
1) 16/8 method:
- skipping breakfast and restricting your eating window to 8 hours (ex 1-9pm) and then fasting 16 hours (8 of which you are asleepanyway!)
2) eat-stop- eat method:
- have one to two full 24 hour periods of fasting in a week.
- This can be a bit of a shock so I wouldn’t start this way
3) the 5:2 method:
- in a 7 day period, have two days that your caloric consumption is only 500-600 calories and the other 5 days eat normally.
- As I said I find the 16/8 the most effective and sustainable method
What happens in your body??
– HGH increases as much as 5 fold which can have profound effects on muscle growth and fat loss
– Insulin sensitivity improves and insulin levels drop which can make stored body fat more accessible
– Cellular repair increases. This is called autophagy which is when cells clear out dysfunctional proteins that build up over time.
– Gene expression: There have been changes observed in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease.
– Changes to hormone function and metabolic rate.
(Lower insulin and increased HGH promote the release of a hormone called norepinephrine which burns fat off.)
Furthermore, IF can reduce markers for inflammation in our body = Inflammation is after all the precursor to many diseases
– We also see vast improvement in brain function (ie a brain hormone called BDNF which aids in growth of new nerve cells in the brain) this can prevent diseases such as Alzeimers
– IF has benefits in anti aging.
– Lastly, it simplifies your eating schedule because there will be less planning involved.
*Quick word of caution, IF is best done intermittently in its own regard.
Meaning you should delve back into regular eating every so often.
Thanks for reading!!
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