A Guide to Intermittent Fasting

At its very core, intermittent fasting simply allows the body to use its stored energy, by burning off excess body fat.

Body fat is merely food energy that has been stored away. If you don’t eat, your body will simply “eat” its own fat for energy.

Life is about balance. The good and the bad, the yin and the yang. The same applies to eating and fasting. Fasting, after all, is simply the flip side of eating. If you are not eating, you are fasting.

Here’s how it works

When we eat, more food energy is ingested than can immediately be used. Some of this energy must be stored away for later use. Insulin is one of the key hormones involved in the storage of food energy. Insulin rises when we eat, helping to store the excess energy in our body.  The process goes in reverse when we do not eat. Insulin levels fall, signaling the body to start burning stored energy because no more is coming through food. Blood glucose falls, so the body must now pull glucose out of storage to burn for energy.

To restore balance or to lose weight, we may simply need to increase the amount of time spent burning food energy. That’s intermittent fasting. In essence, intermittent fasting allows the body to use its stored energy. The important thing to understand is that there is nothing wrong with that. That is how our bodies are designed. That’s what dogs, cats, lions and bears do. That’s what humans do.

Some of the purported health benefits of intermittent fasting include

  • Weight and body fat loss
  • Increased fat burning
  • Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
  • Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Possibly improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Possibly increased energy
  • Possibly increased growth hormone, at least in the short term
  • Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
  • Possibly longer life

How to intermittent fast – 16:8 Rule

This way of doing intermittent fasting involves daily fasting for 16 hours. Sometimes this is also referred to as an 8-hour eating ‘window.’ You eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. Generally, this is done daily or almost daily.

For example, you may eat all your meals within the time period of 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. Generally, this means skipping breakfast, but some people prefer to skip dinner instead. Typically this involves eating either two or three meals within this 8-hour period.

Attention! Before starting any fasting, please consult with your doctor or with a professional of dietetics. 

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