Intermittent Fasting has quickly become one of the most popular trends in health and fitness. It has risen in popularity in recent years as people have used it as a simple strategy to burn fat, lose weight, and anchor an overall healthy lifestyle.
You’ve probably heard the term Intermittent Fasting and have wondered what it is and why so many people are raving about it. Here, you’ll learn what Intermittent Fasting is and how to utilize this simple, free strategy to improve your health and accelerate your fitness goals.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is not a diet. It’s simply an eating schedule.
Your body is always in one of two states: fed or fasted. In the fed state (any time your body is digesting food), your body’s insulin levels make it difficult to burn fat. However, in the fasted state (8-12 hours after your body finishes digesting), your insulin levels are lower and your body is better able to reach into fat stores for energy.
That’s why so many people are using Intermittent Fasting as an effective strategy to burn fat and lose weight.
The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting encourages the body to burn fat while maintaining lean muscle mass. During a fast, insulin levels drop while levels of human growth hormone and norepinephrine rise. At the same time, cells switch from using glucose as the primary fuel source to using fat. This combination of changes can aid fat loss, as well as a host of other benefits.
Here’s how it works: After you eat, your body works hard to digest your meal. As you break down your meal in your digestive tract, nutrients are released into your bloodstream. That means your body often has excess fuel, and that excess gets stored as fat.
When you fast, your body has to rely on its energy stores by burning fat and glycogen. So, through Intermittent Fasting, cells switch from using glucose as the primary fuel source to using fat, training your body to burn fat instead of storing it.
What Are the Benefits?
As Intermittent Fasting grows in popularity, more and more studies are being conducted to determine what benefits it may have and the extent of those benefits.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, research shows that fasting can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and control diabetes. Other research shows that Intermittent Fasting can lower cholesterol, slow the progression of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and reduce cancer risk — all in addition to helping people shed unwanted fat and lose weight.
Additional benefits of Intermittent Fasting include (but are not limited to):
- Improved hormone profile
- Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass
- Decreased blood glucose levels
- Decreased insulin levels
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Increased lipolysis (breakdown of fats) and fat oxidation
- Increased growth hormone levels (preserves muscle mass)
How Do I Get Started with Intermittent Fasting?
You already fast intermittently each night while you sleep. That’s why the first meal of the day is called “breakfast” — because it breaks your fast. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending your overnight fast for a few more hours until lunchtime.
There are several different Intermittent Fasting protocols; however, the method recommended in the FASTer Way program is the daily 16:8 method. This protocol calls for 16 hours of fasting per day with an eight-hour eating window. This allows your body to reset daily without feeling too restricted, which makes it a strategy that’s easy to sustain long-term.
If you want to learn more about Intermittent Fasting and how you can effectively implement it into your lifestyle, take our Intermittent Fasting quiz. Here, you’ll find out what the right fasting protocol is for you and you’ll receive our free Intermittent Fasting guide, which includes tips and strategies to help you enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle through Intermittent Fasting.