WHAT IS I.F.
Intermittent Fasting, or I.F., is a way to get the positive effects of fasting, without having to go without food. It’s not a diet, but a pattern of eating, that can be added to the Keto Diet.
I.F. Has been proven to improve health, assist weight loss, and even prolong life.
So, you ask, what is I.F.? It is a pattern of eating that involves periods of eating, and periods of fasting, or refraining from eating. There are many different patterns that can be followed, but the overall goal is to allow your body periods of rest from ingesting and digesting foods.
While you are fasting, you can’t eat, but you CAN have as much tea and water as you would like.
Unfortunately, you can’t add anything to either of these for taste. Make sure you drink plenty of water, as it will keep you feeling full. You can also have Black Coffee, but you will want to keep this to a minimum due to the dehydrate it can cause.
Physically, fasting helps to drain your muscles, and your liver,of
glycogen by forcing your body to use up stored calories and energy.
It lowers insulin, increases growth hormone release, and raises catecholamine levels by ramping up the sympathetic nervous system
(SNS). In English, intermittent fasting mimics your body’s response to high intensity exercise.
By triggering your hormones, intermittent fasting helps you burn more fat and preserve muscle.
Why Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is often paired with the keto diet for its weight loss, insulin, mental clarity, and caloric intake benefits. There are many different methods of intermittent fasting, all of which are proven to be beneficial, and the benefits themselves are astounding.
Though the hunger pangs may hurt at first, the idea of prolonging your life, decreasing your chances of disease and retaining more muscle as you lose weight makes the commitment far less intimidating.
Science shows us that intermittent fasting has a ton of benefits beyond weight loss. It’s been proven that intermittent fasting can increase the body’s fat oxidation. Another study showed that intermittent fasting can actually prolong your life, since it increases your insulin sensitivity, even when your energy expenditure (exercise) is minimal.
Most people who live to be over 100, who aren’t diabetic, have high insulin sensitivity. Studies, conducted on mice, showed that not only did fasting mice survived significantly longer than the non-fasting mice, but fasting even prolonged the life-span of autoimmune-prone mice. This means that I.F. actually prevented age-associated diseases!
So, by fasting, we are: losing weight while maintaining muscle, increasing our life-span, decreasing our body’s glucose levels and the insulin it takes to keep them low, and preventing diseases know to come with age. Fasting also helps to kick you into ketosis, by raising your body’s production
of ketone bodies. With all of the benefits, going a bit hungry seems less intimidating.
TYPES OF I.F.
When it comes to I.F., there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. This is great, because it means that you get to chose your fasting periods, and can eat when YOU chose. The following are examples of methods used for intermittent fasting:
16/8 method – In this fasting method, you will eat for only 8 hours
a day, and only drink water and tea (no milk or sugar!) for the other 16.
16/8 is a guideline, but you can break down the day into segments of eating
that work best for you. 18/6, 20/4, 21/3, etc., are all possible options
depending on your body.
Alternate Day Fast – In this method, you do a full fast for one day, and unrestricted eating the next, though still eating low carb. Rinse and repeat.
Meal Skipping – Here, you skip a meal throughout the day. This can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on your schedule. This method does not have to be a daily occurrence and can be done periodically throughout the week. The key is to replace the calories you skipped during another.
Alternate Day Calorie Restriction – In this method, you will reduce your caloric intake by 20-30% for a day, then follow it with a day of unrestricted eating. This is often easier than doing a full day of fasting and can be used as a starter-method while your body adjusts to fasting.pending on your body.
Eat-Stop-Eat – In this method, you will fast for a full 24 hours, two separate days each week.
Metabolic Fasting – Metabolic fasting focuses on using the 16/8 method or the 5/2 along with balancing your macronutrients using a specific macro-balancing technique of carb cycling and ratios.
The key, with a weight loss goal, is to reduce your overall caloric intake within a week. It’s important to be conscious of your caloric intake on your non-fasting days. If you fast for a full day, and then overeat significantly the next, you’ll cancel out the weight loss effect of the fasting day.
WHAT WILL BREAK THE FAST
Simply put, anything other than water, tea, or black coffee will break your fast. If you include anything in your water, tea, or coffee to sweeten or add flavor, you will break your fast. This includes buttered coffee or bulletproof coffee.
Be sure to choose your fasting times carefully, to best fit your schedule!
TIPS FOR I.F. SUCCESS
A common reason to incorporate I.F. into your keto diet, is that you want the benefits of fasting, without the hunger that comes with a full fast.
Avoiding hunger in your transition to I.F. will help your chances of long term success.
Start slow, by skipping breakfast one day, or having dinner a half hour earlier.
Your body’s natural rhythm will adjust to these small changes, making it easier for you to go longer periods without food, even in the long term. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have diabetes, consult with your medical professional before starting any fast or dietary change.
As you adjust to the transition, don;t be afraid to give yourself days off from I.F. if you are feeling hungry. The easier you make the transition, the more it will work itself into your everyday schedule.
Finally, if you are feeling hungry, drink water! Dehydration can lead to hunger.
Plus, water can simulate the feeling you get when you are full. When in doubt, drink more water!
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