Are you unsatisfied with the results of your fitness goals?
Forget about your 2017 fitness disaster. Close your eyes, imagine the horizon, and start a new.
With our New Year, New You series, we will help you achieve that envisioned physique. And INTERMITTENT FASTING might help you get there.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
No. It’s not a religious thing. And no, it’s NOT A DIET.
Intermittent fasting is simply just a SCHEDULE when to eat during the day. That’s just it.
You fast for around 16 – 20 hours (fasting state). And you have an allowable window of time to eat around 4 – 8 hours (feasting state) with 2 to 3 meals in those schedules.
What’s good about this strategy is that you don’t have to count the calories or follow a really strict diet. Here is why it works.
The Science Behind it
It plays on our body’s mechanism when producing energy. When we eat, the liver stores glycogen to supply the body with energy the whole day. But then, after 10 – 12 hours of not eating, the glycogen levels go low.
In order to survive, the body looks for other sources of “fuel”. It uses your STORED FAT as a secondary source. This burning of fat produces Ketones that supplies the body and brain with its needed energy. This state is called Ketosis.
So basically, when you do intermittent fasting, you are forcing your body to go into Ketosis to burn fat.
Alternatives? This state can also happen when you take out carbohydrates and sugar completely from your diet; and, in substitute, eat more fatty foods. This is the now famous Ketogenic diet.
So why not just eat much fatty food instead? That sounds better, right? Well, you can. But studies have shown that Intermittent Fasting increases Ketosis 20-fold compared to a 4-fold increase (although still high) in a Ketogenic diet.
You can do both. But better introduce drastic changes gradually. So, better bank on the higher bang for our buck first.
Is It Safe?
The science sounds good. But, is this even safe? According to studies, intermittent fasting is safe for most people. It might not be if you are:
- Experiencing Chronic Stress
- Type 1 Diabetic
- In Medication
It might not be good to use this method. But if you’re insistent, it is best to ask your Doctor or Physician for a go signal.
Now that we established its plausibility, it’s time to implement our learning.
Check First What’s the Best Time to Fast
There are many types of intermittent fasting. But for simplicity, let us use the “16:8” method as a baseline. First, determine your 16-hour fast. For most people, it might be 6 PM to 10 AM or 8 PM to 12 NN.
Since this is just an eating schedule, you can tweak the hours depending on your lifestyle. If you have a night shift schedule, you can change the times accordingly.
Try your chosen schedule within 1 – 2 weeks. Check if it fits you. And adjust accordingly.
Remember, This is a Gradual Approach.
Now, within your “feasting window”, this is the only time you can eat. At first, you want to start with 3 meals a day. It may look something like this:
- 10 AM – Breakfast
- 1 PM – Lunch
- 5 PM – Dinner
In the first few weeks, you might get hungry during fasting because your body is not used to this eating pattern.You can suppress your hunger by drinking water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea. No snacks!
Then after you get accustomed to it, you can move further to the “20:4” with 2 meals a day. Example:
- 1 PM – Lunch
- 5 PM – Dinner
You might try the “20:4” hardest option initially. Remember that this is a process. You don’t want to force your body on something you can’t sustain.
It might work. But in the long run, like most restrictive diets, you will Yoyo back to your original state if you can’t withstand it. So better take it step-by-step.
Eat Whole Foods and Don’t Overeat
The problem with this program is that you might tend to overindulge yourself. You might think of your first meal as a “reward” for your sacrifice. Just don’t. It will beat the purpose of this scheme.
How about junk foods and processed foods? It is better to eat whole foods to get more nutrients and better health. Avoid processed carbohydrates and sugar in this time period.
With intermittent fasting, you can still eat them but it should be as little as possible to harness the full benefits of this fasting. Better focus on protein and vegetables instead.
Can you combine this with exercise?
Most certainly! You can even build more muscle and lose weight faster! Coupled with High-Intensity Training, this will certainly produce results.
If you’re just starting, you can tick these 7 things to get right before you start working out.
With this article, let us stick with our fitness goals! Revamp your health and body this 2018!