Fasting is definitely not a new thing, but today’s nutritionists have given it a modern twist. Even scientists have jumped on the fasting train! Many studies support the health benefits of fasting:
Relief for chronic inflammation
Improved blood sugar levels
Heart benefits (lower cholesterol and triglycerides)
Targeted burning of stubborn fat
Now, I’m not talking about going several days or weeks without eating anything. The type of fasting that's good for you is called intermittent fasting (IF). It's a more balanced approach that many people actually enjoy.
Everything You Need To Know About Intermittent Fasting
How does IF work? You just need to remember carbs, energy and fat burning.
Your body likes to use carbohydrates (sugars) as energy to fuel your heart, brain, muscles and many other systems. The problem is that most Americans eat so many carbs that there’s a huge surplus junk pile. All those extra carbs are what turn into long-term fat!
Short-term fasting gives your body some time to use up those extra carbs instead of adding fat to your waistline. During IF, insulin levels drop and fat cells start to get burned up.
Scientists finally understand that when you eat is just as important as what. Instead of skipping breakfast and eating a huge dinner, people who follow IF balance out carb consumption.
The Best Fasting Programs (in My Humble Opinion)
One way to fast is eating every other day, giving your body a full 24 hours to burn those carbs. My favorite option for fasting is following an 8-on, 16-off meal schedule. That means only eating between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., letting your body work overtime to use up fat.
Of course, you can change your eating time as long as it's relatively early in the morning to afternoon. For example, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is fine, but I wouldn't go later than that.
Tips for Better Fasting
As you can see, fasting isn’t as “scary” as it sounds at first. It’s not about starving yourself. It just requires a little self-control and eating during the times your body is active and burning calories. Here are some tips that help
Don’t go totally crazy with meals — but enjoy tasty food you like
Only eat when you’re actually hungry
Don’t eat late in the evening or at night
Stay active during the day
When you feel hungry, choose filling, nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and healthy proteins
Try pairing fasting with a Mediterranean or paleo diet
Is Fasting Safe?
Fasting isn't for everyone. People who take diabetes medication should avoid fasting because of the risk of crashes or spikes in blood sugar. Kids, teens and pregnant moms shouldn’t fast at all. Their bodies need a constant supply of nutrients. Anyone with a chronic disease should ask a doctor before trying IF.
For most adults, though, short-term fasting is perfectly safe. Even better, it's healthy for you!
The Bottom Line
To answer a common question: No, you don’t have to follow this routine all the time. What may surprise you is that you’ll probably actually enjoy it and keep going longer than you think.
In my case, after a few weeks, I noticed that my cravings for carbs and snacks actually disappeared. I literally didn’t feel hungry at night because my body had adapted to a healthy routine.
Try IF and let me know how you feel after 2 weeks!