Intermittent Fasting 101: don’t eat. I kid. But not really though. Chances are if you’re trying to lose weight or eating a ketogenic diet you’ve heard about Intermittent fasting. On Instagram I talk alot about my 40 day fasts and I’ve received many questions about intermittent fasting. I’m all about providing resources for people in plain and simple language. Intermittently fasting and eating keto is a fat burning combo. I explain in my keto-for dummies post about how eating a ketogenic diet burns fat, but coupled with intermittent fasting, you’re sure to reach your weight loss goals in record amounts of time. If you’re new to a ketogenic diet you may benefit from checking out my How to Start Keto post which is a part of my Keto For Dummies Series.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. You eat for a period of time, and you don’t eat for a period of time. Generally, you need to refrain from consuming calories for a minimum of 12-hours to to be in a fasted state.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
16:8 intermittent fasting is one of the most common types of fasting. When doing a 16:8 fast you eat within an 8-hour window, and fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. This type of fast is recommended for beginings because it is sustainable and could be done everyday, or a few days a week. It’s also a great way to get back into ketosis quickly after a cheat day.
24 Hr Fasting (OMAD)
OMAD stands for “One-Meal-A-Day”. This is a different type of intermittent fasting. When doing OMAD the goal is to only eat once during the day and fast for the rest of the day (usually a full 24 hours) before eating again. All food that is consumed during the day is typically consumed in one sitting. This type of eating is beneficial as it keeps insulin and blood sugar levels low throughout the entire day.
Extended fasting is loosely defined as fasting for any period of time longer than 24 hours. While it might be shocking to many, more and more people are beginning to use extended fasting as a tool to promote mental clarity, heal their bodies, and on a more relevant note — lose weight. This type of fasting is not recommended for beginners and should only be done by experienced fasters.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
I really don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of the science behind the benefits of intermittent fasting in this post. I just want to give you the information in the most easy to understand way.
1)Decreases Insulin Levels (Increases Insulin Sensitivity)
Insulin is the fat storage hormone. Whenever you eat, your blood sugar rises. To regulate your blood sugar, insulin rises as well. You want to keep your insulin levels low because if you constantly keep it elevated you will store more fat. When you’re eating all the time, your blood sugar remains elevated and your insulin levels elevate as a result, leaving you more susceptible to store the fat you’re consuming as opposed to buring it. You burn fat what your insulin levels are kept low. Keeping your insulin levels low facilitates fat-burning.
2) Weight Loss
This one might seem obvious but it’s pretty hard to consume the amount of calories you’d consume in 24 hours in a period of 8 hours. Due to the fact that you eat less calories while intermittently fasting, you tend to lose weight as a result. It boosts your metabolic rate, as well as lowers the amount of food you consume in a day. Thus fulfilling the calories in, calories out hypothesis.
3) Increases Human Growth Hormone
4) Regulates Blood Sugar (Type-2 Diabetes)
What Breaks a Fast?
While it depends on why you’re fasting, generally anything with calories breaks a fast. Anything that is not water, black coffee, or black tea breaks a fast. This is not a hard and fast rule. Personally I like to keep it pretty simple when fasting. I drink apple cider vinegar with some warm water in the mornings and a table spoon or two has ~ 5 calories which won’t kick me out of a fasted state because that amount of calories is negligible. Some people drink diet soda during the day, and while I don’t encourage that, if it works for you then go for it.
Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone (especially if you’re under the age of 18, or breastfeeding but if you think you can skip a few meals here or there I’d encourage you to try it out. It’s done wonders for so many people and helped speed up their weight loss especially when eating a ketogenic diet.
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