What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is a diet pattern that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. The focus isn’t on which foods to eat, but when to eat.
Naturally we all fast when we are sleeping. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending this fast.
Advantages of Intermittent Fasting
Changes the relationship between Hormones & Fat Storage
When fasting your body initiates a number of hormonal changes:
- Insulin: Your blood insulin levels drop dramatically, which helps to enhance fat burning.
- HGH (Human Growth Hormone): Studies show your growth hormone levels to surge by as much as 5x (1). Growth hormone has a host of benefits including, fat burning and muscle growth.
Promotes Belly Fat Loss
As mentioned in above intermittent fasting causes changes in hormones and cellular structures. One such change is the increase in production of ‘catecholamines‘, which increases your resting energy expenditure. Helping you to burn more calories, whilst on a restricted calore intake. In addition, the by products of catecholamines increase the breakdown of fat and facilitate its use for energy.
Reduce Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Studies show that intermittent fasting can help to enhance the bodies resistance to oxidative stress and help fight inflammation. Both of which are drivers for aging, fat storage and chronic diseases.
Induces Cellular Repair
During rest and fasting the cells in our body initiate cellular process called ‘autophagy‘ which is when our cells breakdown and remove dyfunctional proteins that have built up within itself over time.
Who is this diet best for?
Intermittent fasting is best for those who struggle with over eating and people that have busy schedules that lead to them eating at sporadic times or even forgetting to eat.
Who should avoid this type of eating pattern?
- Diabetics or those that suffer with low blood sugar.
- Pregnant women.
- Those with gallbladder issues.
- Those with Thyroid issues.
How to plan your Intermittent Fasting?
There are multiple variations of intermittent fasting. We have detailed the most common below with easy instructions:
Alternate-Day Fasting (AFD)
This requires you to fast every other day. On fasting days, some people eat no food at all, however, most people will consume 20-30% of their daily calorie needs. For most people that is 500-600 calories.
On ‘feasting’ or ‘non-fasting’ days you eat to no limit or consume at least 125% of your daily calorie needs. For most that equates to 2500 calories.
This is by far one of the most popular intermittent fasting methods and is recommended for beginners.
You fast for 16 hours a day and limit your eating to 8 hours. Most people that follow this diet will only eat between 12pm-8pm and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
This method requires you to pick one or two days out of the week where you complete a 24-hour fast. Eating nothing from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
With this method you will pick 5 days out of the week to eat normally and two days you only consume 500-600 calories for the day.
The Warrior Diet
With this method you will consume only fruits and vegetables throughout the day and one large meal at night.