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Intermittent Fasting

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I am sure everyone has heard about fasting.  You may have heard about it from Jesus’s fast for 40 days and 40 nights.  You may have heard about it from your doctor who told you that you need to fast for 6 to 8 hours before surgery.  Or perhaps you have been on the Internet lately where you can’t help but have this type of dieting cross your path.  Regardless of where you heard it, I am sure you know the gist of it.  In short, you don’t eat or drink anything besides water, black coffee, or tea for a certain period of time.

I find it funny they call it “fasting” as there is nothing fast about it, especially when you first start this.  When you’re fasting for multiple hours, I think the time goes by slow.  So why do they call it fasting?  LOL.  You could fast for any amount of time that you like, though there are quite a few popular types.

The 16:8 Method

This fast occurs every day, having a window of 16 hours fasting and 8 hours of eating.  This is the method I choose to follow.  I typically stop eating around 9:30pm and don’t eat again until 1:30pm the next day.  This is sort of the equivalent of not eating after dinner and then skipping breakfast the next day.  You can typically fit 2 or 3 good meals in that 8 hour window.  This is probably the easiest for beginners.

The 5:2 Method

This is a diet where you fast for 2 days a week, while eating normally for 5 days a week.  The 2 days of fasting is not about going 2 days without eating.  It is a diet approach where you restrict calories to 500-600 calories each day.  If you would like to try this method, I would recommend you split the two days of fasting up.  Perhaps you fast on Monday and Thursday, and eat normally the others days.

The 24 Hour Method

This method involves an Eat-Stop-Eat mentality.  You may choose to fast from breakfast to breakfast, lunch to lunch, or dinner to dinner,  once or twice a week.  It really doesn’t matter.  Note that 24 hours can be a long time without eating, so you will have to implement some pretty strong self discipline.  You may want to start out with the 16:8 Method of fasting for a while before you try this method.  As a 5and2 guy or gal, I would recommend that if you do this method more than once a week, that you fast from Monday to Tuesday and then Thursday – Friday.  Let’s not forget our 5and2 approach!!!

Fasting Every Other Day Method

Can you guess what this is?  You betcha!!!  With this fast, you don’t eat, or you limit your calories to only a few hundred calories every other day.  This can be really tough to do and is not for beginners.  If you are going to do this method, I would recommend you don’t start out doing a full fast with no calories every other day.   Start with just limiting your calories to about 500 every other day to see how that works.  Also remember that you don’t want to crazy on the eating days.  You still need to eat normally.

The Warrior Method

This method is where you fast during the day, just eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, and then having one huge meal at night during a 4 hour eating window.  No, your one huge meal at night should not last for 4 hours.  But eat a big enough meal that makes this diet manageable.  It is recommended that you eat whole, unprocessed foods similar to the Paleo diet.

The OMAD Method

With this method, you are eating One Meal A Day (OMAD).  You typically would eat all your allowed calories within a 1 hour window and then fast for the remaining 23 hours.  This can be really tough to do, but there are many benefits to it.  Again, I would not recommend you start with this method.  In my opinion, the 16:8 Method is the easiest to start with before trying some of the more advanced methods.

Benefits

There are tons of benefits of Intermittent Fasting.   It helps promote insulin sensitivity which is critical to ward off chronic diseases.  It can also normalize your “hunger hormone,” slow the aging process, lower your risk of heart disease, and suppress inflammation.  It will put your body in fat burning mode all while helping you retain muscle mass.  And did I mention that it reverses Diabetes quickly?  I can’t say enough good things about Intermittent Fasting!!!

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is about a calorie deficit.  And the concept behind Intermittent Fasting is that over the longer period, you are operating at a caloric deficit, while at the same time putting your body into fast burning mode every day.  I am personally a fan of Intermittent Fasting.  I have been doing it for about 8 months now and can definitely see a difference in body fat.  No, I don’t do the whole measuring body fat thing, but I can see my abs in the mirror, and that is a great start.  I typically use the 16:8 Method with a 5and2Guy twist, meaning I use the 16:8 Method Monday – Friday, and then eat regularly on Saturday and Sunday.  This works great for me.  I am happy with the results I am seeing so far and don’t think I will switch my method any time soon.

People will Intermittent Fast for many different reasons, as you can see the many benefits above.  I recommend it for many reasons and suggest you give it a try, especially if you just want to burn some fat pretty quickly.  If you have lots of fat to burn, you should see some pretty drastic changes with Intermittent Fasting.  If you don’t have as much fat, you can still fast, but just be more careful as our body does need some fat to be healthy.  Do your research and give it a shot!!!  

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is always a good idea to consult a doctor first, especially if you already have some medical conditions.  Once you are given the green light to fast, give it a shot and watch the transformation!!!

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