Let’s talk intermittent fasting! (One of our favorite ways to optimize.)
We know… You may already be practicing this as a regular habit…
You may have heard of it but are not quite sure what its all about…
Or, you may have never heard of it at all!
Intermittent fasting, what is it?
Is it good for you?
How do you do it and is it for you?
If you have wanted to understand or learn more about intermittent fasting this is for you!
If you want to know more about how we can support you drop the word CHANGE below and we will reach out via messenger.
Intermittent Fasting: The Benefits of This Popular Diet
Intermittent fasting is a super popular trend in the world. You may be already doing it. Or you may have heard of it but not quite sure what it’s all about. If you never have heard of it all, that’s okay, too. What is intermittent fasting? Is it healthy? How do you do it? And most importantly, is it right for you?
What is intermittent fasting?
We are not talking about WHAT we are eating but rather WHEN we are eating.
Intermittent fasting, also known as IF, is when you go without food for some time and then break the fast with food. The type of intermittent fasting varies from person to person – some people do it one day per week while others may do it two days per week. Some people do alternate day fasting, 5:2 intermittent fasting (fasting two days each week), and time-restricted fasting (such as eating only during a six-hour window).
Whichever you choose, there are some pretty awesome things about fasting. Clinical trials have shown intermittent fasts are highly effective in improving obesity rates for people with diabetes or heart conditions among others things.
Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators, or food available year-round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat. And guess what they survived!
We can survive without food for a prolonged period. We are naturally designed to do it. But we never test it because…Uber eats. ♀️
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Metabolism just means how you convert what you eat or drink into energy. We need glucose to get energy. So everything we eat is broken down into glucose (fats and amino acids). Obviously, we can get that glucose from what we eat. But our body has a cool trick where it can use its fat to make glucose so that we don’t have to eat the glucose. It’s called gluconeogenesis. A fancy word for “turn my fat into sugar.” When we fast, our metabolism switches from using glucose storage to using our fat storage. At the same time, it also uses these FATTY ACIDS called ketones as another source of energy.
So, now we have these ketones in our bodies that we use for glucose. But the ketones also send really cool signals to the rest of our body.
Clean up crew/Cell Repair
When you are fasting and you release the ketones, it gets the message that the body should increase defense against stress. So, it starts to remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells. So being in a fasting state basically starts the cleaning crew in your body to start cleaning out the attic.
With all this repair and removal happening, our inflammation goes down. We will notice this on our bloodwork, which means our aches and pains get better but also reduces chronic disease and heart issues.
Ketogenesis carries over into the times when we are not fasting and improves our overall glucose control. That’s why fasting improves our insulin sensitivity. We don’t need too much insulin around and helps regulate our blood sugar. Lower blood sugar helps prevent and improve diabetes.
The Magic of Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Human Growth Hormone is magic. As a kid, it helps you grow to an adult. It helps you heal and look amazing! As we age, we produce less and less. However, when we fast, HGH increases by 5 times. One such study found that after a 3-day fast, your HGH levels increase by more than 300%. This hormone can help to speed up healing after an injury and repair muscle tissue after exercise. This helps to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat. HGH is also said to benefit the quality and appearance of the skin.
Reduce “Bad” Cholesterol
Intermittent fasting may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar, and insulin resistance — all risk factors for heart disease.
Improve Brain Health
Intermittent fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also protect against Alzheimer’s.
Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may prevent cancer. It is thought to work by limiting the amount of calories you consume each day, which forces your body into a state of starvation; this makes it easier for cells in different parts of our bodies (including those containing malignant tumors) to self-destruct without having enough energy stored away as fat stores!
According to ScientificAmerican.com, “Intermittent fasting can make a rat live longer. Rats that do not eat for 25 hours a week live as much as 60% longer than those that ate normally.”
Some people use Intermittent Fasting for Weight loss. And of course, it works because you have less time to eat. Losing weight means that you are consuming less calories.
Okay, so we know it’s good for you. But how to do it?
Before we continue, I do want to say that it’s not for everyone. For example, I would not recommend this to pregnant women or people on insulin. Be sure to check with your medical provider before doing any kind of fasting.
How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting
At the Knew Method, we recommend for our patients do the 16:8 Intermittent fasting. That means you’re not eating for 16 hours and you’re eating for eight hours.
16 hours??? Well, the good news is that includes your sleep time!
If you ate dinner and then slept in the next day, you most likely have fasted for 16 hours already!
But sleeping in isn’t realistic each day, so here’s a more sustainable plan.
Pick a Time Frame
First, pick a time frame that works for you. Most of my patients eat from 11-7. If you eat a late dinner at home, then your next days start later. If you’re someone that goes to sleep early, then your timing can move up. For night shifters, you will eat at night then do the fast in the day.
Next is don’t rush into 16 hours. It takes time to build up! Start slow. We don’t want you shaky or hangry. We don’t want you fighting with your coworkers or passing out at the gym. Work your way into it. When we started this with my team a few years ago, they all had it down by the first week and I was miserable. It took me weeks to get to 16 and now I do 18. Go up with 30-minute increments.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Not eating does not mean not drinking. You have to drink water, black coffee, black tea, certainelectroulye drinks (no sugar). Vodka doesn’t count. Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.
Choose Your Meal Wisely
When it is time to eat, choose wisely. To maximize the potential health benefits of your fast, it’s important to stick to nutritious whole foods during your eating periods. Don’t go crazy on junk food during the eating period, you’ll be sabotaging your efforts.
More Intermittent Fasting Q&As
Isn’t It Unhealthy to Skip Breakfast?
Don’t believe the hype. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. That saying was invented by Jackson and Kellog in the 19th century.
Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?
Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements, like fat-soluble vitamins, may work better when taken with meals.
Can I Work out While Fasting?
Yes, fasted workouts are great. You may need to build up to it though. Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) before a fasted workout.
Will Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?
All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it’s important to lift weights and keep your food balanced. One study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction.
Will Fasting Slow Down My Metabolism?
No. Studies show that short-term fasts actually boost metabolism However, longer fasts of 3 or more days can suppress metabolism.
16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe, and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and a healthy lifestyle.
How to Get Help with Intermittent Fasting
As always if this is hard to do and you don’t know how to begin, you can reach out to our team. This is how to get a hold of us. At the end of the day, we want you to be the gamechanger in your life because you always knew there was a better way.