Whatever your fitness levels are, if you would like to kick it up a notch, I would suggest you look into the benefits of fasting. For many cultures, this has been practiced for thousands of years. So, why does it appear to becoming more main stream?
One word as to why it’s become more common and popular – Internet. As more research becomes available and more people are blogging about the health benefits, people are realizing that it’s actually beneficial to you. After searching around online, I was amazed at how many people are actually discussing this topic.
OK, so what the heck is intermittent fasting or IF?
It simply means to miss meals or severely restrict the amount of food you consume at meal time over a 24 hour period. There are multiple approaches and methods that people of all cultures utilize, including, missing meals, eating 1 time per day, consuming liquids only to not eating for 24 to 48 hours or longer. Why this method is really effective, is because you can design it to suite your own needs.
Many people can only do it for say 12 hours and need to eat something. If you are diabetic, hypoglycemic or pregnant, then you should be extra careful and discuss this with your doctor first.
You could do short and/or long term fasting depending on what your goals are overall. For many people, they will opt out of eating breakfast and wait for say 12 hours, then consume some food. Again, there are no exact rules when it comes to fasting. Each person is unique and needs to decide what is best for them. I would you encourage you try it out for 24 hours minimum. However, you still need to stay hydrated with lots of water.
I personally found after trying out various forms of intermittent fasting over the past several years, I function best on 24 hours. I have done 48 hours, but got kind of cranky. Some people do 48 hours without much of an issue. Again, it’s a personal trial and error process to find that sweet spot that works well for you.
If you do a Google search, you will find some of the more popular fasting routines include, Eat Stop Eat, The Warrior Diet, LeanGrains and Alternate Day fasting.
Are there any benefits to intermittent fasting?
- Weight loss – when you cut down on your calories – you will lose weight. Simple and highly effective.
- Fasting helps with normalizing your insulin sensitivity because your body will be forced to burn off their fat reserves.
- Helps with the production of the human growth hormone, which is important for your overall health.
- Assists with lowering the levels of your triglycerides
Some of the above programs promote a strict type of fasting, while other’s advocate very strict low calorie meals, that will still give you the benefit and lose weight.
Whatever you choose, it’s still important to exercise. When you combine intermittent fasting with exercise, you will actually increase your metabolism. The result, you lose more weight.
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