I remember when skipping breakfast meant you would begin to lose muscle mass or your body would store everything you ate. Now, skipping breakfast typically means you are doing some form of intermittent fasting. For me, IF makes a lot of sense because it has always been difficult for me to eat as soon as I wake up.
IF means a lot more than just skipping a meal or two though. There are some great things going on inside your body when you fast.
What is IF?
Intermittent fasting is a trending, effective way to lose weight. There is also more than one way to fast. Here are some of the varieties that you can do:
- The 16/8 Method: This is where you fast for 16 hours per day and restrict your “clean eating” window into 8 hours. Yes, you still have to eat clean and healthy.
- The 5:2 Method: Fast for 2 days, eat for 5. You’ll eat normally for 5 days and restrict yourself to 500 or 600 calories per day.
- Eat-Stop-Eat Method: This method has you fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week.
- Alternate Day Method: Just like it sounds, with this method, you fast one day and eat the next.
- The Warrior Method: As a warrior, you will fast all day and eat a huge meal at night, eating a huge “feast” within a 4 hour window.
- The Spontaneous Method: This is where you spontaneously skip meals whenever you can. If you aren’t hungry or feel too busy/tired to eat, just skip that meal.
What happens to your body during intermittent fasting?
When you eat, your body naturally converts carbohydrates into glucose. Then, your pancreas produces insulin to help absorb the glucose to burn as energy. The glucose that isn’t needed immediately for energy then gets stored into fat cells.
During intermittent fasting, the decreased amount of carbs you are eating, in turn, signals to your body to reach for the stored glucose from those pesky fat cells for energy.
And thus, we are burning calories from the fat and reducing our fat stores.
What are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting?
- Weight Loss: This is probably the #1 benefit to intermittent fasting and what leads most people to it initially.
- Lowers The Risk of Diabetes: As obesity is the #1 cause of diabetes in America, losing weight with intermittent fasting is definitely a benefit.
- Helps Your Heart: It lowers certain types of fats and cholesterols in your body, like triglycerides, which help lower the risk of heart problems.
- Improves Brain Health: Intermittent fasting may help improve your brain health and help prevent brain damaging diseases.
- Lower The Risk Of Cancer: Some animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting may lower the risk of cancer and cancer growth.
All in all, intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way to lose weight and improve the overall health of your body and mind. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to feel better, however, it can be dangerous for some people, so please check with your doctor first.
Have IF experience? How do you feel about it?