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Intermittent Fasting Basics

The hunger affects of fasting

Intermittent Fasting has become one of the most popularized diet fads in the world. From the western United States to Eastern Russia, many people have heard of intermittent fasting. However, intermittent fasting is not a diet. The main objective of Intermittent Fasting is not what you eat, but when you eat. So, what exactly is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting

IF (Intermittent Fasting) helps us lose weight, or rather, allows us to consume less calories. But, because of it’s time restricted nature, IF also helps a wide variety of health issues. IF has been proven to help with insulin sensitivity, fat loss and avoiding diabetes and strokes. [1]

IF can also benefit our metabolism. Because we change our consumption window, we immediately shock the body, and the process of absorbing and distributing nutrients is transformed. This process creates a change in our metabolism. IF also helps lower our blood pressure. [2] Because of it’s general benefit to insulin sensitivity, we see a ton of extensive health benefits.

History of Fasting

Fasting has been a reality throughout human history. Since the beginning of human kind people have fasted. Of course, this wasn’t always intentional. Being hunter-gatherers in our first ages resulted in many hours, days and sometimes weeks without food. Seeing as though we are, as a specie, born to be hunter-gatherers, fasting makes perfect since. In fact, for a much larger portion of our evolution, human beings have fasted (instead of eating three solid meals a day). Because of our biological make-up, intermittent fasting not only makes sense, but eating multiple times a day is almost biologically inhumane. 

Fasting was thought to be a therapeutic solution as early as the 5th century BCE. [3] In those days it was clear that people suffering from specific diseases had a natural inclination to avoid food. And not only was avoiding food natural, but it was thought to be contradictory to recovery. So, how do we practice IF for weight loss in today’s age? 

Intermittent Fasting Strategies

16/8 intermittent fasting graphic

The 16/8 method is very easy to understand. For 16 straight hours you do not eat nor consume any substance with sugar. 

20/4 fasting

20/4 strategy is something that is doable long term. It also creates a larger window to burn calories every day (if done consistently).

eat stop method

This technique requires two 24 hour days without any consumption of food nor any substance with sugar. This technique is for the strong

Five 2 intermittent fast

The 5/2 strategy is easy to understand, but harder to maintain. 2 non-consecutive days out of the week must be 500 calories or less.

Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss

The benefits of weight loss with intermittent fasting are simply the ability to burn more calories than consumed. Luckily, intermittent fasting makes consuming fewer calories easy thru the following ways:

1. Fewer Meals

By definition, fasting means abstaining from food or drink. So, obviously, when we are not consuming calories, we are not gaining weight. The lack of meals is just one part of why IF is so successful for weight loss.

2. Boosts Metabolism

As we discussed previously IF will assist in increasing metabolism. Because the effect on insulin, it creates an imbalance in our system and allows our bodies to burn the stored fat for energy. 

3. Ketosis

As we continue fasting, ketosis develops. [4] Because of the decay of fatty acids, our bodies begin using stored fat for energy, replacing glucose in the central nervous system. Here you can learn more about ketosis.

4. HGH Levels

When we are in a fasted state, our HGH becomes extremely high.[5] HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is the highest when we wake up because after our body has taken in the first meal, it naturally increases insulin and goes into fat-storing mode. So, IF will increase HGH and allow us to burn stored fat for energy.

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