Intermittent fasting is the practice of restricting your food intake to certain hours or days during a given amount of time, usually a week. Intermittent fasting does not mean you go without food for days. You just confine your eating to an 8-hour window, and you don’t eat anything else the other 16 hours of the day. Intermittent fasting is usually a 3-step process, which includes the feeding state, lasting 3 to 5 hours as the body digests and absorbs the food. Next comes the post absorptive state where your body isn’t processing a meal. This lasts 8 to 12 hours after your meal.
Lastly, we come to the fasting state, 9 to 12 hours after your last meal. This is the time when the body is in fat burning mode!
Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity both with celebrities and ordinary people so, let’s have a closer look at it. First of all, it isn’t a diet exactly. It is specific pattern of eating that is meant to help your body. Secondly, what you are eating is going to be up to you, as long as it fits into the 8-hour time slot. Thirdly, even though intermittent fasting isn’t a diet per se, many people do try it out as a way to reduce weight without having to drastically change their diet.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FASTING SCHEDULE
Intermittent fasting allows you to eat what you want in theory. Eating the wrong foods however or overeating during the 8-hour window can counter the benefits of fasting. The trick is to eat the right foods to hold you during your noneating periods. The most important food groups to include in intermittent fasting are animal proteins, vegetables and whole grains.
Avoid processed meats, sugar and refined starches.
Whole foods like avocado, berries and lean animal proteins are best.
Stay hydrated otherwise you may experience fatigue, dizziness and headaches.
Avoid intense exercising when fasting.
INTERMITTENT FASTING BENEFITS
Helps the body maintain lean muscle tissue.
Raises growth hormone levels.
Improves insulin sensitivity.
Improves the immune system.
Increases resistance to stress.
Intermittent fasting is a flexible eating pattern, meaning you can use it daily, or fast one or two days a week. In general, you don’t have to follow complicated rules or avoid particular foods. Its benefits, outlined above, exceed weight loss by far. Only be sensible. Listen to your body. Avoid prolonged periods of fasting, watch out for warning signs, like dizziness, loss of concentration, or dehydration. Go for shorter fasts rather than longer ones.