Intermittent fasting (I.F.) has become a widely known phenomenon that involves a period of one’s day where eating is halted. There are many reasons as to why a person may begin I.F., as it’s know to have a ton of health benefits. I.F. has been known to help people lose weight, control their hunger, gain clearer thought patterns, and improve overall health. Read more below to learn about intermittent fasting!
Programs, Time Blocks, or Alternate Days
Intermittent Fasting can be done in many different ways: blocks known as 12/12, 16/8, 18/4, or even alternating days. What the blocks are known for is time eating and time not eating. For example, 12 hours eating, 12 hours not eating, 16 hours eating, 8 hours not eating, etc. The time frame can be made up however you’d like to fit your schedule, however, if the time between eating isn’t long enough, you will not gain the true benefits of I.F. There are even people that will go an entire day without eating, known as alternating days. Alternating days will looks something like, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday – no food, and the rest, eat whenever you’d like. I.F. is great because each individual can pick and choose how they’d like to set up their own program and tailor it to their individuals needs.
Controlling Your Hunger
A major issue with eating includes the inability to know when you’re full and when to stop. Too often we find ourselves over-indulging in food, eating much more than we should. The inability to stop eating when one is full can have serious long term effects, if not taken care of. A person who can’t control their hunger will eventually become overweight, unhealthy, and be riddled with negative health effects. How can intermittent fasting help a person to stop overeating? If you take multiple days out of the week and fast for a block of time, you will begin to notice that your body is on a cycle. When you eat at the same time for years, your body becomes associated with eating at that time period, even if you’re not hungry. What I.F. helps with is being able to identify when you’re not really all that hungry. If you begin I.F,, you will notice that in the beginning it is very difficult as your body is accustomed to consuming. After a few days, your body will begin to adjust and your hunger during this time period will subside. I.F. helps you to realize that the body is not in need of food and you can actually go more time without eating, helping to restrict calories, letting the body heal and fully digest the food from your last meal.
Healing and Digestion
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, intermittent fasting is an incredible way to let the body heal and digest. One of our favorite benefits of I.F. is the ability to let your body heal and digest between meals. When you’re constantly eating, between meals and snacks, it’s impossible to let your body heal and digest everything it’s taken in. This can cause a myriad of problems, including bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and more. Letting your body fully digest its food helps with the ability to grow and rebuild cells, genes, and hormones. This is extremely beneficial to athletes when it comes to recovery, especially endurance and power athletes.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
Be sure to be mindful of what you eat during your allowed time period. Too often, we see people that set time blocks for when they can and can’t eat, just to ruin it by eating extremely unhealthy or indulging too much. If you give yourself an 8 hour time frame to eat, you still have to be smart about your food choices and how much you’re consuming. Granted, you probably won’t surpass your calorie limit, however, if you eat garbage food, you will become hungry during your break and potentially ruin your fast. It’s vital to your long term success that you eat wholesome foods while in your eating block. This will give you the greatest benefits of your fast.
One of the main reasons people start intermittent fasting is for weight loss. I.F. has been one of the main factors in helping people to lose weight. As stated previously, I.F. helps to restrict calories, improve digestion, reduce hunger, and absorb body fat. If done successfully, over a period of time, eventually your body will start burning fat during your fasting period. This, on top with all its other benefits, is a sure way to lower body fat and lose weight!
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