Intermittent fasting boosts your health
How I got interested in Intermittent fasting
The first time I heard about Intermittent fasting (IF), I thought I would never choose that. I love to eat, and I used to be hungry all day and had 5-6 meals a day! When I started the keto diet a few years ago, I was sometimes not hungry and forced myself to have a meal, especially in the morning. That is when I started to learn about all the possibilities to do IF. The best frame for me is 16:8, so I eat between 12.00 and 18.00. Now and then, I fast 24h or 48h without any problem.
I felt more focused and had more energy all day from the very beginning!
Intermittent fasting; occasionally skip one or more meals
More and more people are discovering the power of intermittent fasting. By skipping meals for a period of time, they notice that they get more energy and lose weight. More and more scientific research indicates that grazing the whole day is fine for cows, but not for people.
Intermittent fasting can be performed in different ways:
- A 24-hour fast day where you only drink (water, herbal tea) but do not eat.
- Eat 1 meal a day (OMAD). Usually, this is a lunch or an evening meal.
- Eat within a certain time frame: between 8 a.m. and 8 a.m. This means 12 hours of food, 12 hours of fasting. This can be extended to 10 hours of food and 14 hours of fasting or 8 hours of food and 16 hours.
My favourite way is 16:8.
Processing food is hard work for your body.
Every time you eat, your body must work hard to process your food. Your body is a beautifully balanced organism. When you eat, many of those balances get disturbed and need to be balanced again. Everything you eat is actually foreign to you. Your digestive system will immediately start using the food to get it all digested and processed and select compounds that cannot be used. Everything changes in your body the moment food comes in. This means Your body needs to perform a considerable effort to digest. That is why you have to give your body rest now and then.
Intermittent fasting: the benefits of not eating 14 hours
There has been scientific research into intermittent fasting for decades. These studies show time and again that there are many health benefits when you fast at a certain time period (14 hours or more). My favourite reason to fast is that it gives me more energy and improves my focus.
Most important benefits of fasting
1. Restoration of body cells
Digesting costs a lot of energy for your body. When you fast, your body will get more energy to restore body cells. When fasting, a process starts where damaged cells can repair themselves, and the necessary waste material can be removed from the cells.
2. Reduction of inflammation
Inflammation is the root cause of low energy and many chronic diseases. They weaken your mitochondria: your rechargeable power stations. Intermittent fasting helps to reduce chronic inflammation and strengthens your mitochondria.
3. Solves Insulin Resistance
A fluctuating blood glucose level makes you tired and sick. It will take away all your energy. Intermittent fasting will restore your insulin sensitivity, making your blood glucose level more stable. This considerably reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes 2.
4. Increase in growth hormones
Regular fasting will increase your growth hormone production (especially in combination with exercise). The main function of growth hormone is that it helps repair and grow body cells and tissues. More growth hormone means faster recovery from ailments and complaints. The growth hormone also stimulates your body to burn energy from your fat reserves and helps with muscle building.
5. Reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease
Decreasing inflammation and restoring insulin resistance means a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, intermittent fasting can also help lower high blood pressure and have a beneficial effect on elevated LDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides. Even more, factors help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
6. Delay of premature ageing
The only proven method in rats to live healthier longer is reducing calorie intake. They sometimes live 80 per cent longer. It seems that just as good results can be achieved with intermittent fasting. Since intermittent fasting has so many health benefits, it is expected that delayed premature ageing applies to rats and humans.
7. Weight Loss
Everything that helps to lose weight if you are really overweight also helps you gain more energy. Intermittent fasting stimulates the body to switch from burning glucose to burning fat. If the body learns to burn fat again, it will complain less about sweets and fast carbohydrates, which also helps with weight loss. Intermittent fasting also speeds up your metabolism, making losing weight easier. Your metabolism does not slow down, and your body does not end up in the energy-saving mode. This prevents the yo-yo effect of crash diets.
Time window fast
The extent to which intermittent fasting can contribute to a higher energy level depends on how you do it and how your body reacts. The easiest way is to extend the period you sleep in the evening and therefore do not eat with hours of fasting before or after. The period of fasting must be at least 12 hours. Extend this to 14 to 16 hours. If you feel comfortable with it, you can do I.F. several days a week.
If you have fluctuating blood sugar levels and you have difficulty without breakfast, start eating an early evening meal that you finish at 6 p.m. If you do not eat anything after that until your breakfast at 8:00 a.m., you will have 14 hours of fasting. This is already an excellent start.
Build it up slowly
If you have stable blood sugar, you can choose to eat in time in the evening and postpone your breakfast. If you finish your dinner at 7 p.m. and breakfast at 11 a.m., you will have fasted no less than 14 hours. You can do this as often as you like. This is my favourite pattern; I do this four to five times a week. Sometimes I skip my breakfast and then lunch around noon.
Build it up slowly. If your normal fasting period is only 8 hours, expand this step by step to 12 hours. Then you can stretch it a little further. Also, please don’t do it 7 days a week, or your metabolism will adjust accordingly. Continue to surprise your body and eat at varying times.
The greatest benefits of intermittent fasting will, of course, only be obtained if you first eat as healthily as possible, and secondly if you, therefore, eat less than usual. So don’t bunk before the fast period starts, especially if you want to lose weight.
Keep in mind that everybody is different! It might not be wise to start fasting when you are recovering from surgery, have an illness, are pregnant or already have a low weight.
If you are addicted to sugar or if your blood glucose level fluctuates considerably, your body will benefit more from regular eating. Build up the intermittent fast very slowly. First, work on stabilizing your blood glucose level and training your body to use fat molecules as energy sources. I first started the ketogenic diet and automatically started fasting because of a lack of hunger.
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