In New Haven, CT, many of my clients at A Strong Life have chosen intermittent fasting—IF—as their route to a thinner, healthier lifestyle. There are several ways to do this type of eating style, but they all have the same premise, you modify when you eat. One plan of intermittent fasting that many people find the easiest is the 16:8 technique. You eat normally eight hours of the day and fast the other sixteen hours. For instance, you could eat your first meal at 10:00 am and finish your last meal of the day at 6:00 pm, fasting until the next morning at 10:00.
Two other types of IF also gives your digestive system a rest and help you lose weight.
You can also fast some days and not others. On fasting days, you eat approximately a fourth of the calories as you do on regular days, but not more than 500 calories a day. An alternate day fast is just as it sounds, you fast every other day, while a 5:2 fast means you eat normally five days a week and fast two days that aren’t consecutive. Whether it’s a fasting day or a day of normal eating, healthy eating is still important.
There are huge benefits to fasting.
Many studies show that IF has more than just weight control benefits. Animal studies as far back as the 1940s showed that rats fed on alternate days lived longer and had delayed signs of aging. There are a number of hypothesis why this occurred and one was that animals in the wild, just like early man, often didn’t eat every day and the body was created to endure that. Studies of both animals and humans that did IF had lowered inflation markers, improved metabolism, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels and improved brain functioning. It also lowered their risk of cancer, improved insulin resistance and helped them lose weight.
Weight loss was a big benefit of intermittent fasting.
It doesn’t matter what type of fasting you do, one of the most popular reasons to do IF is for weight loss. Your body needs fuel and if when you eat, it gets that fuel from the carbs you eat. If you consume simple carbohydrates, like sugar, it breaks down more quickly and goes into the blood stream, spiking blood sugar levels. If you fast, your body is forced to use fat to create that fuel. Not only does that help with weight loss, it also helps regulate blood sugar. In an IF study using the 16:8 method, the scientists found the subjects actually ate less, too.
- Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. People who take medication for advanced diabetes shouldn’t fast unsupervised by their health care professional. Those taking heart or blood pressure medication, have an eating disorder or who are pregnant or breast feeding shouldn’t either.
- Fasting can help the process of cell repair, even if you use the 16:8 plan. It also causes changes to your hormones, increasing both HGH—human growth hormone—and the hormones that help burn fat.
- Fasting makes sense. You’ll eat less because of time restrictions on the 16:8 plan and skip the late night eating that can put on pounds and create digestive problems. That can also make you feel better, too.
- If you choose IF, you still have to eat healthy, no matter what style of fasting you choose. Our meal plans can help you do that, particularly on the fasting days that have calorie restrictions.
For more information, contact us today at A Strong Life