Intermittent fasting has become super populair over the last few years and there’s a reason why. It’s most commenly used for weight loss or even better for rapid FAT loss and for health reasons.
It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.
In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.
In this post I will be covering all the basics of what intermittent fasting means, how to use it and how to optimize it to become a fat burning machine, because this method or ‘Diet’ has the abillity to do so.
Table of Contents
What is Intermittent Fasting
Let’s dive in, what is this diet called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is most commenly used as a weight loss or fat loss diet. It’s not a very complicated diet or method. There are many variations of IF, the most common way is the 16/8 method.
With this method you fast for 16 hours and have a eating window of 8 hours. You can decide when you want to begin your fast, most people stop eating at 22:00 and break their fast the next day at 14:00. They then have 8 hours to consume all of their calories, the amount of meals you eat doesn’t change if you eat 3 meals a day you just eat them at a different time then usual.
So how and when does fat burning happen when using intermittent fasting.
The fat burning happends in the time that you’re fasting, your body actually start burning fat after 10-12 hours of fasting. Fat burning happens when you’re body isn’t getting any calories to burn for energy, when this happends your body turns to your own body fat for fuel and this is called fat burning. Consuming anything that contains calories will break your fast, the only things you can consume that won’t break your fast are: Coffee, water and tea. You might think what about sugarfree drinks like: Diet coke or sugarfree energy drinks, well even though they don’t contain calories they do contain certain substances like sweetners that can break your fast so I suggest to not take them.
How to optimize Fat burning
How can you optimze you fast for fat loss? during your fast there a quite a few things that can boost fat loss, one of those is drinking coffee. Drinking coffee helps lose the last bits of glucose left in the body which leads to sooner fat burning or fat loss.
Exercising during your fast:
Being active while fasting is always good, but exercising during your fast is even better. The calories being burned while fasted take extra effort so your body has to find extra energy to keep your body active and does that in your fat storages.
How to break your fast:
Breaking your fast is very important. You should break your fast with a high carb low calorie meal or snack and no fats When you eat carbs you spike your insulin, the same happens when you eat fat, but just through a different channel to put it simple. So when you combine these two you compound your insulin spikes which leads to a massive insulin spike and you a run a much higher risk of storing fat. Don’t Combine carbs and fats!
Recommended ways to break a fast and what to include:
- Lean Protein or lean protein shake
- High G.I Carb (rice cake)
- Bone Broth
- Fructose (Small amounts)
- Omega 3
When you have been fasting for so long your body gets very sensitive to all the food you’re going to consume. It’s going to take all the nutritions very quick , after the fast it’s good to give the body a spike of insuline, so a high carbs snack or meal. when your body insuline level drops then it’s time to eat your big meal, that meal should consist out of high protein, moderate fat and decent amount of carbs.
Different types of intermittent fasting
16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
Omad stands for ‘one meal a day’. This means that you consume all your calories and macros in one meal. It’s up to you when you consume those calories, most commenly and most enjoyable is eating during dinner time. This ‘diet’ is not for the beginners or the people that have never fasted before, because you fast for 24 hours. It’s a little more extreme, but it’s very effective.
Benefits of this diet are that you’re in a long fasting state, which means your body is having to work harder to get energy and that energy is taken from your fat storages.
The 5:2 diet: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
How It Affects Your Cells and Hormones
When you fast, several things happen in your body on the cellular and molecular level.
For example, your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.
Your cells also initiate important repair processes and change the expression of genes.
Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few.
- Insulin: improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
- Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells
- Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease.
Health benefits of intermittent fasting
- Insulin levels: Blood levels of insulin drop significantly, which facilitates fat burning.
- Human growth hormone: The blood levels of growth hormone may increase as much as 5-fold. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, and have numerous other benefits.
- Cellular repair: The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
- Gene expression: There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease
Weight loss: IF has proven to have significant impact on weight loss and more importantly fat loss.
- Reduced Inflammation
- Lower Cholesterol
- Boosted brain function
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