Intermittent fasting is recently becoming one of the hottest topics in the health/fitness/wellness universe, so much that professional athletes are even using it to improve performance and energy levels. Let’s take a brief look at the background and science behind fasting, and find out how you can get started!
For the majority of human existence, we did not have direct access to food. We had to hunt/gather/forage for what we consumed. For much of this time, we did not necessarily know where the next meal was coming from. In turn, humans survived for prolonged periods of time without eating, sometimes over a week! SO, contrary to popular belief, eating the 3 meals/day may not be the most natural thing for us. Obviously we could argue that the human life span is now longer, and that it doesn’t make sense anymore not to eat, but check out the benefits first:
# 1 Intermittent fasting helps us to lose stubborn belly fat
Results from a 2014 Study found that Intermittent Fasting resulted in overall loss in body weight, and visceral (belly) fat mass (4-7 % reduction on their waist circumference). This particular group participated in a long period of fasting for 3 days/week, and freely ate (but did not over-eat) on the other 4 days of the week.
# 2 Intermittent fasting can potentially improve your cardiovascular health
There are several factors associated with a higher or lower risk of heart disease in animal studies that tend to correlate with humans. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve factors such as blood pressure, inflammatory markers, and blood triglycerides.
# 3 Intermittent fasting improves mental clarity/energy
When we are not consuming food and spending energy on digestion, it can be devoted to improving many other physiological functions. One of the biggest beneficiaries is your brain! Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve levels of the brain hormone BDNF (Brain-Derived Neutropic Factor), as well as the growth of new nerve cells! Dragging ass at 3 pm at work? Try intermittent fasting to give yourself a mental boost and increase productivity!
How to: There are many ways to do it but a good goal to start with would be to only consume your food for the day within a 6-8 hours window. A significant amount of research has shown that waiting until 1 or 2 PM has positive affects as long as you are not eating after 8 PM. Some exceptions to the rule are water and coffee. Whatever you decide to drink, try to keep it under 50 calories. Here is a simple recipe for a good coffee that will stimulate fat burning while you're fasting.
Butter coffee: organic coffee, GHEE, MCT Oil and cinnamon. Blend this together using a frother or a regular blender and it will give your coffee that nice "cream" color.
If you have questions or want help starting on intermittent fasting please reach out or comment below! I've been doing this for months and have noticed a serious difference.