Did you know that simply giving your digestive system about 14-16 hours to rest a few times a week can have a profound impact on your health, energy, and body? That’s why Fit Tip #14 is all about fasting.
Fit Tip #13: Try Intermittent Fasting
This blog will explain briefly what it is, some of the benefits of fasting, and how to do it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting is a centuries-old tool, popular in Eastern medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and the Bible for better health as well as spiritual growth. For those who follow ideas of Paleo or ancient nutrition, part of this concept arises from the idea that cave men wouldn’t have eaten 3-4 square meals per day. They would have eaten a lot in a few days, say after killing an animal, then probably fasted for a few days until their next catch, meaning our bodies were designed for this kind of eating pattern.
Whether you subscribe to those kinds of theories or not, intermittent fasting is being proven to have amazing benefits for both fitness (such as muscle gain and weight loss) as well as health (like balancing hormones).
The idea is pretty simple:
- Eat all of your daily calories/meals in a 6-8 hour window (approximately)
- Abstain from eating or drinking any calories for 14-16 hours (approximately…but you can do more, even up to a few days)
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
For fitness junkies and anyone wanting to lose weight and gain muscle, this is a great trick to build mass and get lean, due to human growth hormone production increase happening in your fasted state. This will help with both maintaining and building muscle. You’ll also generally consume less calories on these days, helping you to lose weight and lean out. This 14+ hour break gives your body a break from digestion to help your liver, kidneys, and internal organs. This can result in the following:
- Lowered insulin levels
- Increased human growth hormone production for muscle gain
- Weight loss & appetite control
- Increased energy
- Anti-aging/longevity due to changes in genes
- Reduced inflammation
- Possible prevention of diabetes, cancer, disease
- Detoxing & cell repair
- Better digestion
- Hormone balancing
How Do You Do Intermittent Fasting?
Following the general guidelines listed above, start my trying with 1-2 times per week. The easiest wasy is to stop eating around 6 or 7pm after dinner, and then don’t eat again until around 10am. You’ll do most of your fasting while you’re sleeping, so it won’t feel so challenging as you get used to it.
You can skip breakfast and save time in the morning, but take something with you to work, like some hardboiled eggs and avocado or a protein shake blended with some fruit or veggies. Try to avoid heavy carb meals so that you don’t drastically spike your insulin, since fasting is intended to help maintain steady insulin levels.
Eat about every 3-4 hours until you once again hit that 7pm(ish) mark, then stop eating. You can have water, tea, or black coffee during your fasting hours, but don’t use creamer or sugar.
This is great for anyone trying to get healthier, lose weight, and gain muscle. Give it a try this year and see if it improves your fitness, health, and body!
If you want more help with nutrition or meal planning, please contact me for customized help: [email protected]