Intermittent fasting, also commonly known as intermittent calorie restriction, is an umbrella term for a series of diets that cycle between specific periods. It has been used by many cultures all over the world, and it is a practice that has come in and out of fashion over time.
Fasting is the controlled, voluntary abstinence of food. This can be done for spiritual reasons, health reasons or for political purposes. Most people doing the current form of intermittent fasting are doing so for health reasons. It can be a good way to jump start a weightloss journey or as a means of getting and maintaining mental clarity. Either way, the benefits are almost innumerable, but the ways to do it are varied. Below we outline some of the things you might want to know before you get started with intermittent fasting.
Some of the health benefits associated with this behavior are better brain function, immune function, weight loss, higher growth hormone levels, longer lifespan, and improved insulin sensitivity. In addition, the risk for life-threatening disease can decrease. You be asking how someone can start an intermittent fast of their own? There are primarily two methods that people use to undergo this lifestyle.
- The first is commonly referred to as the "16/8" method. This means going 16 hours a day without eating, and spending the other 8 hours eating calories. People will commonly skip breakfast, and skip their first meal until noon. Then, they save the rest of their meals at certain intervals in a day, commonly four hours spread apart. There are several other variations of this method, most of which include picking a fasting period and an eating period.
- The second method involves doing a fast for 24 hours two times a week. Initially, people may be wary of doing this kind of fast, because of the fear of being immensely starved. However, going 24 hours a day without consuming any calories doesn't mean that you cannot ingest anything. If you were to stick to just water, black coffee or any other zero calorie drinks, you may find that the process is not nearly as convoluted as it may look on the surface. One helpful way to get you started on this journey is bone broth.
One of the key benefits of using bone broth while fasting is that it allows you to consume electrolytes, protein and essential nutrients much more efficiently. Aside from all of this convenience, there is an abundance of other health benefits associated with this fast.
If you choose the broth variety, you can enjoy the improvement of poor digestion, reduction of inflammation in your joints, healthier skin, blood sugar balance, and improved sleep habits. All you need to do is consume approximately 5 to 8 cups of broth (in addition to water and herbal tea), and give your digestive system a 24 hour period to reset and recover.
While undergoing any fast, it is imperative to talk with a medical professional before you incorporate exercise. If you're drinking bone broth during your fasting period, you will be able to get your required protein and electrolytes, but depending on the rigor of the intended exercise, you may want to wait until after your fasting period has ended before you engage in that activity.
It is also not recommended to fast if you are already underweight, childbearing, planning to become pregnant, already undergo an intense training regimen, have poorly controlled stress or have a heart condition.
Despite the many negative assumptions made about taking up this lifestyle, there are many benefits, and your body will thank you later for it.