A beginners guide to intermittent fasting

18 August, 2019

Intermittent fasting 101

Fasting isn’t a new concept – it’s one of the oldest dietary interventions in the world. Quite simply, it’s an eating pattern where you eat within a specific time period (usually 16  - 48 hours, or more), and fast the rest of the time.

Think about it: hunter gatherers didn’t have supermarkets and refrigerators, and as a result, we evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. For centuries, people have temporarily restricted their food intake for religious reasons. And more recently, intermittent fasting has gained traction for its incredible effects on disease and aging (as well as being an effective way to lose weight). Think of it as less of a diet plan and more of a lifestyle choice.

 

 

The health benefits

What can intermittent fasting do you for you? The answer: a lot. By giving your body a break from constantly digesting food, you’re working in a preventative way to ensure you reset your metabolic hormones, ward off chronic disease, improve memory and brain function, and boost your energy levels. Plus, it’s a powerful tool for loosing fat quickly, if that’s your goal. Can we get an amen?

 

Some key benefits include:

  • Boosts weight loss

  • Promotes autophagy (autophagy means ‘self eating’ and is when your healthy cells eat damaged and defective tissue in order to produce new healthy cells)

  • Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes

  • Helps lower bad cholesterol

  • increases BDNF (best described as the ‘brain’s growth hormone’)

  • Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

  • Reduce insulin resistance

  • Improves memory and boosts brain function

 

  

The two most popular intermittent fasting methods

If you’re looking to explore this new eating pattern, there’s a few popular methods – and it’s much easier than you think. Besides, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 meals per day. Side note: do you know who said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Kellogg’s. 

 

The 16/8 method

You eat all your food in an eight-hour window, and fast the other 16 hours. For example, you eat between 11am – 7pm, and then don’t eat again until the next morning. It’s probably not far off what you already do (and saves so much time!).

 

24-hour fast

You’ve guessed it: you fast for 24 hours once a week, and only drink water, black coffee, or tea.

Another popular method is to drink a bulletproof coffee in the morning. A bulletproof coffee has MCT oil and a small amount of grass-fed butter, and these healthy fats keep you satiated and fuller for longer (and your brain super sharp). Fat doesn;’t trigger digestion (which would break your fast). There is a tiny amount of protein in butter, and it’s debated between experts whether it impacts your fast, but generally agreed that it doesn’t.

 

Further research

Some experts we’d recommend to turn to for in-depth research and knowledge are: Dr Joe Mercola, Siim Land, and Dave Asprey.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC329619/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540982

https://www.salk.edu/news-release/another-case-against-the-midnight-snack/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996106003251

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2405717

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S193152441400200X

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11220789

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20534972

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332541

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017674/

http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(17)30612-5

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332541



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