What is intermittent fasting NOT? It is not a diet, it does not tell you what food you can and cannot eat.
What intermittent fasting IS? Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating; it tells you WHEN to eat and WHEN not to.
Why IF is great for your body:
- Your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.
- The levels of growth hormone increase for fat loss and muscle gain.
- Insulin sensitivity improves, levels of insulin drop dramatically making stored body fat more accessible.
- Cells initiate cellular repair processes where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
- It initiates changes in the function of genes to increase longevity and increase protection against disease.
A recent Harvard study has shown that changing the timing of meals, by eating earlier in the day and extending the overnight fast, significantly benefited metabolism and weight loss.
“…There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes. (However, people with advanced diabetes or who are on medications for diabetes, people with a history of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not attempt intermittent fasting unless under the close supervision of a physician who can monitor them.)”( SOURCE)
Regardless of the fasting plan you choose, it is very important to incorporate the following ideas into your eating/fasting cycle:
Avoid sugars and refined grains. This means soda, candy, baked goods etc. Choose fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (a sensible, plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet is always a good choice).
Drink lots of low/no calorie fluids such as water, tea, coffee etc. DO NOT SNACK! Let your body burn fat between meals. Be active throughout your day and try to build muscle tone through some type of activity plan you find enjoyable.
Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day. Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.
The picture below is the easiest way to start IF. Once you try it, you may wish to do more research on the topic as there are many, many IF plans and find the very best plan for you. (SOURCE: Jorge Cruise on Instagram)
About the Author:
This article was contributed by Life Coach and Educator Felicia Ledogar of Lebanon, NJ. Do you require support around manifesting your hopes, goals and dreams? Looking to increase good health and invite more happiness into your life? Ms. Ledogar can be reached via email here.