What is Intermittent Fasting?
A common misconception about Intermittent Fasting is that it’s a diet. It’s not a diet, but a dieting pattern. Because Intermittent fasting doesn’t restrict you from eating certain foods or food groups. Instead, it’s the WHEN that’s important.
See, the main goal of Intermittent Fasting is not to consume anything that contains calories for long periods of time. Basically, you alternate cycles of eating with cycles of fasting. Depending on the type IF, this could mean two things:
1) Eating all your meals in a specific window of time during the day.
2) Or eating nothing to very little on certain days of the week.
This does— by the way— not mean you can eat as much as you want during your eating cycles. You still need to pay close attention to how much calories you consume.
In most types of IF, you’re still allowed to drink during your fasting cycles. But ONLY drinks that contain 0 calories (and don’t raise your insulin levels.
What you can drink includes.
- Tea without sugar or milk
- Black coffee
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Stevia (Limit the intake)
What you can’t drink includes:
- Almond milk (or any nut milk, even unsweeten)
- Bone broth
- Bulletproof coffee (Unless black coffee)
- Fruit juice
- Lemon water
Why does Intermittent Fasting help you lose weight?
So why does this way of eating help you lose weight? Because it lowers your insulin levels, which reverses the fat-storing process
Let me explain this process:
The food you eat gets broken down by enzymes in your gut. Sugar is one of the nutrients it gets broken down to. This sugar plays a crucial role in your body: It’s used to supply you with energy.
But here’s the thing: Most of the time, you make more sugar than the amount of energy you need. What happens to the sugar that’s not needed?
Your body stores it as fat, so you have energy at your disposal at a later time. Insulin plays a vital role in this process. It’s needed to bring the sugar into your fat cells and keep it there.
Because you’re not eating anything on a fast, your insulin level goes down. As a result, fat cells will release stored sugar to be used as energy. And, voila, you lose weight.
But Intermittent fasting has also shown to affect other hormones:
- Human growth hormone (HGH): Levels of growth hormone can increase as much as 5x during a fast. HGH is a hormone that aids fat loss and muscle gain, among other things.
- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline): The nervous system sends norepinephrine to the fat cells. This makes them break down body fat into free fatty acids. And these free fatty acids are burned for energy.
- Ghrelin: Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” because it tells you when you’re hungry. Some research has shown IF can decrease Ghrelin.
- Leptin: Leptin is known as the “satiety hormone” because it lets you know when you’re full. Some research has shown IF can increase Leptin.
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Because of all these different effects, Intermittent Fasting has been a popular research topic for years.
Researches on both animals and humans have highlighted many potential health benefits:
- It could help you lose weight: Intermittent fasting can help you burn more fat. It can lower your appetite. It can boost your metabolism. And all WITHOUT negatively affecting your energy level.
- It could increase your lifespan: A study with mice has shown that those who ate one meal per day had a longer lifespan. But also, a better outlook on common age-related liver disease and metabolic disorders.
- It could lower your risk of type 2 diabetes: Being overweight/obese is one of the main reasons why people develop type 2 diabetes. Research has shown Intermittent fasting decreases blood glucose and insulin levels in those at risk.
- It improves your cardiovascular health: Intermittent Fasting could lead to a reduction in blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood that’s linked to heart disease.)
- It could improve your brain health: IF also has promising effects on brain health. Mice that were chronically fasting have been shown to have a better learning memory. And it could also reduce the risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and strokes.
What are the different types of Intermittent fasting
Now that you know all the health benefits, you’re probably starting to wonder what ways you can do Intermittent Fasting. There are many ways to do IF.
But here are some of the most common ones:
1. The 12-hour fast: The 12-hour fast is one of the easiest types of IF. All you have to do is eat ALL of your meals within a 12-hour timeframe. So, if you eat breakfast at 8:00AM? You would have your last meal at 8:00 PM.
2.The 16/8 Method: The 16/8 method is similar to a 12-hour fast. But, instead, you take all your meals within an 8-hour timeframe. This can easily be achieved by skipping breakfast. So, for example, if you eat your first meal at 12, you would eat your last meal at 8:00 PM.
3. Eat-Stop-Eat: Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week. For example, not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
4. Alternate-day fasting: Alternate-day fasting (ADF) is where you have a fast day where you consume only 25 % of your normal caloric intake. On this day, you avoid sugars or starches and eat only protein, vegetables and healthy foods. You then have a “feed day” in which you can eat whatever you want.
5. The 5:2 Diet: On 5:2 diet you eat how you would normally do, but only consume around 500 – 600 calories on two days of the week.
6. Metabolic Fasting: This is 16/8 method combined with a metabolism focused meal plan specifically designed for women who want to lose weight with intermittent fasting.
What To Do After 7 Days?
Ahh, the magical question!
I’m not like most keto or intermittent fasting “experts” who say keto or fasting is the end all be all for diets.
In fact, I don’t believe you should subscribe to any ONE diet for the rest of your days.
That’s no fun.
Personally, my wife and I do a keto, paleo, vegan, fasting, metabolic, healthy fat loss, and sometimes NO diet at all.
We mix it up and so should you.
So after your 7 days of keto fasting you should go out and eat a cheeseburger with loaded fries and have a cocktail.
Then you should probably sign-up for one of my programs of course! (I know, shameless plug).
I recommend my 3-Week Intermittent Fasting Diet because it really teaches you how to enjoy carbs, keto, and fasting all in one program.