What Is Intermittent Fasting
Everything has an acronym these days. You can tell when something is becoming popular when it shortened to its initial letters; intermittent fasting now known as IF, has become popular. The term refers to an eating pattern that cycles daily between long periods of going without food while maintaining the proper calories needed for.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
It’s really hard to consider this a diet because the practitioner isn’t limited to the types of foods promoted by conventional diets. Most programs involve 16 hours of going without nutrients over a 24-hour period. For example the most common intermittent fasting technique calls for eating breakfast at one p.m. in the afternoon. Most practitioners will eat between two and four meals for the day ending the eating cycle at 8 PM.
Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting
The key to IF is consistency. The process works by allowing your hormones to execute optimal fat burning throughout the fasting cycle. What makes this process work to your advantage is the ability to burn fat while your body is needed calories for health and fitness maintenance. Here are a few methods for tweaking the intermittent fasting process to allow for variety as well as fitness programs.
IF Workout Schedule Program
People who are working out need to maintain their energy levels, therefore it’s important to adjust your work out an eating pattern accordingly. For example, walking in the early morning while in a fasting state is perfect for increasing fat burning potential without depleting energy levels. On days of intense workouts, carbohydrates are important for long-term energy output.
Fats and proteins should be fairly consistent regardless of the workout schedule and caffeine is allowed during fasting periods. One thing that most practitioners grudgingly accept is that whole unprocessed foods are critical to maintaining health and weight. In other words, breaking your fast with junk food every day won’t lead to proper health outcomes.
24 Hour Fasting System
Another method of intermittent fasting calls for taking a break every few days from eating. In this program the practitioner fasts for 24 hours, then resumes eating normally as if nothing happened. The rationale behind this process is that calorie consumption is cumulative. Taking a break for 24 hours over the period of one week won’t seem like much of a hardship.
Practitioners schedule their off day when they are extremely busy. Much like other methods of IAF, they will start their fast after dinner at 8 PM and resume eating at 8 PM the following day. Beginners may start practicing by incorporating traditional intermittent fasting into their schedule once a week. By gradually lengthening the fasting phase, they can successfully achieve a 24 hour fast once a week in as little as a month.
“Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat.”
It is not uncommon for people who incorporate traditional IAF into their lifestyle to use the 24 hour fast once or twice a month as a way to take a mental and physical break from eating. Many experience a new relationship with food. Often, practitioners will say that they have lost many of their cravings over time and find it easier to eat sensibly throughout the week.
The One Meal a Day Plan
This program is often associated with military personnel. It has been nicknamed the warrior diet. The “fast” is often broken in the evening at dinner time with a large meal. During the day, most practitioners will start with a morning coffee, talking either black or with zero calorie sweeteners. During the day they may graze on a handful of nuts or a fruit. The goal of this process is to stimulate the sympathetic nervous systems fight or flight response during the day and the parasympathetic nervous system’s ability to help the body recuperate at night. Eating at night is supposed to assist the body in its production of hormones that burn fat during the day.
This type of program, call for eating vegetable protein and fat initially been carbohydrates only if you’re still hungry. This IF program is fairly strict though not very complicated. It might be tough for those who traditionally eat less at night and more during the day out of habit. One of the benefits is being able to have small snacks throughout the day such as nuts, berries and a fruit.
The Alternate IF Plan
One system gaining popularity is the on-again, off-again program. People who are interested in testing the intermittent fasting system may pick three days out of the week in which to try it out. Starting on Sunday night at 8 PM they will break their fast at one p.m. Monday afternoon. The next day, they resume their normal eating pattern until 8 PM chooses the night. Some people find this on-again, off-again program helps them to get used to the IAF system while others use it as a handy way to reduce their caloric intake.
The Science and Supplementation of Intermittent Fasting
Although the system of eating has been around for centuries, but made popular in the 1930s, intermittent fasting saw increased interest after 1943 study on rats in relation to adaptive cellular responses in the reduction of oxidative damage and inflammation. The study showed chronic fasting extends longevity by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistant pathways.
Research on Intermittent Fasting
A new study in 2014 shed further light on IF’s role in metabolic process improvement. Intermittent fasting was shown to decrease the risk of diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease in rats as well as neurodegeneration. Extended studies in humans also showed reduction in obesity, hypertension, asthma and even rheumatoid arthritis. Intermittent fasting and alternate day fasting are now being studied by proponents of human longevity research.
How Intermittent Fasting Drives Weight Loss
Although IAF practitioners don’t normally count calories, studies have shown that intermittent fasting holds a similar benefit to caloric restriction. One study in mice suggests that IAF works regardless of the overall caloric reduction or intake. The process may function as a form of nutritional hormesis (hormone regulation).
Dysfunctional proteins and organelles are broken down in a process called autophagy during intermittent fasting. Apoptosis also occurs during this phase, which can be likened to spring cleaning of the cells in your body. A 2003 study offered conclusive evidence that fasting regularly was much healthier than continuous calorie restriction. Results showed a lowering of insulin and glucose in mice as well as a significant increase in insulin sensitivity.
Significant changes occur during IF that influences fat loss. The two significant events that promote fat reduction are increased levels of HGH (human growth hormone) and insulin sensitivity. During fasting, insulin levels drop and HGH levels increase. Cellular repair and genetic fortification take place to protect the body. The cellular cleanup process helps in the removal of garbage proteins from cells and fortify them against disease.
Negative Effects of Intermittent Fasting Systems
The long term effects of IF on humans is still uncertain and there have been detractors of the various programs. In 2011 a published study showed an increase in blood glucose and tissue levels of oxidizing compounds in lab rats that may lead to cell damage.
Another issue that detractors point to is the possibility of developing eating disorders such as gorging and binging in obsessive individuals. The effects of intermittent fasting on eating disorders seem to be unfounded as research on participants following an endurance exercise program show a decrease in emotional eating. Exercise seems to play a very important part of the overall effectiveness of IF programs.
Intermittent Fasting For Women
Hormones play an important part of the day to day operation of our bodies. Fertility adds a special problem for women when it comes to IF. Many hormones that regulate the reproductive process in women are influenced by their metabolic process. That means when many women initiate intermittent fasting, they may develop intense hunger pangs. When they try to ignore these feelings they then overcompensate by binging. Once that happens, hormonal imbalance occurs.
Women may find it easier to sneak up on intermittent fasting. Instead of starting out with a 14 to 16 hour fast, gently lengthen your fasting by one hour a day until you reach a level that works well. Start by ending meals at 8PM. Begin eating at 9AM the next day instead of 8AM. The next day, have breakfast at 10AM instead of 9. Continue that pattern until lunch becomes breakfast time. Be sure to consume the normal amount of calories needed for daily activity.
Another system that women find easier to execute is the nonconsecutive approach. You can gain a lot of benefits by employing IF three days a week on alternate days. Monday, Wednesday and Friday can be IF days while Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday are regular eating days. This kind of program can also be used on training days. Strength training days may benefit from IF while aerobic days from normal eating patterns.
Proper Nutrition for Intermittent Fasting
Here are some tips to consider during fasting for better health outcomes. Think about taking supplements every day, but especially when fasting. Start off slowly and work toward reaching a level that allows consistent practice.
If you are not exercising regularly, begin a walking program for five days a week. Aim for 40 minutes to an hour a day. The best way to accomplish this is to walk for 20 minutes, then begin walking back. Begin taking BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) for proper maintenance of lean muscle mass. Since IF promotes cellular repair and maintenance, BCAA should be integral in daily nutrition. Creatine and calcium are also important daily supplements to take for promoting overall health. Stay on point when it comes to eating whole unprocessed foods.
How to Achieve Maximum Results on Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting features a simple and easy strategy of weight management. Through purposefully missing meals a person can decrease overall calories and, avoid overeating. By consuming fewer calories than you’ll need, your body will burn fat for fuel. IF demands no unique preparation, specific foods, supplements or cooking ability which tends to make the practice easier handy for anybody who want a simple, no-frills method to weight reduction.
Intermittent fasting is just incorporating extended fasting periods inside your normal routine. Extending your fasting window and then returning to your regularly scheduled diet plan can change body composition and effortlessly fit a busy way of life. Be sure to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.
Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this infographic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.
<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/intermittent-fasting.jpg" alt="Intermittent Fasting" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">"<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/intermittent-fasting.htm">Intermittent fasting</a>" is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body's ability to burn fat. Embed this infographic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>