Intermittent fasting (IF) has become an increasingly popular way to burn fat and improve overall health. The goal of intermittent fasting is to generally eat your food intake within a reduced timeframe.
The major benefits of IF are 2-fold: To reduce calorie consumption overall and to trigger various positive hormonal and metabolic responses within your body.
Intermittent fasting works by reducing the total number of calories within a set time, which can aid in weight loss. In addition to this IF can aid in regulating hormones like insulin which plays a key role in metabolism and weight loss. By reducing the time in which you eat throughout the day or week you give your body time to burn stored fat to create energy rather than constantly relying on glucose or sugars from the food you eat.
IF can also help with reducing inflammation in the body which is a contributing factor to chronic disease.
Another key factor in improving weight loss is the role that IF plays in improving hormone balance. Stimulating hormones such as Human Growth Hormone or HGH can help build lean muscle and reduce body fat.
One of the most popular forms of IF is the 16:8, in which you eat all your daily calories within an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours.
The 5:2 is another method in which you eat normally for 5 days a week (albeit healthily!) and for 2 days a week, you restrict your daily intake to 500-600 calories.
Start Slow: If this is the first time you have tried IF, start slow with a 12-hour fasting period and once you can handle that increase to 14-16 hours
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water during fasting periods to maintain adequate hydration and to help reduce hunger pangs
Eat nutrient-dense foods: During eating periods focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods to ensure you are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Just because you are eating fewer calories shouldn’t mean you eat bad food!
Don’t overcompensate: It’s important to avoid overcompensating for fasting periods by consuming excessive amounts of food during your eating period.
Listen to your body: Fasting can be tough at first and you must remain disciplined, but if you do experience dizziness or weakness or other adverse effects, you must stop and continue eating normally