Good Morning Everyone!
Intermittent Fasting, or IF as many call it, is not another fad diet, it’s a way of life. Actually, we already do it daily to some extent. At the end of the day we take our last bite of food (for some, this is as early as 6:30pm and others as late as 10:00pm), we go to bed, wake up and break our fast with breakfast :). Most of us naturally fast daily for 8-10 hours. Pure IF is when you go without food for 16 hours (consuming only water) and eat your daily calorie allowance in an 8 hour window. However, you can still reap the benefits with a shorter fast such as 12-13 hours which is what I currently do 2-3 days weekly. Simply put, you’re skipping late night snacks a few nights a week and pushing breakfast back by an hour or two a few days a week.
What are the Benefits?
- Burn Fat and Preserve Muscle: Everyone is different, but it takes approximately 6 – 8 hours for your body to use the glucose from your last meal for energy. After that, your body will start using fat stores for energy.
- Increased sensitivity to human growth hormone, a hormone our bodies naturally produce in the pituitary gland: Dr. Mercola explains “HGH, human growth hormone, commonly referred to as “the fitness hormone,” plays an important role in maintaining health, fitness and longevity, including promotion of muscle growth, and boosting fat loss by revving up your metabolism. The fact that it helps build muscle while simultaneously promoting fat loss explains why HGH helps you lose weight without sacrificing muscle mass, and why even athletes can benefit from the practice (as long as they don’t over train and are careful about their nutrition)”. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/06/28/intermittent-fasting-health-benefits.aspx
- Increased sensitivity to Leptin: The hormone that regulates the amount of fat stored in our bodies and the hormone that is released when we have consumed enough food/energy for our bodies to function properly. John Berardi, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and nutrient biochemistry designed a 12 week fat loss system with IF being part of the system specifically because of its effects on Leptin. Several of his participants made some form of IF a part of their regimen and successfully lost fat!
- Increased sensitivity to insulin: The more sensitive your body is to insulin, the more likely you’ll be able to use the food you consume efficiently, making it less likely to be stored as fat.
- Improved Cholesterol Levels: After a 10 week trial study with 16 participants, both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides decreased. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/5/1138.full
There is NO “One Size Fits All” fat loss plan!!! Therefore, fasting for 16 hours won’t be right for everyone. Those who suffer from hypoglycemia or have diabetes should have a talk with their Doctor before making any adjustments to their eating schedule.
There is so much information I want to share with you about Intermittent Fasting that I’m splitting Fat Loss #4 into two emails :). In the next email I will refer you to a few sites for more specifics on IF and will talk about the following:
- Different examples of IF schedules
- Ways to help your body adjust to fasting
- What’s best for you…2, 3 or 4 meals daily?
- Training or doing cardio in a fasted state
Yours in Health and Wellness,