Have you ever wondered what IF is all about?
If you are anything like me, I have always been skeptical about this fasting thing for quite some time, I have always heard of people talking about it, and actually thought it was ridiculous to starve your body, for what reason? Why?
Back in my bodybuilding days, I was taught to believe that you must eat every 3hrs to keep your metabolism alive and feed the muscles otherwise they will break down. Well, this is not so true anymore in this stone age.
Think about it, back in the day where Caveman had to forage for their food and didn’t come back with anything, what was there to eat? Nothing, so until the next time food turns up, what is your body doing, it’s hungry, it’s getting very hungry, as a matter of fact, it’s going into starvation mode until that very next bit of food turns up. Well, Intermittent fasting is not quite like that, where you have to go and actually hunt for your food in the middle of nowhere, let’s delve into this a little more.
Intermittent Fasting what is it?
It’s a cycle of eating patterns where you eat and fast within a time period. It’s as simple as that!
Can anyone do it? Yes, as a matter of fact, it has very many health benefits to it. However it’s not for everyone, it’s just another tool in the toolbox that can be useful for some people. Each person’s experience with IF is an individual one and there are many different ways of doing this, there is no set rule, or when to start and stop your fast, and your eating windows are completely up to you. Each different style will suit different people. You need to find out what works best for you.
Some of the benefits of this way of eating are weight loss, better health, increased longevity.
There are also a lot of claims that it is much easier to stick to this way of eating than maintaining traditional diet methods of restricting and counting calories.
What can I eat or drink while Fasting?
Nothing! No Food!
Black Coffee or Black Tea no sweeteners, no milk, no cream and drinking water, water, and more water. This is known as a “Clean Fast”. Your body has absolutely nothing in it to spike your insulin levels.
IF is all about NOT spiking your insulin levels, you want your body to deplete itself of all glycogen stores, so the only other energy source your body has left to turn to is your fat stores, the whole idea is that you want your body to tap into these fat stores for better fat burning, so the longer you can go with fasting the better for this. If this is your goal.
There are also other benefits of fasting for longer periods of time such as longevity, resetting your hormones, it’s great on your digestive system as it is getting a break from working overtime trying to breakdown all the food from every time you eat.
Cell rejuvenation reduces Inflammation in the body, some have even experienced it’s healed a lot of their ailments and gut issues.
There is such a thing as a “Dirty Fast” this is when you can add a little bit of cream in your coffee or put a few slices of lemon or limes in your water, some also drink diet coke or diet sodas. Some may even use a little sweetener in their tea or coffee or even honey. It all really depends on what your goals are.
A few popular methods of IF.
When you decide to Fast for 12 hours and then have an eating window of 12 hours. This is the simplest form of fasting and is perfect for beginners, usually, most people skip breakfast anyway, so it’s no real biggy for a lot of people who want to get started on this.
Fast for 14 hours straight and have an eating window of 10 hours
This is the most popular style, where you fast for 16 hours straight and have a smaller eating window of 8 hours. The eating windows start to get smaller.
Also very popular, but it gets a lot harder, as the fast is longer, and the eating window starts to get shorter again.
If you want to push your mind and body a little further, this is great, but not too many people can handle this extended fast period.
23:1 (aka OMAD) “One Meal A Day”
This is really pushing it! Not for the faint-hearted.
A complete 24hrs of fasting, absolutely nothing to eat, the only thing you are doing is drinking water, black coffee, and black tea.
So all in all, there are no real strict rules with your Fasting and Eating windows, it all comes down to what works for you. Try a few different ways and see what fits into your lifestyle.
I’ll be back with Part 2 next time on Intermittent Fasting