Today we discuss the latest health phenomenon and trend. Intermittent Fasting.
As a society, we have become obsessed with food. Obesity rates are soaring… globally. According to the most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, September 2018, adult obesity rates now exceed 35% in seven states, 30% in 29 states and 25% in 48 states. West Virginia has the highest adult obesity rate at 38.1% and Colorado has the lowest at 22.6%.
Fasting is a practice that has been around for years with much success. Basically, it is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food and drink, or both, for a period of time. Read further:- What is Intermittent Fasting and what are the benefits
So, What are the pros and cons of Intermittent Fasting?
Let us first highlight the “eating rules” we live by, and that have been taught for years!
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.
Make sure you eat six small meals throughout the day so your metabolism stays operating at maximum capacity all day”
But did you know that eating a big meal can make you sleepy rather than positioning you for optimum performance during the day ahead?
After you eat, the body streams more blood to the digestive system to better digest foods in massive amounts. This causes a temporary blood and nutrients shortage in the brain.
Skipping breakfast promotes mental and physical health improvement, maximum muscle retention, and body fat loss! However, if you absolutely love breakfast food, all you need to do is change the timing.
Eating 6 small meals per day means that you body is constantly getting fuel the body has to constantly digest, rather than tapping into the fat stores you already have in your body from previous meals. Eating 6 meals per day can also be stressful having to constantly think about it and prepare the meals.
Intermittent Fasting reduces stress around this issue, fewer meals to think about!
Weight loss occurs when calories are reduced. Skipping a meal, either breakfast or dinner, will reduce calorie intake.
As you have less time to eat, you eat less, and as a result, your stomach seems to shrink! As you eat less, you buy less and save money. Or if you have the money to spend, you can now buy better quality food or spend on activities.
Another positive consideration, is as you have embarked upon this lifestyle, you clearly want to be healthier. This means that you will make healthy choices rather than pulling up to a fast food restaurant and ordering that burger and chips! This is called mindfulness. Being in control and thinking!
Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle, not a diet and a quick fix to lose weight. Once you are at your goal weight, it is important to maintain it. Very difficult after following a strict diet, but not difficult if you have achieved the result using the Intermittent Fasting way… it’s a healthy lifestyle and you soon get into the rhythm. Should you wish to follow a diet, you can do it in conjunction with Intermittent Fasting. A popular eating plan is the KETO diet which is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that causes weight loss and provides numerous health benefits.
Did you know that exercising on an empty stomach is the secret to weight loss?
This is known as fasted cardio. During exercise, your body feeds on stored fat and carbohydrates for energy instead of the food you’ve recently eaten. This leads to higher levels of fat loss.
Exercising comes in all forms… walking, swimming, running, dancing, weight lifting, pilates, pole dancing… anything that gets your heart rate up ideally for 35 to 45 minutes per session. Exercise when it is convenient to you, then you will more likely stick to it.
So besides all the changes in your body that you can see and feel, such as weight loss, increased energy, increased focus and mindfulness, there are things happening in your body you may be unaware of.
Human growth hormone is increased during fasted states, and, when this is combined with the decrease in insulin production you are essentially priming your body for muscle growth and fat loss.
Fasting kickstarts important cellular repair processes. Autophagy, which is cell renewal, occurs in the body as each cell “eats” the bad parts of the cell, after which the cell regenerates.
Some research suggests that fasting helps fight cancer by lowering insulin resistance and levels of inflammation. Reducing Insulin Resistance which will lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes and now, research is showing a connection between depression and inflammation.
Looking good and feeling good is definitely a mood enhancer!
What could the cons be?
Some people believe that Fasting can be anti-social.
But this does not need to be true. As Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle choice, it is both convenient and flexible. If you know you need to attend a function, simply adjust your schedule. In order to be sustainable, it is important to make Intermittent Fasting fit your lifestyle… make it simple.
Hunger… some people fear hunger.
This can be controlled by eating high fiber foods which are known to suppress hunger. It is important to hydrate during the fasting window. Drink plenty of water and you can also drink black coffee and tea without sugar, milk or cream.
Some people are committed to the most extreme versions of Intermittent Fasting, OMAD which is One Meal A Day. Others prefer a 20 hour fast combined with a 4-hour eating window or even 16-hour fasts and 8 hours feasting. It is totally up to you!
Intermittent fasting is becoming very popular as myths of eating 3 meals per day are being debunked. We are learning more about how our bodies operate more efficiently and effectively, backed by science.
Intermittent Fasting is easier than you think… go for it, the pros most certainly outweigh the cons! We only have one body to live it, look after it! Healthy is the new skinny!
FURTHER RELATED READING:- What is Intermittent Fasting and what are the benefits
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