What if I told you that you could be stronger and leaner by simply altering your mealtimes? Lately, the ancient practice of intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity, and for good reason. There is evidence that it could be the secret to lasting weight loss and health, and it doesn’t even involve extra exercise. You may not appreciate the eating less part, but you’ll definitely enjoy the fact that you’ll be visiting the gym less frequently while still getting the body you want. With the intermittent diet, you’ll be consuming all of your food in an 8 hour window of time, and fasting for 16 hours before beginning it all over again the next day.
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK?
The goal of intermittent fasting is to go without food for a period of 16 to 19 hours. Therefore, only eating meals between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm every day (or whichever window of 8 hours works for you). During this time, it is still important to be conscious of the foods you’re putting into your body. Pigging out and eating junk food isn’t an option, you want to break your fast (or “break-fast”) with healthy foods. Fasting for these long periods of time will kick-start your metabolism and help you lose weight. By limiting your eating to an 8-hour window, you will give your body ample time to reset, kicking your metabolism into high-gear during the fasting or fat burning periods, resulting in weight loss.
THE 8-HOUR DIET
David Zinczenko and Peter Moore, authors of the book The 8-Hour Diet, claim that just three days of fasting is all it takes to reset a person’s metabolism. After three days of intermittent fasting, the body is then able to efficiently burn fat all day long. Fasting allows the body to use fat as a primary source of energy instead of sugar, therefore keeping your body leaner.
1. HELP IMPROVE YOUR INSULIN SENSITIVITY.
What does that mean? Fasting lets your body tolerate carbohydrates (sugar) better than if you didn’t fast at all. According to Burn Fat Not Sugar, when you are fasting, your insulin is low so the body starts burning stored body fat from your fat cells and using it for energy instead of glucose – but when you’re not fasting and are instead eating, your insulin is elevated and the extra calories you consume are stored in your body as fat cells. When insulin is present in the body, your body stops burning fat and instead burns the glucose from your last meal.
2. SPEEDS UP YOUR METABOLISM.
By giving your digestive system a rest during your fasting period you are actually allowing your body to energize your metabolism, which then lets you burn calories more efficiently. If you have a weak digestive system, the fasting diet may be for you. Intermittent fasting helps give your body time to recover, regulating your digestive system and improving your bowel movements in the process.
3. IMPROVES YOUR HUNGER.
Consider the process of fasting as a reset button-allowing your body and your hormones a chance to re-calibrate. We often tend to over eat or give in to cravings, but fasting will allow your hunger hormones to rest, letting your body know what real hunger feels like. During fasting, drinking plenty of water is very important. A wholesome diet made up of real foods is also critical for optimal energy and health, so avoid processed foods
4. HELPS IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION.
Not only does fasting reduce stress and inflammation, but it also increases a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to ailments such as depression. In animals, it has been shown to protect against brain damage attributed to strokes.
5. GIVES YOU A STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM.
Fasting has been shown to improve risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. It can also clear the body of toxins and regulate other organs in the body such as the liver and kidneys. Your skin will also show improvements- acne and skin conditions such as eczema will clear up faster when the body is fasting.
6. ENJOY A LONGER LIFE.
In a study conducted by The Journal of Gerontology, scientists tested how intermittent feeding would affect the lifespan of adult rats. What they discovered is that the rats who were fed every other day has a decrease in body weight as well as a higher life expectancy than the rats who were fed daily. Although these are animals, we know that our bodies age faster when our metabolism slows down. We also know that fasting give the digestive system a break, which keeps our metabolism up. Therefore, fasting may very well be a key component toa long and healthy life!
Fasting doesn’t just keep you lean and re-balance your hormones, it completely changes your body! Prevent future ailments and live a longer and healthier life by simply tweaking your mealtimes. Find the 8 hour window that works for you, and eat all of your meals then. For the next 16 hours, let your body do the work and watch your fat melt away!