Do you need to eat three times a day to maintain your health? What if you could just have one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner instead? Well, this is the concept behind intermittent fasting. It’s when you consistently refrain from eating for 24 hours and then go back to eating normally the rest of the day. Intermittent fasting (also known as IF) has gotten a lot of attention in recent years.
The basic idea is that eating every four hours rather than twice a day means that you’re limiting how often you eat compared to when you eat ‘regular’, typically once per fast.
In practice, it means not eating anything afternoon on fast days and until 8 pm on other days. This way, your regular daily calorie intake is cut in half, while still getting about 1,000 calories from carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Intermittent fasting has been around for many years but gained popularity in the past few years due to its potential benefits.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is when you consistently refrain from eating for a period of time and then go back to eating normally the rest of the day. There are a number of ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most common is to fast on weekends. Here’s a look at how it works: You will typically fast for 24 hours (usually on the weekend).
During that time, you won’t eat any food of any kind. You will only drink water, coffee, tea, or a weak beverage that you’ll find at a 24-hour fast. The idea is that if you stop eating for a period of time, your body will stop eating as well. This means that during the 24 hours of fasting, your body will “starve”. It won’t have access to calories from food.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting isn’t a new concept. it’s been practiced for millennia. The ancient Egyptians and Hebrews outright fasted for 36 hours at the end of each month. The famous scientist Leonardo Da Vinci practiced intermittent fasting for 12 to 15 hours each day for 14 months. Today, people practice intermittent fasting in a variety of ways through diet, exercise, and medication.
Like other forms of dieting, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (which is not recommended by the American Heart Association), intermittent fasting is a type of diet that’s meant to be done on a short-term basis. The basic idea is that you won’t eat anything that’s been made “regular” for two days in a row that is, you won’t eat anything that’s been prepared and served to you twice a day.
Instead, you’ll drink water, coffee, tea, or your chosen beverage at one time or another during the fast. If you want to go longer without eating, you can break the fast into smaller meals or even have small snacks between meals.
The Dos and Don’ts of Intermittent Fasting
The primary benefit of intermittent fasting is lost weight, about 15% of your body weight is lost in the first week, 20% in the second, and so on. There are also possible side effects, including increased cholesterol, and blood pressure. And, of course, you should always make sure to keep your diet and exercise routine correct.
How to Start a 24-Hour Fast
There are a few different ways to go about this. The easiest way is to simply abstain from food from midnight until 8 am the next day. But that’s really only a good idea if you don’t plan on eating between noon and 8 pm the next day.
The next method is to use a sleeping mask. This is because, during the fasting hours, your brain is active, but your body is sleeping. So, by masking those hours with a sleeping mask, you get the same end result. The final method is the most complicated and requires you to drink your morning coffee while still lying in bed. This is known as “coffee fasting.”
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are a few major benefits of intermittent fasting, which you should know about before starting: Improved Mood – People who fast often report a mood improvement. This is likely because you’re giving your brain a break from the food chatter and stressors of daily life.
Consistent eating has been proven to be the main cause of obesity. Consistent fasting helps you get back to eating normal meals without having to count calories. Consuming healthy amounts of protein helps the body use insulin more effectively which can lead to better health.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight, improve your health, and boost your immunity. All you have to do is abstain from food from midnight to 8 am the next day and consume a normal diet the rest of the day. This is a flexible way to eat that doesn’t involve countdowns and food restrictions.