Whether you are cutting down weight for your next weigh-in or want to lose weight effectively with a deep cleanse, intermittent fasting can be the unique key to keeping your body in a fasted state while still taking in nourishment for your body.
You might not be keen on doing extreme fasting or you might want to try it out to see if it is right for you—intermittent fasting can be the segway cleanse to have a little taste of how you feel.
Since its every other day or only a few days a week, the reduction in your food intake on an interval basis can help give your body that adequate time it needs to digest effectively and eliminate all the toxins clogging up your system. That’s because all the biological repair processes you need for cleansing will kick into gear when your body is in “rest” mode.
Intermittent Fasting Explained
You probably know fasting as scheduling to eat at a specific period of time and fasting for the rest of that time. Intermittent fasting is doing so in various variations.
You can fast one-two days at a time consecutively or do so on a regular everyday basis for a period of time.
There are several different ways to engage in intermittent fasting. The most common way is to partake in fasting for around six-to-eight hours each day, consuming meals only in the window outside of that time.
By restricting your food intake to two meals per day—and keeping a few hours food-free you sleep so you can digest—makes it possible to truly empty out your stores of glycogen. This process normally takes 8-12 hours to totally burn out the storage supply of sugar.
When that 8-12 hour process is finished, then your body will rely on your fat-burning mode, using your fat storage for energy. This will help you kick into a level-headed, steady, and balanced energy supply which will help you stay energized all day.
Why Am I Doing This Again?
Especially while you’re in the middle of the 8-12 hour fasting period, you might not remember why you started intermittent fasting to begin with, because in the beginning—you’re going to be HUNGRY.
However, keeping the benefits of this process in mind can help you get through the tough periods.
Ultimately, fasting will eliminate and wash out all your glucose reserves, which kicks you into ketosis, using your stored fat for fuel.
This is just one of the benefits of fasting. Here are a few others:
- Eliminate sugar cravings that come with dieting
- Increases the growth hormone in your body
- Improves your brain health
- Helps in the prevention of neurological disorders
- Decreases stress levels
- Helps prevent aging and cancer
- Decreases inflammation levels
- Protects neurons in the brain and improves memory
- Helps reduce depression
- Promotes longevity of life
- Lowers cholesterol
All the benefits of intermittent fasting can sound tempting. However, it’s not just a simple feat. Even more so, you should always speak to a healthcare professional about any medical conditions you may have that might interfere with the process.
In some cases, intermittent fasting can actually be dangerous to your health if you’ve already had a pre-fasting condition.
To help you recognize who can or should benefit from intermittent fasting—and who shouldn’t here are a few guidelines:
Guidelines on Intermittent Fasting
Ideally, a high-powered athlete can benefit greatly from intermittent fasting. Restricting the eating of high-training athletes to the eight-hour window we talked about earlier can positively influence their goal in burning fat mass and maintaining or increasing muscle.
After looking at various accounts of data and monitoring those who have undergone intermittent fasting along with their fitness regimen, here are the various “levels” of people who can see a benefit to who can NOT benefit from intermittent fasting.
You will most likely benefit from this process if you:
- Participated in a diet before
- Can monitor calorie and food intake while maintaining control
- Exercise on a regular basis and have experience doing so
- Do not have children or a family to take care of and eat with
- Do not have a physically-demanding job
For the next level of people who can participate in intermittent fasting, you might not find it fully beneficial but still reap some of the benefits.
You can benefit from this process if you:
- Have competed before in sports or have a history of exercising
- Have children and a family
- Have a job where your work is performance-oriented
These can all be unique to each person, however, so do not feel discouraged if you meet any of these aspects in criteria.
However, there is a limit line of who should participate in intermittent fasting. Since it does prohibit you from eating for a certain period of time, this sort of practice and process can actually do more harm than good in people who:
- Are pregnant
- Have a medical history of chronic stress
- Have a medical history of eating disorders
- Have a poor time sleeping at night
- Are extremely new to exercise
So, I’ve passed the criteria and spoken to my doctor:
What Should I Eat?
While you’re participating in the intermittent fasting process, the food you intake during that specified window holds extreme importance. Since you’ll be eating much less than you normally would, you should take the extra time and pick out the proper foods that can fuel with the right nutrition you need.
You’ll need to get in all the healthy fats and cut net carbs for this process to work.
To help you out, here are the foods you should focus on getting in during your eating periods:
- Increase your high-quality fat from “good fat” sources like nuts, coconut oil, and avocados
- Maintain a moderate amount of high-quality protein from sources like organic meat
- Increase your fresh, organic vegetable and fruit intake
We hope that this short guide of intermittent fasting has helped guide you through it and given you the important information you need to partake in the process in a healthy way.