Intermittent fasting is fantastic, and if you are thinking of getting started, here are a few tips to help you along
Time-restricted eating has become one of the fastest-growing weight loss trends to date. Because it’s such a successful and easy way to lose weight, many people have thrown away their old caloric-restricted ways, favouring flexibility, simplicity and long-term benefits. As you may have already guessed, there are several ways in which you can use fasting.
However, I have decided to focus on the 16:8 method for this post because it’s a great starting point and one of the most popular ways to fast. Intermittent fasting works well because it allows the body to go into ‘starvation mode, which lowers your glucose levels, igniting a process called autophagy.
When you reach this stage of your fasting journey, it’s the body’s way of naturally clearing out any damaged cells to start regenerating new and healthy ones. You might like to picture it as a ‘clean sweep of your system for it to start fresh.
Weight loss is not the only byproduct of fasting; you get many health benefits from all your hard work. The National Institute on Ageing says intermittent fasting improves heart and brain health whilst lowering blood pressure.
How to start fasting in 16:8 mode
With this fasting method, you abstain from eating for 16 hours straight. After that, the eight-hour timeframe is left for you to feast on your meals accordingly.
For example, say you eat breakfast at 10 am (the day’s first meal), then keep eating until 6 pm.
Then, when you eat dinner, you fast until you hit those 16 hours (Which will be 10 am). It is simple and easy to follow.
Here is what to expect your body to do when fasting
When we eat food, our bloodstream begins to sense an overload of nutrients in simple carbs, amino acids and fat. The relative levels of each will depend on the food you eat at any given time.
When this occurs, your body goes into a state where it requires a lot of energy to process these nutrients. Eating all different macros supercharges the body to remove digestive byproducts and constantly metabolise nutrients. When fasting occurs, the body can rest and repair -which it cannot do when we keep eating (even if the nutrients are of value to our bodies).
Even our internal system needs some time to rest and repair, and the convenience of having food in our lives constantly inhibits this necessary process. Rest and repair mode helps in many ways for better health.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, it reduces inflammation, stabilises our blood sugar levels, improves weight management and reduces our risk of chronic disease.
One key note to remember about fasting
Just because you aren’t eating doesn’t mean you cannot drink anything. It’s super important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. You can also drink herbal tea, coffee and black tea.
As mentioned above, I have picked one eating window, but you can choose the best timeframe.
I prefer not to eat dinner, although that might be hard for others. Alter the feeding and fasting window according to your circadian rhythm. If you find that 16-hour fasts are too long, start at 12 and slowly add more hours to your fasting period.
It takes a little bit of time for your body to get used to not eating. But, over time, this does get a lot easier. When it is time to eat, consume whole, nutrient-dense foods. Intermittent fasting works better if you eat well.
Don’t allow that fasting period to sway you towards eating poorly. It’s best to focus on eating well and sustaining yourself through the fasting timeframe rather than focusing solely on caloric restriction.
Is fasting good for you?
Intermittent fasting has not been known to cause harm to people because it helps reduce your risk of obesity-related conditions, like non-alcoholic fatty liver and another well-known disease plaguing our world today.
There isn’t any substantial evidence to show that intermittent fasting is superior to the usual caloric-restricted diet. They both have similar outcomes, although I beg to differ.
I resorted to caloric restriction for years, which never worked well for me. I have found fasting to be more manageable and accessible than eating less. Remember that when 5 per cent of body fat is lost, cardiovascular disease risk factors are reduced.
Before you begin
Before starting any diet program, please consult with your doctor to determine if this is the right way to proceed, given any health concerns you might have. I began my fasting journey without consulting a doctor — but if you have underlying health conditions, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So make an appointment first, then see if this suits you. If you would like some guidance regarding fasting, especially for meal planning and keeping tabs on your fasting timeframe, check out this app that may help make it a lot easier.
As a gift, please download this as a thank you.