Intermittent fasting (IF) is currently a popular diet for weight loss and wellness. Throughout history, many religions have incorporated fasting for both spiritual and physical benefits. In the past, food has not been accessible 24/7, so fasting was a way of life.
There are numerous benefits to intermittent fasting. One of the benefits is for people watching their weight. A smaller eating window typically means fewer calories are consumed which can accelerate weight loss. Another benefit of IF is a decreased risk of certain diseases. Fasting puts your cells under mild stress which can make them more resistant to disease because it improves cellular repair process. Fasting increases insulin and leptin sensitivity which can reduce the risk of other chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Intermittent fasting also increases the rate of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) production, which has an important role in health, fitness, and can slow the aging process. Research has linked intermittent fasting to improved blood sugar levels, less inflammation and less free radical damage. This diet can also be beneficial for those with Type 2 Diabetes which is predicted that 439 million adults will have diabetes by 2030.
How does Intermittent Fasting Work?
After eating a meal the food digests for 3-5 hours. As the body digests and absorbs the food, insulin levels are high and the body does not burn fat. There are lots of factors that affect how quickly the body brings down insulin levels including the food eaten, activity of the body, and insulin sensitivity just to name a few. Around 4-6 hours after eating a meal, the body begins entering a fasted state. At about 8 to 12 hours, the body enters a fasted state where insulin levels are low and fat is burned.
Intermittent fasting rules are fairly simple. Eat fewer calories during a shortened eating window. There is no calorie counting and less cooking which makes it a simplified eating plan.
There are many different ways to accomplish Intermittent fasting:
- Daily 16/8 hour fast – 8-hour feeding period followed by a 16-hour fast. During the fasting period, water, coffee, or tea is permitted.
- Time restricted fasting for 18 hours – no food between 8 PM and 2 PM or any 18 hour period.
- 14-hour fast – allows a 10-hour eating window.
- Fasting for 24 hours. This is usually done from dinner to dinner. No food just water and tea during this time. This regimen is the basis for the popular 5:2 diet, which involves energy restriction for 2 non-consecutive days a week and usual eating the other 5 days.
Our recommended plan is the 16/8
This plan (which is also the most popular) is fasting from 8 pm until 12 noon the next day or any 16 hour window. In the morning wake up and drink 16 oz of warm lemon water. This encourages the liver to produce bile which helps digestion. Lemon water also reduces the body’s overall acidity and PH levels.
Next, drink some organic tea or Bulletproof coffee. Bulletproof coffee will give your body the fats it needs and you will not feel as hungry (See recipe below). Foods consumed daily while intermittent fasting should be unprocessed, organic and nutrient-dense. Choose proteins (quality grass-fed, pasture-raised meat, poultry and wild-caught fish), a variety of fresh fruits, and green vegetables. Here is the list for the foods to buy organic.
Dirty Dozen* (*Based on EWG 2017 list):
Move your body around 11:30, whether it is a gym workout or a 30-minute run/walk. Next, eat a moderate amount of healthy food right after you exercise (around 600 calories), and eat the rest of your food during a 3-4 hour time window in the late afternoon to early evening. No snacking or food before bedtime. Repeat the next day and continue.
Try this plan for two weeks and keep a journal of how you feel and what you eat. Any form of fasting helps to burn fat, and this is manageable by extending your overnight fast a few hours. One of the biggest benefits of fasting is a clearer mind and being more productive.
Individuals who are hypoglycemic, diabetic, pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid any type of calorie restriction until your blood sugar or insulin levels are regulated.
1. Brew organic coffee (non-organic contains many pesticides and herbicides)
2. Add 1 tablespoon of grass-fed, unsalted butter, or grass-fed ghee
3. Add 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil
4. Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds until it is foamy like a latte
Intermittent fasting is just one approach to improve health and body composition. Let our experts at Life Health Happiness help you find which one may work with your dietary needs, genetic makeup, and health goals. Please call to schedule an appointment at 303-619-0499 or visit our website at www.lifehealthhappiness.com.
In health and happiness,