Intermittent fasting became popular during the year 2012. This type of weight-loss strategy focuses not on what kind of food you consume, but rather when you eat your food. In other words, the time you consume your food is more important than how much carbs you take.
With intermittent fasting, there are certain hours within the day that you will not consume any food. This state of fasting can range from 12 to 18 hours.
The Process of IF and the Effect on the Body
Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar by your body. This is what the body uses for energy. When the cells don’t use this energy, it becomes fat in the body. Sugar enters the system with the help of insulin, which is a protein hormone in the pancreas. Insulin keeps sugar inside the fat cells.
When you don’t eat (during the hours within the fast), the insulin levels go down and the fat cells are forced to release their stored sugar to be used by the body for energy. This process results in weight loss.
The idea of IF is that the insulin levels go down so that you will be able to burn your body fat naturally.
Different Kinds of Intermittent Fasting And How They Help You Manage Your Weight
If you are interested in adopting IF in your daily life, then these are the two most common types of intermittent fasting that you need to know about:
- Fasting for 16 hours or the 16:8 Method
This type of IF requires that you fast for 16 hours and allow yourself to eat during the 8 hours in between. Usually, people do this by eating their first meal during lunch, but the exact schedule depends on the most convenient time for you since not everyone has the same day-to-day schedule. Just make sure that you are only eating within an 8-hour period.
Fasting gives your organs and hormones a “break” from insulin resistance. High insulin levels in the body are a trigger to many diseases. The break also purges the cravings and the tendency to binge eat which is not healthy.
Following this method has helped obese people in the past to lose weight without having to burden themselves with having to count the calories of everything that they consume. Others who have a hard time sticking with prescribed meal plans have chosen this approach to be much easier and effective.
- Fasting for 18 hours or the 18:6 method.
After 12 hours and you are still pressing on, your body has now switched from fat-burning to ketones generating. High levels of ketone in your bloodstreams result in damaged repair of your DNA and reduce inflammation in your body.
The 18:6 method means that you have six hours to eat and then you fast for 18 hours. This looks something like eating your first meal at 12:00 pm and then eating your last meal before 6:00 pm. You will not eat until 12:00 pm the next day. Going to bed not having a full stomach helps you lose weight. This type of plan also holds a lot of flexibility for your schedule.
Some of the effects of this type of IF is more energy, improved digestion, and better sleep. In addition to this, it raises the growth of your hormones and lowers your insulin level all of these lead to more fat burning.
As soon as your fasting period ends, you will have to eat! It is highly recommended that you break your fast with a nutritious meal. Eating a healthy balanced meal will improve the health of your cells and tissues that recently went regeneration during your fast. Take note that breaking a fast with lots of carbs and sugars will result in an unhealthy rise in the levels of your blood sugar. Check out this informative guide on ‘A balance for health‘.
Upon consuming carbohydrates, glucose from the blood stimulates insulin release from your pancreas. This increases the sensitivity to insulin of your cells. The benefits of this process are better synaptic plasticity, enhanced cognition, and better stress resistance.
Remember that before you do any kind of intermittent fasting, especially if you are planning on doing long hours, you should first consult with your trusted doctor. Seek advice as to what will work best with your body regarding your body type and your purpose in doing the fast. Different hours produces different results in your body. Remember that the point of this is not just to lose weight but to achieve a healthier body.