Exercising has always been my thing. Always trying to lose a few pounds to look good because of a girlie night out or summer holiday. Now being older, I’m more interested in the state of the inside of my body than the visual outside, always wanting to learn more on the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) was something the Hubby started a few years back. He had watched videos, listened to podcasts and alongside his training regime figured he’d try it out because of its health benefits. He began by missing breakfast, which was alien to me having had it sold to me as the most important meal of the day since I was a child. I decided to give it a go too and because of the new plan, within just 4 weeks my body fat dived! Hooked!
IF is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. It is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating, which people use for numerous reasons. To lose weight, to simplify their lifestyles, improve and protect their health and ultimately because they want to live longer.
Many health benefits of intermittent fasting include weight loss, reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. Because of these results, there is a great interest in whether intermittent fasting may help to prevent or treat diabetes. Significant reduction in body fat loss is apparent and reduction in heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. White blood cells and other toxins in the body are flushed out over the course of the fast.
• FASTING HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT
• FASTING PROMOTES LONGEVITY
• PROMOTES DETOXIFICATION
• SPEEDS UP METABOLISM
• BOOSTS YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION
• IMPROVES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
• FASTING REJUVENATES THE SKIN AND PREVENTS ACNE
• IMPROVES INSULIN SENSITIVITY
• FASTING MAY HELP PREVENT CANCER
• FASTING IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. Without anything to eat, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. In actual fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than eating 3-4 meals a day just because we’re told to.
Breakfast is said to be the most important meal but research shows that as an adult, eating breakfast is not essential for your health or weight loss. Skipping your breakfast or going without as many calories as usual is not only a weight loss recommendation but also the trick to a longer life. Reducing calorie consumption 30 to 40 percent can extend a person’s life span by a third or more because of its benefits.
IF is not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern. It doesn’t restrict certain foods, nor tell you what you should eat, but more so when you should eat. The most common IF approach is the 16:8, which means you “fast” for 16-hours and restrict eating to an 8-hour window, suited to your schedule. Many people find the 16:8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. For me personally, I do between 16:8, 6pm – 10am, and 18:6, 6pm – 12noon.
> My average daily eating schedule:
10am – Fruit (and often a hot chocolate!)
12noon – Healthy home cooked lunch
4pm – Protein and fruit shake
6pm – More fruit!
Plus as much water as I remember to drink!
Needless to say there’s a lot missing from my menu, I’m not the best eater. I had a body composition analysis scan this week and came out dehydrated with a low metabolic rate. Plus, I was diagnosed Anaemic last week so I seriously need to sort out my diet! I don’t eat bad, all my lunches are cooked with fresh vegetables, fresh meats and I don’t eat frozen food or bread. However, I apparently I need to eat more to get my fibre, protein and iron up.
The approaches to intermittent fasting are helping people to reacquaint themselves with the feeling of being hungry. It’s good for people to realise that they don’t need to eat six or seven times a day. It’s actually less healthy to do so. Letting the body reset itself during this 16-hour fasting period is like taking a shower on the inside. Cleaning all the bad stuff out, correcting the immune system and also allowing the brain to fight against neurodegenerative diseases. Staying hydrated and living an active lifestyle are the perfect compliments for your fasting schedule.
It takes a bit of getting used to. Missing breakfast is tough at first because your body enjoys the early morning intake. It will take mind over matter to make it until 12noon, but the benefits are so worth it! Your body will adapt in just a short space of time because of the new regime … then that becomes the norm.
> Intermittent Fasting – Some links worth a watch or listen to the podcast!
… So many more on you tube! Search ‘Intermittent Fasting’
We must listen to our bodies and to our stomachs and not the ticking of the clock. Let your body be the timekeeper and it will let you know when it’s hungry, don’t eat because the clock chimes the hour. Fasting allows your body to reset and regenerate, which is needed because it keeps you healthy and fights off disease.
For me, Intermittent fasting is now part of my lifestyle, a long-term solution and commitment, I don’t think about it anymore. I went through a stage of ‘cheating’ and having a hot chocolate early in the morning on the way to work. Having picked it up back up more strictly in the last 12 days, I have already seen a difference, losing 5.5lbs and 2% body fat!
Of course there’s those that don’t agree with it, everyone is different and fasting may not be for all. If you’re eager to lose some weight and body fat, but more so, if you’re serious about your inner health and increasing your longevity of life, just try it. I love it, and I plan on playing this game for a while!
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist and Blogger – Living life every minute.