Have you ever wondered what the benefits of intermittent fasting are? It has been taught to us at an early age: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve also learned (and some still advise this!) that we need to eat every 2-3 hours for the metabolism to work. In addition to not being true, the body cannot properly digest food during the hours it is awake. As a result, you are probably taking in more food than you need.
If you eat low carb, you have probably already become a fat burner. So if you eat high-fat foods, you probably notice how full you feel. Not to mention how easy it is to leave more time between meals. This is how you naturally practice intermittent fasting!
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is simply a prolonged period without food, such as when you are sleeping. The digestive tract is empty because you are not absorbing nutrients or digesting a meal. This is usually about 6-8 hours after your last bite of food. Once your body has entered the fasting state, the body begins to use the available stores to provide energy, especially glucose for the brain. The first glucose reserve is the glycogen stores in the liver, which maintain blood sugar levels for about 4 hours. After these 4 hours (about 8 hours after the last meal), fatty acid oxidation (fat burning) generates the energy needed for the brain and body. The longer the fasting state lasts, the longer the fat burning continues.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Fasting can certainly help with weight loss, but studies show it can help improve brain function. Studies have also shown that it may help prevent some cancers. Another of the benefits of intermittent fasting that I have personally experienced is that it has helped me break the habit of eating out of boredom. Grab a snack as standard when I went to watch Netflix is no longer there!
The 16:8 method is the most common variant. This means fasting for 16 hours (at least half of which you are sleeping), and then eating for 8 hours. An example of this would be eating your first bite of food at 11 a.m. and your last bite at 7 p.m., so your “feeding window” is 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, there are also other variants.
The 5:2 method, to take in fewer calories
With the 5:2 method you eat 5 days a week as you normally do. On the other 2 days you only eat 500 to 600 calories. For example on Wednesday and Friday.
OMAD stands for One Meal A Day, it simply means that you get your complete nutrition with 1 (large) meal. Most people who do OMAD choose to take their time before eating: different products are eaten for an hour.
Fasting every other day
Within this method you actually have 2 options. The most difficult is fasting for 24 hours, every other day, for example on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. You can also choose to only consume 500 calories on these days.
The eat-stop-eat method, a form of intermittent fasting
With this method of intermittent fasting you stop eating once or twice a week, and that for 24 hours. You choose which times suit you best, as long as it is 24 hours straight. Of course you can drink water, tea and coffee, but without sugar / honey / milk.
Occasionally skipping a meal of your choice, this is also intermittent fasting
Is it too difficult to follow one of the above intermittent fasting methods? Or, for example, does this not fit within your lifestyle in connection with your work? Then you can still take advantage of the benefits of intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast or dinner a few times a week.