Break it Down: Intermittent Fasting
Let’s put intermittent fasting in simpler terms.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but a way of dieting, which involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. This means you’ll be consuming all of your calories for the day during a certain window of time, as you cycle between periods of eating and not eating. We’re going to break it down for you to better understand the concept of intermittent fasting, and why this is a popular dieting option.
There isn’t just one rule when it comes to intermittent fasting, and the way you decide to start eating and to stop eating is all up to you. The following are two popular examples of fasting:
1. You can fast for 16 hours and eat only within a specific 8-hour window – for example: you can eat from 12 p.m. all the way until 8 p.m. (this is basically just skipping breakfast).
– This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting
– Better known as the 16/8 method
2. You can fast for 24 hours – for example: eat on a normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule, stop eating at 8 p.m., and then do not eat until 8 p.m. the following day. (this is basically just skipping breakfast and lunch the next day).
You can think of your body in two different types of states: fed and fasted. The fed state is the time when you’re processing and digesting your food. Even after you’ve finished eating, your body is still in the fed state for a few hours, depending on how much you ate, your metabolism, etc. As you’re in the fed state, your insulin levels increase. When your insulin levels are high, you’re not usually burning fat for energy. Your body doesn’t need to tap into its fat stores because your food has given you plenty of energy to work with. However, somewhere between 8-12 hours after your last meal, your body starts to tap into those fat stores for energy.
With that being said, your body doesn’t need to burn fat when it’s in the fed state. It’s like your body closes and locks the door to all your fat. As soon as you’re in the fasted state, the door unlocks, opens, and the metabolism rushes in. When you’re in that fasted state, your body can now burn the fat that was inaccessible during the fed state.
No food is permitted during the fasting periods.
But you can drink water, coffee, tea, and other non-caloric drinks.
Don’t just fast when you feel like it.
It’s important to create and stick to a plan to get the most Bang for your buck.
It can work for your goals.
We all know that not all calories are created equal, but intermittent fasting makes it easier for you to restrict your caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to weight loss in itself.
It requires less time to prep, which can also lead to spending less money on food.
Rather than preparing all your meals for the week, you’d only have to prepare two per day.
Worried about skipping breakfast?
You can still be Team Breakfast if you choose the 16/8 method – just eat your breakfast at noon after fasting!
Don’t go crazy.
Don’t just shovel cookies, chips, ice cream and candy down your throat. As long as you’re sticking to healthy foods and your allotted time to eat, you will notice a loss in fat and an increase in metabolic health.