Intermittent Fasting: The Beginners Guide

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What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting isn’t so much a diet, instead it is a schedule of when you eat your meals. It’s not about what you eat, but about when you eat. 

For intermittent fasting to be effective, the timing of your fasting is important. If done correctly and healthily, it can help you lose weight and even help prevent diabetes.

My Experience with Intermittent Fasting

I just recently started intermittent fasting about a month ago. I’ve already noticed a decrease in body fat while not losing muscle mass. I’ve felt better mentally (more focused), and physically I’ve been more explosive when it comes to my workouts. I’m getting these results while not spending any extra time in the gym, to be honest I’ve been working out less. 

I started intermittent fasting because I like testing out different trends and also because I wanted to see if I could even handle not eating for 16 hours. It has turned into a habit that I’m going stick with for a while because I’ve been impressed with the results. 

And it’s not as hard as it may seem at first.

I do the 16/8 method. So, fasting for 16 hours and then only eating for a period of 8 hours. The schedule I’ve been sticking to is eating from 12pm – 8pm. I usually eat two big meals during this window and try not to snack too much in between meals. Then I fast for 16 hours. I make sure to drink plenty or water during those 16 hours and still drink a cup of black coffee in the morning. Black coffee or other zero-calorie drinks will not break your fast.

The 16/8 method is most popular because all it really requires is just skipping breakfast. 

Other Methods

  • 5:2 Method

This method enables you to keep your normal diet for five days a week, while fasting for the other two days, keeping those two days around 500 calories each. 

  • 24-hour fast

The 24-hour fast requires a complete fast for 24 hours. This should only be done once per week or once per month. 

The Benefits

  • Can help with weight loss

The most obvious benefit and reason why people try IF. It works because it brings our insulin levels down far enough that our body uses stored fat as energy. If we are constantly snacking or eating during the day our body will go to the carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugars, for energy. What’s not used is stored as fat. The fast allows our body to use that stored fat as energy.

  • Simplicity

Our lives our busy. When eating healthy, having to make three or more healthy meals a day can be stressful. One less meal a day means one less mess and one less meal plan. It can make life simpler for those who are always busy.

  • Easier than dieting

When it comes to dieting, a lot comes in to play. Maybe you’re trying out a completely new diet. That means research on what you can and cannot eat, restrictions when it comes to eating out, and maybe you’re the only one in your social circle or family on that diet. That can be stressful and make things complicated. With fasting your normal diet can stay the same while you just miss the meal that you normally eat by yourself anyway.

Is Intermittent Fasting For You?

Firstly, if you have a history of eating disorders or are pregnant or on medications for diabetes, intermittent fasting should not be attempted unless under the supervision of a physician.

Do what works for you. There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to fasting, so try out different methods and schedules that work best for you.

The short-term studies on Intermittent Fasting have proven many health benefits, but it hasn’t been studied long enough to have data on long-term use. So if you try it, come at it with a healthy approach. Still maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Start slow, maybe only doing a few days per week, and then work your way up when and if you feel comfortable.

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