You’re probably living under a rock if you’ve not heard about intermittent fasting because it’s one of the most popular health and fitness trends right now.
It was the most googled diet last year.
I got on the intermittent fasting plan in 2016 when I finally decided to do something about my weight and relationship with food and it was really transformative for me.
I lost about 30kg in six months but weightl oss wasn’t the only benefit I got on this plan.
The biggest thing was how drastic my cravings reduced and I’ve been able to keep the extra weight off.
Intermittent fasting is a feeding plan that alternates between fasting and feeding periods, the goal is to systematically starve the body long enough to trigger fat burning.
While research is still being done and the method may not be suitable for everyone, there is evidence that when done correctly it can help lose weight, lower blood pressure and cholesterol prevent/ control diabetes and improve brain health.
When we eat, nutrients in food are broken down into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream and is transported into the various organs where it serves as the major energy source.
Excess glucose is stored for later in the liver and adapose tissues as glycogen and fat.
In between meals, when the body is in the fasted state, the liver converts glycogen back to glucose to supply the body with energy.
Typically, an inactive persons takes about 10 to 12 hours to use up the glycogen stores, although someone who exercises may do so in much less time.
Once the reserve of glucose is used up, the body taps into energy source in the adapose tissues.
This is when fats are broken down into metabolic fuel called ketones, which are also tremendous for modulating inflammation in the brain.
This is why people on intermittent fasting plan will experience a reduce in brain fog.
If the fast lasts long enough, the body burns fat for energy.
You’ll lose all that extra fat and losing this extra fat has been associated with a range of health benefits.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for driving glucose into the cells, so it is regulated to match the amount of glucose in the blood, which is high after a meal and low between meals.
Because insulin is secreted after each meal, eating throughout the day keeps insulin levels high most of the time.
Constant high insulin levels may desensitize body tissues, causing insulin insensitivity, the hallmark of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Fasting helps keep insulin levels low, reducing the risk of diabetes.
Fasting however is not for everyone. You shouldn’t attempt this feeding plan if you are a child or teen, pregnant or breastfeeding, have an eating disorder or underweight.
Or if you’re dealing with diabetes type 1 or advanced diabetes and some other health issues.
Please consult your doctor or physician before going on this plan.
For intermittent fasting to be safe and effective, it must be combined with balanced meals that provide good nutrition.
It is important to stay hydrated and avoid overeating, especially unhealthy food when breaking your fast and during your feeding window.
Next week I’ll write a complete beginners guide to intermittent fasting for those that are curious, and common mistakes that may be stalling your results.