There are so many weight loss strategies and methods out there, but one method in particular is gaining a lot of popularity at the moment and that is the Intermittent fasting (IF).
One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is that it can keep your metabolism high. Some people actually claim that intermittent fasting is the best and fastest weight loss method out there.
In this article we will show you an example of 1 week of intermittent fasting so that you can try it for yourself.
As the name might suggest, intermittent fasting consists of following an eating pattern that goes between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t involve any specific foods you should eat or stay away from, but rather WHEN you should eat them. So by definition, intermittent fasting is not a “diet”, but more of an eating pattern. Most commonly people who follow intermittent fasting do daily 16-hour fasts or fast for 24 hours, twice per week.
Fasting isn’t anything new and it has been practiced throughout human history. For example, obviously ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available all year-round. This lead them to sometimes not being able to find anything to eat. As a result of that, the human body evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. That’s why we can go without food for much longer than without water.
In fact, some people will claim that fasting from time to time is actually a more natural way than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals every day. Fasting is commonly used for various religious or spiritual reasons. It’s practiced in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is mostly used for its benefits of weight loss. New research has found that IF can actually be used for a lot more than that.
1. Insulin Levels
Intermittent fasting can reduce the levels of insulin in your blood. This can increase your bodies ability to burn fat.
2. Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Studies have showed that blood levels of HGH can increase by as much as 5x as a result of intermittent fasting. High levels of HGH are linked to fat burning and muscle gain, among others.
3. Cellular Repair
During intermittent fasting, your body will induce several important cellular repair processes, such as removing by-products and waste material from your cells.
4. Gene Expression
Studies have found that intermittent fasting can induce positive changes in several genes and molecules, which are linked to longevity and protection against certain diseases.
Example intermittent fasting diet plan
Day 1 to Day 3
Moderate carb days. Eat about 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fats. Remember to eat complex carbs like brown rice, potatoes, oatmeal, brown bread, whole wheat pasta. Also try to eat ‘clean protein’ – no fried meats or processed meats.
A cheat Day. This will be your high calorie day. Weight loss is highly dependent on hormones in the body. One in particular, leptin, is the one most responsible for slowing your metabolism when you fast. Low leptin levels lead to an increase in hunger and a decrease in metabolic rate, much like high leptin levels lead to a decrease in hunger and an increase in metabolic rate. So on this cheat day, leptin will be increased in your body and with this your metabolic rate will also increase.
Fast day. By now, the conditions in your body should be perfect for fat loss because of the increased levels leptin. On this day you should keep your calories very low. Some experts even suggest fasting for the full 24 hours.
Protein day. Restrict almost all carbohydrate intake on this day. On this day you will completely deplete your carbohydrate (glycogen) stores again to keep your body confused. There are two variations you can try:
- No carbs at all – this is the extreme fasting version
- Little bit of carbs (about 20-50 grams) from fibrous vegetable like broccoli, cabbage, spinach and kale.
Try to fast on non-workout days. As with any other ‘diet’, consult your doctor before you start.
This article first appeared on GYMNASIUMPOST.com on 29th June, 2020.