Intermittent fasting has been around for a long time and there are many ways people can approach it. Everyone has different reason for intermittent fasting/fasting. I’m going to help you understand what is intermittent fasting about and why people do it. I’m sure you will find some helpful information here regardless if you are trying to find a different way to lose weight, stay lean year round, or find a better and easier way of dieting to reach your goal.
Understanding intermittent fasting – ketosis state/fasted state
For someone to really understand what intermittent fasting does and how it affects your body you must start by understanding how your body works. When your body goes for a certain amount of days or hours without any food it enters into a ketosis state. Some people may take 2-3 days before they enter into this state and some can reach this state in as little as 16 hours.
It all depends on the individuals body type, eating habits, weight and how they chose to approach their fasting method. The longer you remain in ketosis the longer your body will burn fat naturally. For those of you who would like to know when your body is in ketosis try these keto strips and get your results in 40 seconds.
Of course not having any calorie intake for to 2-3 days sounds pretty crazy and most people are not willing to do that. This is where intermittent fasting comes in to help work your way around that. Not everyone focuses on intermittent fasting just to reach a ketosis state. Some people do intermittent fasting for other reasons which I will get into later. But for now I’m going to explain the process your body takes in order to reach ketosis.
What happens in the body in order to reach ketosis
1: Deplete glucose / glycogen in the body:
When your body starts to run low on carbs, blood glucose (sugar) levels drop. In response your body turns to your liver for glycogen (the stored form of glucose in the liver) to help raise your blood sugar. Once your glycogen has been depleted for a source of energy your body will move on to burning fat which leads us to step number 2.
2: Breaking down fats:
With a depleted amount of glucose, your insulin levels drop which causes your body to stop burning sugar for fuel and start burning fat. Fat stores are then released into the bloodstream which get converted into an energy molecule called ketones.
3: Start making ketones :
Your body will start making ketones in the liver to meet its energy demand. Once ketones get produced you will naturally start to burn fat. To keep producing ketones you must keep insulin levels down. A method of doing this is by sticking to a fat rich diet with some protein and little carbs. This diet is called the keto diet or ketogenic diet. (This does not mean you should cut carbohydrate out of your diet completely!)
*Note: Using a keto diet with an intermittent fasting method will help you stay in a ketosis state longer and easier.
3 Different methods of intermittent fasting
16/8 intermittent fasting Method:
There are many different methods of fasting and one of the most common one is fasting for 16 hours and eating for the other 8 hours in a 24-hour period. I do not recommend jumping right into it, especially if you are new to fasting. To avoid all the belly aches, headaches, and dizziness most people encounter when first starting off try to slowly work your way into it.
People who usually skip breakfast or just have a small snack in the morning may find it easier to get into this intermittent fasting method than people who eat breakfast every day.
So for example lets say your last meal of the previous day was at 9:00 PM. You would simply count 16 hours from there which means you will have your first meal at 1:00 PM the next day. Now you will have an 8-hour eating window and have your last meal at 9:00 PM. Rinse and repeat from there !
Some people who do this method will even tweak it a bit to their liking. For example, they will do a 17 hour to 18 hour fast depending on how it fits into their schedule and only have a 7-6 hours eating window. Everyone is different and have different goals which is completely fine. Do what works for best for you !
Alternate day fasting method:
This methods in tales that you will eat every other day. I recommend that you have some experience fasting before getting into this type of fasting.
Some people who practice this will have a very little amount of calories (350-700 calories) to none at all on the day they fast. This method for most is not sustainable long term. But there are people who would practice it if they were trying to get extra lean for a physique competition or if they have some weight goals to reach.
Alternate day fasting method example:
Monday – eat
Tuesday – fast
Wednesday – eat
Thursday – fast
Warrior diet method:
This method most people know as the warrior diet method. Others may call it the one meal a day method. It was created by Ori Hofmekler a fitness expert. What this diet consist of is having very small snacks like nuts, fruit, yogurt, tea, coffee, or lemon water throughout the day. But not so much to spike insulin too high. Then before your day is over have one big meal which will consist of most, if not all your calories for the day.
Of course having some small snacks throughout the day will kick you out of a fasted state. But it will help you maintain low insulin levels since you are not consuming too much food at once. Until you get to your big meal your insulin level should be kept low. Some people will just eat one big meal for the day and not consume any calories prior to that meal.
Why people practice intermittent fasting
You would think that most people will practice intermittent fasting for weight loss only but there are other benefits that come a long with it. From losing weight to keeping a clear mind here are some benefits that come with fasting.
Intermittent fasting is effective for:
- Fat loss (not muscle loss)
- Natural weight loss
- Improving insulin sensitivity
- Balancing cholesterol levels
- Keeping blood sugar levels stable
- Regulating hormones
It also has a lot of metal health benefits such as:
- Improve mental Clarity
- Boost memory
- Preventing neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s and epilepsy
And last but not least it can help with your overall health such as:
- Improve longevity
- Improve body’s Immune system
- Brian function
- Reduce stress levels
- Better blood circulation
- Preserves learning capabilities
- Increase growth hormones naturally
What is intermittent fasting about ?
To be straight to the point intermittent fasting is mainly to get into a ketosis state. Think of intermittent fasting as a tool that can help you get into ketosis faster and stay in it longer. Once in a ketosis state and the more you practice fasting, you will see and feel the difference.
Regardless if you are looking to get lean, lose weight naturally or improve mental health. Intermittent fasting has many benefits that anyone would be able to take advantage of. Getting started with intermittent fasting takes some discipline but so does everything else in life you wish to improve. Find an intermittent fasting method that works best for you and your schedule.
Thanks for reading ! If you have questions or find this information helpful please comment below !
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