What Is Intermittent Fasting?
First off it is not a diet, just simply a way of eating!
It is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating! There is a set period of time where you eat all your calories and then set times when you are going to be fasting.
There are several different ways of practicing it! I’m going to talk about the three most popular methods:
16/8 Method: You are restricting your eating period to 8 hours, then fasting for 16 hours. So, for example, let’s say your eating period is 1-9 pm, you are going to eat all your calories in that period of time and then not break your fast until 1 pm the next day.
I prefer and actually practice this method! I feel it the most sustainable for me and my eating habits. In the beginning, if you're struggling to make it the 16 hours start with a 12 hour fast and work your way up.
2. 5:2 Diet: With this method, you are going to fast for 2 days per week and then eat normally for 5 days. On the 2 fasting days, you are allowed to eat 500 calories for women and 600 for men.
3. Eat-Stop-Eat: This one is a 24 hour fast, once or twice a week. Other days you are going to eat normally. If you choose this one you want to make sure you are eating enough calories on your non-fasting days.
If you are just starting out, I would not recommend this one! I would imagine it would be pretty hard if you are not used to fasting.
Note: This is not for everyone, always consult with a health professional first.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Your body adjusts hormone levels which makes it more accessible to tap into stored body fat.
The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) increases. HGH helps to maintain, build, and repair healthy tissue in the brain and other organs. It aids in muscle tissue repair after exercise. Lastly, it helps to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat!
Insulin levels drop dramatically, lower insulin makes stored body fat more accessible.
Gene expression changes the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease.
Increases release of fat burning hormone (norepinephrine) noradrenaline.
May increase your metabolism rate by 3.6 - 14%
Also can help with heart health, inflammation, and weight loss.
Bottom line it has some amazing health benefits! There is even more than I mentioned in my post so if your interested, I highly recommend looking into it.
My Experience with Intermittent Fasting
I really enjoy this way of eating, it just really works for me. I’m not a huge eat right when I get up person, never have been. But with that being said if you can’t live without eating right when you wake up, this might not be for you!
I also enjoy not having to cook as much throughout the day! Since you are eating only 2-3 big meals a day, I’m not constantly worried about having to cook meals and get snacks in. Which might be nice for those of you that are working because you don’t have to pack and meal prep as much food!
Also means, saving that cash money! I noticed when I started IF that I wasn’t spending as much money at the grocery store because I wasn’t having to buy as much food for meals and snacks..
I honestly do believe that with IF you lose weight faster! One of the main reasons I think that is, is when you're in a deficit it’s a lot easier to fit those calories in, in an 8 hour period rather than a 16 hour period. If your unsure what a deficit is check out my post Does Counting Macros Really Work?
It tricks your brain into thinking that you are eating more food! So you do less overeating! I’m not snacking at night or eating more at dinner because I actually am full from eating all my calories close together!
I lost at least 10 pounds in the first two months of practicing this! I hold a lot of my weight in my stomach and normally have to do a lot more cardio and keep lowering my calories for me to ever see progress there, but once I started doing this I really started to see the belly fat come off.
Also, I know what you are thinking “well don’t you have to eat six small meals to lose weight?” We all have heard this over and over, like a broken record..The truth is NO! Your body will burn the exact same amount of calories digesting the food whether you eat six small meals a day or three.
Intermittent Fasting is a powerful weight loss tool! You will see results if you are consistent with your fasting times, are eating in a deficit, and are exercising.
If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments below and I will be happy to answer them!