Intermittent fasting is defined as a pattern of eating, rather than a diet. It is a way of scheduling your meals in order to lose fat and gain muscle. Hence, intermittent fasting does not really change what you eat; but changes when you should eat. While a lot of individuals do crash diets and cutting back so much calories in order to lose fat, intermittent fasting loses fat quickly while consequently maintaining your muscle. To fully understand the rationale behind this, one must first understand the body’s fed state and fasted state.
Fed state starts when we start digesting food and it lasts until three to five hours to fully absorb the food you ate. When your body is in the fed state, burning fat is extremely difficult because of high insulin levels. When our bodies reach 8-12 hours after our last meal, we enter the so-called post-absorptive state or the fasted state. Burning fat is easier for our bodies during this state due low insulin levels.
Aside from low insulin levels, intermittent fasting also facilitates high levels of growth hormone (for muscle gain), cellular repair and gene expression (longevity and disease protection). Contrary to the popular belief that fasting deteriorates metabolism, intermittent fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%. Thus, it can lead to fat loss of 3-8 percent for over 3-24 weeks. A lot of people who undergo intermittent fasting also signified that they loss 4-7 percent of visceral fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal area which affects vital organs such as kidney, intestines and liver.
Since most of us rarely enter the fasted state, bodies have a hard time burning fat. Thus people who religiously do intermittent fasting loses fat without changing so much in their diet or exercise. Intermittent fasting also reduces the risk of cancer. In an article entitled “Fasting and cancer treatment in humans: A case series report” made by Fernando M. Safdie, Tanya Dorff, David Quinn, Luigi Fontana, Min Wei, Changhan Lee, Pinchas Cohen and Valter D. Longo published for Impact Journal of Aging, short term fasting up to 48 hours was shown to be an effective strategy in protecting healthy cells against high doses of chemotherapy. In another case study conducted by Johnson, John, and Laub (2009) cancer patients which undergo fasting would increase one’s resistance to various cell stressors such as oxidative damage, excitotoxins, mercury and acetaminophen. Lastly, in a comprehensive study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Krista Varady and Marc Hellerstein discovered that fasting helps prevent chronic diseases for both humans and animals.
However, clean eating would fasten the process of fat lose while significantly improving your overall being. If you have a hard time choosing the right meals for you especially during dinner, this meal kit delivery services are reinventing the dinner ritual in a very good way. Ensuring that one has adequate protein, healthy fats and unprocessed carbohydrates would optimize your fasting ritual.
How do I do daily Intermittent Fasting?
The most common model of fasting uses a 16-18 hour fasting then followed by an 8 hour eating period. It does not really matter what time would you start you 8-hour eating period. For example, one can start eating at 9 am and stop eating at 5pm. For those who wants to are can forego eating in the morning can start their eating period at 1pm and end at 9pm. Customize it according to your preference, do whatever works for you. What matters most is that you follow your preferred schedule religiously and it do wonders for your body.