Intermittent fasting is one of few ways you can lose weight, gain muscle and detox the body without changing your diet. How? By changing when you eat, not what you eat or the amount you eat. It’s simple. One change that can be adapted to suit different lifestyles and schedules.
But before you try it out, there are a few things you ought to know before you begin!
Intermittent fasting improves digestion
Most of the body’s energy is used up during digestion, which gives little to no room for repair. Especially because each meal, depending on what we eat, can take up to four hours to digest, and usually, we’re already on to our next meal.
One of the reasons sleep is so regenerative and important is because we don’t eat during that period. So by extending the fasting window (time not eating) from the time we sleep - either a few hours before bed or after we wake up - we can significantly enhance our body’s ability to repair and regenerate itself.
Through mechanisms like apoptosis, the body can kill off inefficient cells and remove them from the body, and autophagy, where the body can metabolise foreign bodies, pathogens, bacteria, and viruses. Making the body more efficient and able to repair itself.
Intermittent fasting enhances ketosis. Ketosis is when the body begins to burn fat as a fuel source instead of glucose (sugar). Ketosis increases fat metabolism and weight loss, while intermittent fasting also increases human growth hormone and stimulates muscle growth. Making intermittent fasting a powerful way to transform body composition and enhance performance.
Other ways to enhance the effects of fat loss are the keto diet and taking MCT oil.
Types of intermittent fasting
Is a time-restricted eating window of 8 hours and a fasting period of 16 hours (including sleep time). The time of day/night you eat is flexible. Meaning your eating window could be from 7am to 3pm, 10am to 6pm, 12pm to 8pm or whatever works for your schedule.
Alternate day fasting
This is about intermittent calorie restriction. Where every alternate day you restrict your calories to a quarter of your normal calories, usually around 500 calories.
Similar to alternate day fasting, with less effort, and incredible results. For two days of the week, you restrict your calories to 500-600 calories and for the rest of the week, you’re able to eat whatever you want.
Which type of intermittent fasting is best?
16:8 is perfect if it’s something you can keep up daily. Shifting the hours on occasion will still make this method effective, but if you find yourself unable to maintain it for two plus days a week, 5:2 might be a better alternative.
If you’re a woman, a variation of this that works best with our hormonal cycle and is called 14:10 - fasting for fourteen hours and eating for ten hours.
Alternate day fasting can be really effective but takes a lot of willpower (which is finite) and not sustainable. If it’s something you want to try one week a month, it could be an effective strategy, otherwise, time-restricted eating may be more suitable.
The 5:2 diet is wonderful if you can handle calorie restriction. If you have any history of disordered eating or yo-yo dieting, avoid this. However, if you’re someone who has no history of this, and thrives on a disciplined schedule, 5:2 is a great method. It’s easier to sustain than alternate day fasting and more effective long-term.
If you want to lose weight, improve digestion, detox your body, or increase your energy, give one a go and let us know...
What method of intermittent fasting will you try and why?
Or if you’ve tried intermittent fasting we’d love to hear what worked for you and what didn’t! Let us know in the comments below.