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Your body needs food to function in a normal way. In fact, your body gets most of its energy from carbohydrates. But what if you could fast for 24 hours a day, and still have enough energy to function normally? In other words, what if you could intermittent fast (also known as intermittent eating or fasting)?
This is something that many people can do easily without even thinking about it. You may know someone who practices intermittent fasting or another practice that restricts your calories at certain times of the day.
For example, you may be on a weight loss plan and want to cut out added sugars and refined carbohydrates between meals. Or perhaps you work night shift and find it difficult to eat breakfast because this leads to overeating during the daytime. Or maybe you just feel like your taste buds adjust better to fasting than usual after a meal 24 hours previously. It doesn’t matter why you are doing it — most people will tell you that restricting your calories at night helps them sleep better too!
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How intermittent fasting is affecting your body and brain
As you might have already realised, your body is constantly looking for ways to obtain energy. The best source of this energy is carbohydrates, but your body also needs proteins, fats and vitamins during the day.
Additionally, your brain needs glucose to function properly, and it’s been shown that a fast (24-hour) time period is the most favourable time for your body to obtain this glucose.
The most common benefits of fasting
When your body is deprived of calories for extended periods of time, it starts to burn fat instead. While this is a good thing, it’s not something that happens automatically. To make this process more efficient and effective, your body has the ability to “load” proteins with carbon. This process increases the amount of “useful” protein in your system and helps your body to obtain the energy it needs.
How to fast
There are a number of ways to fast. Everyone’s body and situation is different so you’ll have to experiment a bit to find the method that works for you. There are many situations when you may want to fast for longer periods of time — for example, you’re on a diet or training program. Some people also fast during pregnancy to gain a better understanding of how this affects your body and brain. Here are some general tips for fasting:
Drink plenty of water
This is very important because when your body is not getting calories, water is the only thing that is released into your system. It is also important because when you are hungry, your body wants to release the same water that is in your system as a signal that you have eaten.
Avoid eating late at night
As soon as you go to bed, your body starts to process food again. So, by waking up in the morning, you are just putting yourself back at risk of gaining weight.
Limit your caffeine
Caffeine interferes with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, which can make it harder for your body to get enough sleep at night. Avoid eating sugary foods – Most fruits and vegetables contain natural sugars and are therefore not good choices when you are on a diet.
Tips for fasting well
If you are not feeling hungry;
Eat a small meal every 3-4 hours
This may seem like a lot, but it is important to keep your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) high. So, by limiting the number of times you eat, you will be able to achieve this and stay leaner.
Drink unpasteurized, natural, spring water
This is the best choice for your body and may help you cleanse your system and experience better health outcomes.
This may help with muscle loss and is good for your body, but you should avoid strenuous exercises that make you sweat as this can lead to weight gain.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to put your body’s energy back into gear. While the process of inducing fasting may not seem appetizing at first, you’ll quickly realize that it is very effective at helping you lose weight and gain muscle while boosting your metabolism.
In fact, the ability of intermittent fasting to increase metabolism is so great that it can be used as a tool to treat obesity and staving off aging! Your body will be fuelled by fat and energy, and you’ll feel great doing it!