Intermittent fasting seems to be all the new rage. I had personally never heard of it until about a month or so ago from my friend Michael. We were out at a bar and I noticed he was only drinking water. When I asked why, he said he was intermittent fasting. He told me a bit about it, and I thought he was crazy. The night went on.
A few days later, another friend of mine mentioned they were doing this “intermittent fasting” thing. I thought it was just a coincidence knowing two people who were following the same regiment.
Finally, about a week later, I asked a coworker one morning if he wanted anything from the breakfast shop I was stopping at. He replied with “I can’t eat before 9 am.” When I asked why, he said it was because he was intermittent fasting.
Finally I said to myself, “Twice is a coincidence, but three times is not.” So, the research began, and here’s what I have found.
Intermittent Fasting: What is it?
Despite hearing about this for the first time not too long ago, and perhaps you’re in the same boat, intermittent fasting has actually been around since the dawn of the human age. The entire philosophy of it is more on WHEN you eat, and not so much what you eat.
If you look back to the time before we had technology to make our lives easier, when there wasn’t things such as freezers and refrigerators to extend the longevity of our food supply, we essentially had to eat our food as we got it. Hunters and gatherers had to eat as food was available, and their bodies had to learn to function for longer periods of time without consuming.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
So if we have the ability to guarantee our food supply every day in today’s day and age, why are people still using intermittent fasting? Well, studies show it has some major health benefits! Not only does it work extremely well in both losing fat and gaining muscle, it has many cellular and biological effects.
Increase in Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Fasting has been proven to shoot your body’s production of Human Growth Hormone through the roof. HGH is a huge aid in both losing fat and building muscle. It’s so helpful, that for years scientists studied and eventually recreated it in a supplemental form, and it has often been used by bodybuilders to increase lean muscle mass and shred body fat.
Increase Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin regulates the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Intermittent fasting has been proven to increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing your body to more easily access your stored fat to be used as energy.
Body Cleanup through Cell Regeneration
Over time, your body gets clogged up with dead cells, along with protein, calcium, and other nutrient build up. While in a fasted state, your body is able to digest and get rid of old, dead cells and other nutrient build up that is no longer benefitting you.
All of these effects combined are what make up the major overall health benefits to intermittent fasting.
How to Begin Intermittent Fasting
Like I mentioned above, intermittent fasting is all about the timing of when you eat, and not so much about what you eat.
There are 3 common fasting cycles which are the most popular among fasters today. They are:
1) The 16/8 Method
This is the one everyone I’ve talked to uses. You allot yourself only an 8 hour window to eat. As I mentioned my coworker when he said “I cant eat before 9 am,” this is the one he is using. He allows himself to eat between 9 am and 5 pm. From 5 pm until 9 am, he doesn’t ingest anything but water.
2) The Eat, Stop, Eat Method
My friend Michael from the bar uses this method in conjunction with the 1st method. This cycle of intermittent fasting is for a full 24 hours, once or twice a week. He does this for 1 week, followed by the 16/8 the following week. Essentially you’re performing the 16/8 up until your last meal for any given day, then not eating again until the following “dinner” meal the next day.
3) The 5:2 Method
I haven’t personally met anyone I know of using this method, but on two days of the week (preferably not consecutive) you only intake 500-600 calories. The other 5 days of the week you eat normally.
Which Method is the Best?
Each of the methods have been proven to work, it’s more personal preference than anything. I don’t know about you, but I personally have no interest in not eating for a full 24 hours. I like food too much!! But that’s my personal choice. I am going to start using the 16/8 method and see how I like it.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting still follows the required daily calorie intake for your fitness goals. So if you start fasting, but then during your 8 hour eating period (or 5 day, or whatever time frame/method you choose) you decide to eat everything in sight and stuff your face, then fasting will not work and it may not help you at all. You still need to only eat the amount of calories your body requires for your goals.
You do not want to compensate with more calories for your lack of a smaller eating window.
If you’re looking for other ways to lose fat and build lean muscle, I suggest checking out this Red Tea detox.
Up until now one of the main problems with trying to lose fat (especially around your belly) has always been getting stubborn fat cells to “let go” of the “locked in fat” so the body can “flush harmful toxins and fat away.”
Due to cutting-edge research, we now know that the hormone “Noradrenaline” may hold the key to unlocking fat cells and shrinking them.
In a landmark study at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the NIH, researchers showed that Noradrenaline is an arousing hormone known to control cell volume.
In other words, Noradrenaline is what causes the action of “the incredible shrinking fat cell.” It signals your body to start using your belly fat for energy.
People who drink this delicious red tea experience increased Noradrenaline production. That’s why they lose a lot of weight, particularly in the typically hard-to-lose belly area.
Like I said, check it out if you’re looking for more ways to cut fat and build lean muscle.
You can get more information by watching this Red Tea Detox video.
Share Your Results!
I hope this has helped you learn about what intermittent fasting is, how it can help you, and how you can get started.
If you’re already intermittent fasting, let me know how you like it and what benefits you’ve seen. If you’re just starting, let me know how you’re enjoying it!
Please be sure to like and share this post 🙂