Intermittent Fasting: A Beginners Guide
Intermittent fasting is a SUPER simple method anyone can use to help leanify their lives. Although it is quite simple to do, before starting intermittent fasting, there are a few key things you should know! Here are all the basic whats and how’s of intermittent fasting so you can get started on your fasting journey!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
We have all heard the term fasting before, but what does it MEAN? Fasting basically means not consuming any calories for a certain period of time. What about intermittent? Intermittent means not continuous or steady, periodically or in intervals. Put these 2 terms together and what do you get?! Holding off from consuming calories for certain time intervals! The most basic and common fasting to eating period within a day (24 hours) is 16 hours of fasting with a 8 hour eating window. Now at first this can sound intimidating, I bet your thinking, how am I supposed to refrain from eating for 16 hours Phil?! Well, if you think about it, we all already fast without even noticing! When we sleep at night, we are fasting! Most of us sleep around 8 hours at night, so that is already half of your fasting time! This is where the term breakfast comes from, as it is the first meal in the day, we are BREAKING our FAST!
What does Fasting do?
Looking at fasting from a more scientific lens, it all comes does to glycogen, insulin and glucagon. When we eat, our body stores glycogen as an energy source in our livers. When fasting, these glycogen stores become depleted and our bodies have to find another source of energy. When you are in a fasted state, your insulin levels also drop. Insulin is responsible for converting glucose (which comes from sugars and carbs we consume) into fats, when your insulin levels drop, your levels of glucagon increase. Glucagon is responsible for converting FAT into GLUCOSE. So basically what all this means, is when your glycogen stores become depleted and your insulin levels drop, glucagon steps in and turns you into a FAT BURNING MACHINE! Since you are not consuming any food, our bodies use fat as its main fuel source and pulls this fat from what you already have stored in your body!
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There are SO many benefits to fasting, but there are a few main reasons why I believe fasting is LEANMAZING!
Simple and easy - As I have previously mentioned, fasting is super simple and easy for anyone to do. It all comes down to holding off from eating food for a couple extra hours in the morning and at night. It is such a small change to get so many amazing benefits! You can find a way to fit fasting into almost any lifestyle!
Aids in fat loss - For all those squadies out there trying to lose weight, fasting is definitely one of the most efficient ways to do so! With intermittent fasting, you are able to lose tons of weight in FAT while still keeping all your MUSCLE MASS! If you are already on a lean plan and are eating healthy meals and exercising regularly, fasting will help speed up the fat loss process so you can get LEAN FASTER!
More effective HIIT - HIIT is already such a great way to burn body fat, pair this with fasting, and you are able to burn even more fat in a short period of time!
Lifestyle - As someone who is always traveling, fasting is a helpful tool for me to be able to stay lean while traveling. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, fasting can be easily done! Fasting is not only great for traveling, but is also helpful to me as a busy person on a regular basis. Since I am not focusing on eating for most of the day, I have more time to spend with family.
How to get Started
As previously mentioned, the most common fasting to eating ratio is a 16 hour fast and a 8 hour eating period. Although you will see results quicker by fasting daily, when starting off, you can either fast for shorter periods of time within the day OR you can choose certain days in a week to fast. Be flexible, you don’t have to be super strict with yourself right away. This can help you ease into the idea of fasting, and give your body a chance to get used to it. You can start off with a 12 hour fast and work your way up to 16 hours when you are ready. During your eating window, make sure you are eating the proper foods, and are getting all your nutrients in. This will help you to stay satisfied for longer throughout your fast, and it will prevent any negative side effects such as fatigue or hunger. Remember to always listen to your body, follow whichever hour ratio works best for your body and lifestyle! As long as you are fasting for at least 12 hours, you are getting the benefits of intermittent fasting!
There you have it Squadies! The basics of fasting! Look out for future posts diving deeper into intermittent fasting!