When it comes to intermittent fasting, it is not a fad diet per say. In all actuality it is a lifestyle change. What does that mean? Well, rather than giving up foods and things that you love to eat you abstain from them for a certain time frame. Read on to find out how and why this works and why so many people are on board.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet like keto or other fads. In fact, it is something completely different, this is because it is a meal timing plan. What does that mean? It means that you are abstaining from eating food and calories for a specific time frame. It causes autophagy to occur within the body and by doing so gives cells a boost. Why do we mean by that?
Autophagy occurs when fasting, this is the body’s way of recycling old or damaged cells. This is done by older cells being consumed by newer cells. In doing so, it makes the cells stronger by consolidating them.
How to Start Fasting
In general terms, it’s pretty straight forward on how you start an intermittent fasting regimen. You just stop eating. However, there is more to it than that. Thinking about what you eat prior to starting your fast is essential to it working out. This is why so many individuals recommend eating a higher fiber meal before starting. What does this do? It keeps you fuller longer. In addition to making sure you have fiber in that meal, you’ll also want to have some fats with it as well. This will help you produce ketones. Last but not least you’ll want to add some protein into it as well.
So now you have a guideline of what to eat prior to starting your intermittent fasting to make it more effective, but you’re probably wondering how long you should be fasting for and whether or not overnight hours mean anything in your fasting. For starters, overnight fasting is counted towards your fasting hours. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll probably want to start at a 16 hour fast. In general terms, this is referred to as 16-8 fasting. This is the time frame in which autophagy and the other benefits start to occur.
Basically, you’ll still get some benefits if you decide to fast less than 16 hours, but you may not hit all of the benefits that this article goes over.
- Dramatic fat loss
- Maintain muscle (tone & density)
- Vascular benefits (skin, hair, nails)
- Improved focus
- Allows you to produce ketones
What Can I Have During a Fast?
First off, water is 100% okay to drink while taking part in intermittent fasting. It doesn’t typically start a metabolic response in your body. But it has to be plain water. Once you add flavor pouches to it, you completely change its anatomy and can trigger a metabolic response based on the sweeteners in the pouch.
For my coffee connoisseurs out there, you can consume coffee. However, it cannot have anything added to it. This means you’ll have to drink black coffee in order to not break your fast. Both decaf and regular coffee is fine. In actuality, whichever kind of black coffee you choose can benefit the process of autophagy and speed it up. Another added plus is the fact that coffee is a caffeinated beverage. Caffeine aids in fat loss as well as to aid in autophagy as well.
Teas are another beverage that you can consume while taking part in intermittent fasting. Whether its black, green, breakfast, earl grey, so long as you don’t add sweetener or creamer you’re fine.
Breaking Your Fast
When breaking a fast during your intermittent fasting, there are several ways to do it. However, one of the more common methods is to include a bone broth of some kind. What does this do? It allows collagen to restore your gut. Why does this need to occur? Because when fasting you do temporarily weaken your gut mucosal layer. Therefore, consuming four to 6 ounces of bone broth is ideal to aid the gut in absorbing things better.
Once you do this you can move into foods. However, its not recommended to mix fats and carbs when working on intermittent fasting. So, things like toast with butter is a no-no. This is because carbs cause your insulin to spike. This makes the cells completely receptive to whatever you are eating. So, in the case of buttered toast, you’d be counteracting your hard work by allowing the cells to consume both the carbs and fat from the bread and butter.
The better rule of thumb is to combine carbohydrates with protein or fats with protein. This will allow your body to get what it needs but won’t cause your body to lose the work you’ve done. So instead of buttered toast, maybe you eat sliced avocado. It’s rich with protein and fat. Keep in mind that throughout your eight hours of eating, you are allowed to consume the same number of calories you had originally. The only difference is you’d do it throughout the eight hour time window as opposed to throughout the day. In other words, if you’re eating 2300 calories in a day prior to starting your fasting routine, you can still eat that same amount during your allotted time frame.
When Should You Exercise?
Working out when intermittent fasting can be done once you break your fast or during your fast. However, in terms of the best time you’ll either want to do it mid-fast or at the very end of your fast. Both of these are very beneficial however, if you can manage doing it at the very end of the fast you’re more likely to burn the most amount of fat. However, this is also where you’re more likely to see a decline in your overall performance because you’ve already lost a lot of the stamina from the last time you ate.
In contrast, if you work out towards the middle of your fast, you’ll still have the energy you need from the food that you ate. This means that you’ll still be at optimal performance without hurting the integrity of your fast.
Fasting Based on Gender
When taking part in intermittent fasting, whether male or female it is generally the same. However, the biggest difference comes in the form of a woman’s reproductive system. As a woman, you’re more likely to experience hunger signals much more than a man would. This is because as a woman the body needs to maintain a certain level in its stores to support childbirth. So rather than starting at 16-8, it may be more beneficial as a woman to start at 12-12 and work your way up to 16-8.
Supplements for Intermittent Fasting
One of the other common questions is when do I take my supplements, and can they break my intermittent fasting cycle? The answer is that if your supplements have calories or carbohydrates in them then yes they can definitely break your fast. However, if they don’t you should be okay, but it is still recommended that any supplements be taken during your window of eating just so it’s not hard on your stomach.
HCG with Intermittent Fasting
When starting out on the lifestyle journey of intermittent fasting it can be hard with hunger cravings. You may feel the grumble of your stomach that first week or so as your body gets used to the new routine you’re setting. If the struggle starts to get to be too much, try using HCG. What is that? It is a peptide that helps to suppress your hunger and makes transitioning to this new lifestyle easier. Not only that, but it will also still supply your body with ample energy as well. You can learn more about what HCG is, or you can buy HCG. Are you ready to change your life?