Intermittent fasting is one of those trends that has blown up in popularity. This is due to its array of health benefits and its positive impact on weight.
As we all know, it is difficult to find a weight lose regime or a weight loss plan that is also doing wonders for other parts of your body. Intermittent fasting helps both your health and helps to keep you at a healthy weight.
Intermittent fasting is basically an eating pattern that encourages fasting for 16-48 hours. The pattern fluctuates between fasting and eating and there are actually different ways of doing this, so you can essentially pick a cycle that fits in with your lifestyle.
Studies have suggested that this way of eating has very powerful effects on both your body and your brain, with some studies even suggesting that it could help to increase the length of your life. The freedom of the diet trend is what keeps people coming back and draws people in to trying it for themselves. The rules of intermittent fasting do not tell you what to eat or even how much to eat, the only rules involve when you should be eating.
Fasting has been around since Ancient times, due to the hunting and gathering lifestyle.
Hunters and gatherers did not have access to supermarkets and refrigerators. Seasons also played a big part in eating or fasting and sometimes they had no access to game whatsoever. The underlying principal or push of intermittent fasting is that human beings are supposed to fast, that its been done since the test of time and that it is actually a part of human evolution.
Studies have been carried out on this eating style and have suggested that fasting from time to time is actually a lot kinder to the body and more natural to the digestive system then eating 3-4 big meals every day. These studies depicted that many things happen within the body during fasting, on both a cellular and molecular level.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is released at a high dosage (As much as 5 times then when you are eating constantly) and cells begin to repair deeply as autophagy begins to commence. This is where old and dysfunctional proteins within cells are removed. Also, sensitivity to insulin improves with levels of insulin dropping drastically.
Intermittent fasting is also a powerful fat burning tool, with the level of norepinephrine hormone increasing dramatically.
There are a few different intermittent fasting methods, all have the same outcome, but one could specifically fit into your lifestyle or health regime more. These methods include:
The 16/8 method:
The 16/8 method requires you to eat all your food within a short period of time. This time period usually ranges between 6-8 hours and the rest of the hours of the day are spent fasting. This method is usually done a couple of times throughout the week, but it can be done every day.
An off shoot of this method is the Bulletproof intermittent fasting method, where you pretty much follow the 16/8 method except that you consume a cup or two of bulletproof coffee in the morning. The butter in the bulletproof coffee keeps you feeling full, while the coffee gives you the energy to get through your daily routine without food.
The 5:2 method:
The 5:2 method is the most popular fasting method and is a food cycle that has you consuming only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week and on the other five days, you consume your regular diet.
That’s not to say you up your intake of unhealthy foods, your diet should be balanced and healthy, but it means you can eat as much as you desire whenever you would normally eat. So basically, you are fasting two days of the week and eating normally the other five.
The eat-stop-eat method:
This intermittent fasting method has you fasting for 24 hours at least once or twice a week. The aim is to completely break from food for a 24-hour period. For example, say you eat normally until 8 pm on Friday, you will cease eating until 8 pm Saturday, and so on and so forth.
Many professionals have said that this method works even if the fasting period is 20 hours, so if you cannot make the full 24 hours, do not stress. Even if you manage to fast once a week, your body will still reap the benefits of intermittent fasting.
The warrior method:
The warrior method has you fasting during the day and then eating a large meal during the night. Fresh fruit and vegetable snacks are okay to consume during the day when you are fasting before then eating one big, nutritious meal at night. It is said to be the “fast” and the “feast” method, with the feasting to be done within a four-hour window.
The spontaneous method:
The spontaneous method is the act of skipping meals randomly whenever it suits you, or when you don’t have time, or when you just do not feel like it.
The great thing about intermittent fasting is that you don’t have to follow a structure, you just need to have the idea of not eating for an extended period to reap the benefits. Skipping 1-2 meals when you feel like it is the spontaneous method.
Intermittent fasting is a new health trend that has taken the world by storm, and for good reason. The health benefits of this food cycle or lifestyle are profound and of abundance and can really do your body nothing but good.
If you are feeling sluggish, tired, overweight or simply off, give an intermittent fasting a try and see how you feel and how your body responds. Remember to speak to your Doctor or health care professional before delving into intermittent fasting, to know if its safe for you.