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What is Intermittent Fasting and How does it work?

A diet designed around not eating for long stretches of the day. While it may sound illogical, intermittent fasting has proven to be one of the most popular diets in the world over the last few years. The diet is used for a variety of reasons that don’t include losing weight. It has been used to improve one’s health, clear your mind, and make eating less time consuming. With intermittent fasting, there is a lot of information to uncover here, so let’s get started with the basics.  Remember, always talk to your doctor before beginning a program of intermittent fasting or starting any exercise and weight loss program.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that involves cycling when you eat around a preverbal clock. Essentially, you eat your meals during a certain time frame while fasting outside of that time frame. Your standard intermittent fasting schedule is the 16-8 cycle which consists of eating during an 8-hour window and fasting during the remaining 16 hours of the day.

How can you intermittent fast?

There are various schedules to intermittent fasting that you can follow. Each of them has different rules associated with them but provide similar benefits.

16-8 Rule: This is the most popular method of intermittent fasting and it revolves around eating during an 8-hour window of time and fasting for the rest of the day. Typically, with this method, you will skip breakfast.

Eat-stop-eat method: If you can stomach the wait, this may just be the plan for you. It involves fasting for two different 24-hour windows of time while eating on a normal schedule through the rest of the week. This usually means eating dinner one day and fasting until dinner the next day.

5:2 method: With this method, you limit yourself to consuming up to 500 calories two different days a week while eating normally the remaining five. All three methods provide different rules and illustrate the flexibility of intermittent fasting.

Alternate day Fasting:While it may sound odd, the alternate day fasting method revolves around either fasting every other day or limiting yourself to no more than 500 calories every other day. This method isn’t recommended for beginners, as you will be without food for longer than more typical fasting periods.

The Warrior Diet: Feeling like becoming a warrior? Well, you better start eating like one. The warrior diet involves eating small amounts of raw vegetables during the day while only having one big meal at the end of the day.  Due to vegetables often containing very few calories, you are essentially eating nothing up until dinner. This is often paired with the paleo diet and which was one of the first popular diets to incorporate elements of intermittent fasting.

One Meal a day: Similar to the warrior diet, this involves fasting all day and then choosing a 1-2-hour time span to consume an entire days’ worth of calories. This is an advanced technique and shouldn’t be practiced unless you are completely comfortable with intermittent fasting.Skipping meals (we all do it): It is totally acceptable and normal to skip meals. You don’t need to be following a super strict routine to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting. You can enjoy benefits from skipping breakfast in the morning, for example. You will discover there is quite a benefit to fasting after just waking up.

Breaking a fast

When breaking a fast, it is important not to overeat. You want to ensure you are eating a balanced meal that incorporates every one of the three essential macro nutrients. This means incorporating proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into your meal.  You will want to replenish the nutrients your body has missed during your fasting period. It is also important to watch your sugar and carb intake during this time. Too much of either can raise your blood sugar levels to heights you have been trying to avoid during your fasting cycle. 

When you are breaking a fast, avoid foods that are high in fiber and added sugar. When you break a fast, your blood sugar levels will increase due to food being reintroduced back into your body. You might consider going with a smoothie when breaking a fast as it is low in fiber and can also be full of nutrients.

To Drink or not to Drink

During your intermittent fast, it is important to remember to eliminate calorie-containing drinks. Consider black coffee, unsweetened teas, and most importantly, water. Save calorie-containing drinks, including alcohol, until your non-fasting window and only in moderation. Some studies have suggested that alcohol can impede fat burning which isn’t good for you or your intermittent fasting goals. Due to its calorie dense nature, excessive amounts of alcohol will not only lead to breaking your fast but will also take away many of the benefits you get from fasting in the first place, including cellular repair. Alcohol consumption can also increase inflammation which can lead other health issues. If you are planning on drinking, remember to do so only in moderation.

The advantages of intermittent fasting:

Intermittent fasting has a wide array of advantages associated with it, many of which are backed by science.

Changes the behavior of your cells

  1. Insulin levels drop while you are intermittent fasting. The lower your insulin levels are, the easier it can be to burn fat.
  2. Human growth hormones (HGH) levels also increase while intermittent fasting. The higher levels of HGH you have in your bloodstream can lead to benefits in visceral fat burning, muscle growth, and numerous other benefits
  3. Cell repair happens while fasting, resulting in removal of waste from your body.

Weight and fat loss

Intermittent fasting has long been viewed as a diet used for weight loss. When eating on a schedule as opposed to eating whenever you like, you are more likely to eat fewer calories overall. This follows the basic formula of calories in vs. calories out.

By changing the behavior of your cells, you are changing how your body will breakdown food. The changes in your cell behavior will make it easier to help facilitate fat loss.  Fasting has also been shown to help increase your metabolic rate.

You will be able to burn more calories and consume fewer of them while you are intermittent fasting. Therefore, it has become such a popular diet for individuals who are trying to lose weight.

Helps your brain and repairs cells

What goes around, comes around, and the benefits that have helped you with intermittent fasting often benefit your brain as well.

Some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting may help deal with oxidative stress, inflammation, blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting may also increase a hormone in your brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Low levels of this hormone have been linked to causes of depression and anxiety.

Helps your heart

Your brain and body aren’t the only things that are benefitted by intermittent fasting. Your heart gets benefits out of intermittent fasting too. With the prevalence of heart disease, more and more people are looking for ways to help improve their heart health. Fortunately for them, there are some heart benefits in intermittent fasting. Blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels and blood triglycerides may all be improved. If you are looking to improve your heart health in a natural way, intermittent fasting may be just the thing for you.

Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body

Oxidative stress is a big contributor in the aging process. It deals with free radicals which are unstable molecules that react with protein and your DNA. They can cause damage to your cells which none of us want. Studies have shown how intermittent fasting may help with resistance to these molecules. Intermittent fasting can also help your body fight off inflammation which has been linked to many different diseases.

Portion control and healthy lifestyle control

Intermittent fasting can help make your health goals easier to attain since you’ll be eating less. Losing weight is a balance of burning more calories than you consume. This makes intermittent fasting very useful. Intermittent fasting can often bring a clearer way of thinking, where you can often say “no” to tempting snacks.

Easy to follow

Due to the flexibility of intermittent fasting, it can be used in a variety of different ways and diets. The common problem with diets is that they can be over restrictive in what you can and can’t eat. Another issue that accompanies crash dieting is that these diets are often unsustainable over the long term. Therefore, you see people gain the weight they worked so hard to lose. Intermittent fasting can be easier to follow than a crash diet since you won’t be limiting what you can and can’t eat.  Sticking to a diet plan that works for you and your goals and pairing it with intermittent fasting, can provide some incredible results.

A common one-two punch is pairing intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet. By going into ketosis during your fasting period, you can lose a lot of weight in a relatively short amount of time. This is because while in ketosis, you are burning fat instead of glucose as your primary fuel source. Couple this with consistent exercise and you will be a weight loss machine.

Exercise while fasting

Exercise while intermittent fasting can cause an array of changes and can take some time to get used to. Depending on what schedule you follow, you will feel different changes associated with each one. The good news is you will still be able to exercise while fasting. It is vital to incorporate your workout routine around a time that you feel fueled and ready. It is more of a matter of personal preference, but you don’t want to feel drained before a workout. That won’t do you or your fasting routine any significant favors.

Focus on low intensity cardio

While fasting, don’t expect to be able to go and run a marathon. You want to keep your cardio routines at a lower intensity to allow you to push your limits. Wind sprints will take all your energy in a matter of seconds. Focus on a good jog instead to allow you to do the full workout. If you are into cycling, stick to shorter distances to ensure you can complete the full ride.

Keep the intensity down across all exercises (at least in the beginning)

Depending on how intense your fasting schedule is, you’ll want to adjust the routine accordingly. You don’t want to run the risk of over training and getting yourself hurt. It just isn’t worth it. Since you are eating less throughout the day, your energy levels will tend to fluctuate as you become used to operating on fewer calories.

Find what works best and stick to it

We all recover at different rates and it truly is a matter of figuring out what exercises work best while you are in the fasting period. Since each method of fasting has different rules associated with it, you may want to experiment to find your perfect balance. This will insure you the best possible outcome and results.

The downsides of intermittent fasting

Nothing is perfect and while intermittent fasting has many benefits, there are a few downsides to this type of diet. The diet can be extremely beneficial to those who utilize it properly but if you have health conditions such as diabetes, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before intermittent fasting.

Do not overeat or it’s a waste

As humans, we love rewarding ourselves for a job well done. Whether its through positive feedback or a slice of pizza, we love rewards. Therefore, when we finish a fasting cycle it can be tempting to devour an entire pizza. If you overeat though, you are wasting all the benefits of intermittent fasting. Try to stay disciplined and eat within your caloric needs during your window.

Mood swings and irritability

Going through extended periods without eating can cause mood swings. This can be the case when you intermittent fast as your blood sugar gets lower over time. This condition is known as hypoglycemia and can lead to irritability, anxiety, and poor concentration.

Who shouldn’t intermittent fast?

Intermittent Fasting is not for everyone. You will want to consider staying away from intermittent fasting if you fall under these categories.

  • Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant.
  • People who have diabetes or blood sugar problems.
  • Children and teenagers.
  • Those with a history of eating disorders.

How Lipozene can help with intermittent fasting

Due to the nature of intermittent fasting, Lipozene can be used in conjunction with the diet. The feeling of fullness that can last for hours can be effective during your fasting window since you won’t be consuming calories. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of intermittent fasting. Think of using Lipozene as a little pick me up when you start to feel hungry as you get closer to your eating window. Lipozene will also be vital just prior to your eating window. You can reap the calorie control benefits that Lipozene provides while maintaining your intermittent fasting course.

Feel full longer while you are fasted

Lipozene will help you to control your food intake whether you are fasting or not. This will pay dividends in the future if you are trying to lose weight with your diet.

Results of intermittent fasting

What you ultimately put in your body during your eating windows is vital to how you will ultimately succeed with the diet. The results of intermittent fasting can vary but it can be extremely effective for those looking to lose weight. Stick with it and see how you feel after staying consistent with the diet for an extended period of time.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, intermittent fasting is effective if you are looking to lose weight and can stomach not eating for certain hours of the day. Its benefits make it an attractive option for those looking to shake up their routine and challenge themselves.  Pairing it with a keto diet and Lipozene can make for an effective, healthy, and clean routine. While it isn’t for everyone, intermittent fasting could just be the thing missing from your weight loss journey.

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