In recent years, the idea of intermittent fasting has grown vastly in popularity. However, the concept of fasting goes way back. All throughout ancient history, there were periods of feast and periods of famine. Fasting is not an unnatural process for our bodies. We do it every night while we sleep.
Intermittent fasting has many health benefits. It is a good solution for those who don’t want to do a complete fast. Let’s see how it works.
The 411 on Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is simply fasting for either 12 to 20 hours. Giving yourself a 4 to 12-hour window for eating. Having periods of eating and periods of fasting. It can be as simple as fasting from dinner to breakfast the next morning.
Dr. Jason Fung is a world-leading specialist on intermittent fasting and dieting. He states that “the term ‘break fast’ refers to the meal that breaks your fast – which is done daily.” He reinforces that fasting is nothing unnatural and has been around for years.
How it Helps with Weight Loss
Dr. Jason Fung believes that weight loss is regulated by insulin. Insulin is the hormone that balances the amount of glucose in the blood. When you eat, sugar especially, your insulin increases. It stores sugar and produces fat within your liver. When your levels are normal it regulates body fat the way that it is should.
However, if you are resistant to insulin, your body does not react to it normally. It tries to regulate it but just ends up producing more for a longer period of time. Too much insulin, or for too long, causes your body to store excess fat.
Here’s where fasting comes in. When you don’t eat your insulin levels end up falling. As a result, your body starts pulling some of that extra energy out of the stored fat. To lose weight, insulin must be kept from spiking. It needs time to drop back down. If you are overweight, Dr. Fung says you undoubtedly have an insulin resistance problem. Regular fasting would be the ideal way to handle high insulin. However, it is understandable if someone might not want to go days without eating. In that case, intermittent fasting would be the optimal choice.
Intermittent fasting has more benefits than just weight loss. It can help with:
- Reducing insulin and lowering blood sugar
- Lowering insulin resistance
- Fighting inflammation
- Boosting your metabolism
How to get started
I understand that the idea of fasting can sound daunting. My advice would be to start off slow. Start fasting for just 12 hours. It’s easier than you might think.
The 16/8 method is my favorite form of intermittent fasting. You fast for 16 hours and eat everything within an 8-hour window. Basically, all you have to do is skip breakfast. It’s super simple.
All in all, fasting is not as hard as you think it might be. It’s all a matter of getting started.
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