Intermittent fasting is simply any time period in which you do not eat anything for a period of about 6-8 hours. Recently popularized by the 5:2 Fast Diet, many people are interested in learning more about fasting as a health and weight loss solution. However, many people have questions such as what are the benefits of intermittent fasting? Is it safe? Will it help me lose weight? And, can I do it?
How It Works
Again, put simply, intermittent fasting is any period of time of at least 6 to 8 hours of not eating. Your body spends a lot of energy digesting food. Once the digestion process is complete, your body can spend energy on healing your body and working on other important functions. However, if you eat all the time and never stop digesting, your body is not able to accomplish this. On the 5:2 diet, females eat 500 calories per day and males eat 600 calories per day, twice a week. You eat all these calories in an 8 hour period, while fasting for the remaining 16 hours. The other 5 days of the week, you simply eat a normal diet.
Main Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
While weight loss is the main reason most people fast, there re numerous benefits to be gained once you begin fasting. In addition to more easily maintaining your ideal body weight, you will also find that you will increase your energy level, sleep better at night and improve your overall health. The goal of any nutrition program should be to improve your overall health and fitness level and achieve an optimal health benefit, improving your quality of life.
The way this is achieved is to gradually increase the time you fast from about three hours at first, up to about 16 hours over time. When you use the techniques involved in intermittent fasting for weight loss, it is important to start gradually. If you do it too fast, you will have trouble adjusting to the sudden decrease in carbohydrates, so experts recommend you start gradually and build up to work up to a longer period of time, rather than trying to do it all at once. Fasting may seem overwhelming, but if you simply build up gradually and choose one or two days per week, you’ll get used to this healing practice.
How Exercise Fits In
To achieve optimal results from your intermittent fasting program, you should, of course, continue with the other things you do, such as sports activities and aerobic exercise. By having your body burning fat on a consistent basis and using your body’s natural chemistry to increase your metabolism, you will achieve a new level of weight loss and health that you only dreamed of before.
Selecting the Right Foods
One of the most important aspects of the intermittent fasting program is to make sure you are selecting the right foods. The best choices are nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and healthy fats. This should also be done gradually, by replacing the fattier foods your body craves with healthier fats, such as avacado, coconut oil, olive oil, and other healthy fats. Give yourself time to adjust to this, just as you do the fasting program, so that you can ease into it without suffering any side effects or weak spells.
Get Healthier with Intermittent Fasting
By utilizing the techniques of intermittent fasting, gradually decreasing your unhealthy fats with healthy ones, increasing your body’s ability to consistently burn fat, and make it all a part of your regular fitness routine, you will achieve your best health ever.