As you know, there are myriad diet plans available to anyone who wants to burn fat. One of them is becoming increasingly popular, however, because it can help you lose weight without feeling hungry. It’s called intermittent fasting, and it also reduces your risk of chronic ailments like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When you do it right, intermittent fasting also helps you sleep better and have more energy.
Intermittent fasting is a kind of scheduled eating pattern that involves adjusting your normal daily eating period to a restricted window of time, without cutting your caloric intake. This pattern of eating was probably practiced by our early ancestors, as they didn’t always have access to food on demand.
Fasting has long been used as a spiritual tradition, and modern researchers have shown it yields the following benefits:
1. It helps promote insulin sensitivity – Optimal insulin sensitivity is important for health, as insulin resistance or poor insulin sensitivity contributes to nearly all chronic diseases.
2. It normalizes your levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.”
3. It increases the rate of HGH production, which plans a vital role in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process.
4. It lowers triglyceride levels.
5. It helps suppress inflammation and fights free radical damage.
6. Exercise in a fasting state helps counteract muscle aging and boosts fat burning.
For even more benefits, add exercise to intermittent fasting. High-intensive interval training is an excellent complement to fasting, as it burns more calories in less time and raises the production rate of human growth hormone (HGH).
Intermittent fasting is not meant to be a form of calorie restriction. It should make you feel good; if you find yourself feeling weak, reevaluate your program. Never abstain from food longer than 36 hours. For most people, 14 to 18 hours is an ideal fasting time. Many people choose to skip breakfast, and eat lunch and dinner within a six to eight-hour time frame. Refrain from eating the last three hours before bedtime.
Fasting helps your body transition from burning carbs to burning fat. Don’t rush the process of converting from your current way of eating to intermittent fasting; extend the process over a period of a few weeks. Once your body has shifted into fat-burning mode, you will find it is possible to fast for as much as 18 hours without hunger. Sugar cravings will disappear.
Before you beginning any form of fasting, be sure to eliminate all processed food from your diet. The quality of the food you eat is even more important when you fast; you must avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar (including fructose) and grains. Instead, focus on vegetables, protein and healthy fats such as butter, eggs, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil and raw nuts.
Of course, if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic, avoid any kind of caloric restriction until your blood sugar and insulin levels are regulated. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat healthy foods, rather than restricting calories.