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Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
There is a lot of talk today about using intermittent fasting for weight loss. It basically is going for some time with just water, black coffee, and green tea. It really is that simple, but it can sound very overwhelming.
If you are wondering if it really works, if you can do it and if it is a good option for you, then read on. It is very easy, cheap and the benefits are well worth any objections you may have. Remember it is an age-old practice that many of our ancestors did regularly & that even Jesus spoke of.
I will outline here exactly how to fast for weight loss is, the benefits and how you can start this very moment!
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.
The benefits of fasting are just so amazing! I have not only lost weight, but I have increased energy, a clearer mind – no brain fog, I have healed many different inflammations throughout my body and my ‘normal’ signs of aging have been reduced.
The Benefits Include:
- Helps to heal digestion
- Reduces Inflammation – promotes cellular healing
- Increases hormone sensitivity/insulin resistance
- Your growth hormone is raised
- Your body will begin to be a fat burner
- slows the aging process
Fasting will not only help to clear your thinking and concentration, but it will also give you a ‘protection’ from chronic diseases, like diabetes that we see so much of today. It also provides you with a stronger immune system. Since starting intermittent fasting, I have had 1 cold. That’s it!
Autophagy is another great benefit of intermittent fasting for weight loss. This is where the cells of your body actually break down and consume the old, weak and damaged tissue cells that your body does not need anymore. This regeneration is a natural process where our bodies heal themselves.
But, if you eating all through the day, your body will never get a chance to really dig deep and get rid of those useless cells.
Autophagy really ramps up when you are fasting for 16 hours or more. Autophagy can be increased by exercise, but not as much as fasting can do.
Research on intermittent fasting stratagies, mostly in animal models, has indicated it can increase lifespan by as much as 30%, ~ according to Mark Mattson, a senior investigator for the National Institute on Aging, part of the US National Institutes of Health. ~ Source
That quote is just one of many taken from studies and experts all agreeing that fasting has big benefits. It helps you deal with stress, and has a positive effect on one’s lifespan. Meaning you could live longer and be healthier while doing so.
The brain is also protected and it has been shown to run more efficiently when in the fasted state. I experience this daily especially when into my fast 18 plus hours. My energy and mental clarity are noticeably increased. As I sit typing this I am 21 hours fasted and have so much energy!
Types Of intermittent fasting
So, when talking about intermittent fasting, usually you are looking at a time when you are fasting and when you are eating. Intermittent fasters call the time you eat your ‘window’.
Often my kids ask me if my window is open. They are simply asking me if I’m eating right now. Or they ask if my window is closed meaning if I am done eating for the day.
The typical hours or fasts are 16:8, 18:6, 20:4 or Alternate day fasting (ADF). 16:8 simply means you fast for 16 hours daily and you eat 2 meals in 8 hours. 18:6 means you fast 18 hours and eat 2 meals in 6 hours and so on.
Of course the longer the fast the more benefits you will get in the long run. But the thing with fasting is that you can choose based on your results. There are no set rules.
I usually do 20:4 during the week and 18:6 on Saturday. I typically will have one meal a day which is referred to OMAD. There are many variations of this and I have come up with one that works for me.
Depending on your health goals will determine which regime is right for you.
How to Begin Intermittent Fasting For Weight loss.
First off you don’t want to jump right in and do a 20 hour fast. Most people have to ease into it. I started with fasting for 12 hours. From six in the evening till six in the morning I would fast. Then week by week I would push my breakfast back until I could comfortably go without breakfast altogether.
I will say that eating a low carb diet, such as keto, got me into a state of ketosis or ‘fat-burning’ before fasting, so I was not hungry. I had been keto for 4 months so fasting came easy. My body didn’t’ need or crave the carbs.
If keto isn’t for you, then I would suggest a low carb diet. This will not only improve your health but bring more benefits with intermittent fasting combined. It will help to rid your liver of glycogen stores so that fasting will have increased benefits.
Taking it slow and working it into your daily life will bring you many benefits and bring them quicker than you may think!
The biggest hurdle, in the beginning, is the cravings for carbs and sugars. So if you can slowly wean yourself off of these it will make it easier. When you are hungry just ask yourself, am I truly hungry or am I craving something. Most time it is not true hunger.
Often, in the beginning, I would just ride out the hunger waves and they would pass. Natural Sea salt was my best friend for passing hunger pains. A pinch on your tongue will take hunger away almost immediately.
I want to help you with this journey if you so decide to start. I am not an expert, but have been intermittent fasting for over a year I do have a lot of experience and will share what I know along with what I continue to learn.
What really happens when you fast?
Below is a video by Dr. Eric Berg explaining what is happening in your body when you fast. I have learned a lot from him. Although experts have different opinions on details, most will agree with what is going on in your body when you are fasting.
A lot of good information there! Our bodies are truly amazing creations!
What to Consume During a Fast
If you have decided to begin intermittent fasting to improve your health or for weight loss or both you will have to follow one rule that will make your efforts.
That rule is making sure that you follow a ‘clean fast’. This means that you will consume only water (regular or sparkling), black coffee and/or plain green tea. Don’t overcomplicate it – it is as simple as that!
Any type of flavoring or sweet taste will break your fast and put into jeopardy all of your hard work. Bitter or salty taste will not do that. Making sure you fast as clean as possible will ensure your positive progress! We are not doing this for nothing, right?
Remember – once you eat or take any flavor of any kind you are no longer fasting – you are eating!
Last Words on Intermittent fasting for weight loss
You may want to check with your Doctor before beginning especially if you have several health problems. But, just start slow and you will be able to ease into a more regular intermittent fasting lifestyle.
Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, make sure you are getting enough salt – so important! I just add salt to my water and black coffee throughout the day 🙂
I look forward to hearing from you. Your experience, your questions and definitely your results!
A Catholic mom of 10 & a Deacon’s wife.
I Help Inspire Christian Women to Grow in Their Faith & Share with Others, Improve their Health, and Create Whole-Life-Wellness From the Inside Out.