The secret behind Intermittent Fasting

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Young woman measuring waist with a tape. Fit and healthy girl with blue jeans on white background.
Young woman measuring waist with a tape. Fit and healthy girl with blue jeans on white background. Designed by Freepik

Intermittent fasting has become the new mainstream habit when it comes to weight loss however Intermittent fasting is not really about weight loss nor is the weight that comes off a rapid process. Losing weight and belly fat is a secondary advantage yet there are much more beneficial factors that happen inside the body than what we know.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is techniques pattern in the way you eat. When you purposely give the body a timed break from eating versus not eating. By giving the body a timed window to eat your meals you’re giving the body a chance to regenerate new cells and function more efficiently. Metabolic functioning is improved with intermittent fasting and typically you want to start from having 3 meals per day with no snacking to 2 meals and eventually
break it down to one meal per day, if you build up your discipline you can take on the habit of no meal in a certain day, one to two times per week. With Intermittent fasting it is important that the foods you eat are of high quality of mainly consist of fats also the quantity of food that you eat must fit your macros so that you don`t starve your body because the technique is not about reducing calories, its about improving weight loss therefore you need to stay satiated for optimum results.

How does it work and what is the best time ratio to follow?

The time in fasting is in intervals (hence the term intermittent) therefore you must eat your food in a timed ration within an allotted window of time. Sleep is an essential part of the process and it is calculated in the timed window of fasting. Typically in order to mobilize fats a time ratio of 16:8 is advantageous, for this this scenario you will be eating your meals within a 8-hour time-frame whereby the rest of the 16 hours your body will be in a state of fasting. Gradually when you build up your discipline to eating in a time framed manner you can then start fasting with the 2:4 ratio, 20 hours fasting with a 4-hour window to eat 2 meals.

What are the physiological benefits of doing this?

Intermittent fasting is fascinating for a various number of reasons some of which include and research is continually finding more advantages than disadvantages to this way of life. Some benefits include:

Modifies the function of cell growth, genes and hormones in the body:

Basically when you don’t eat your body repairs cellular growth in hormones (insulin and Human Growth Hormone). When damaged cells repair they remove waste from the body in a process called Autophagy basically when the body machines itself to become “a self-cleaning oven” through the decrease of carbohydrate in the body. Autophagy was discovered early in the 90’s and in today’s scientific developments shows evidence that autophagy also helps improve reverse factors of aging by faulting off negative growth in
the body and autoimmune diseases like cancer and diabetes.

In effect the reduction of the 2 biggest hormones that affect the fat burning metabolism are: Growth hormone and insulin. When you complete a solid fast you are spiking your HGH (Human growth hormone) levels and this in return will help aid in weight loss & belly fat loss, you are also less at risk of contracting Diabetes (type 2) and other chronic diseases. Physiological factors of Intermittent fasting include:

  • Helps to improve your brain function- by reducing bring fog you gain a clearer capacity to think and in turn this helps for the development of long term memory, Fasting also helps to increase brain cells by the growth of new neutrons and cells whereas without fasting this change in use from your cells would simply not take place.
  • It helps to increase your lifespan- Regularly fasting helps to protect our neutrons from the detrimental effects of stress. Fasting helps to lower insulin levels that would prevent weight loss if otherwise present.

WHAT OTHER FACTORS SHOULD I CONSIDER?

When it comes to this diet you basically decipher your thinking from what do we eat to when do we eat and make sure to not overeat? Eating at the proper timed-window is imperial however as mentioned before it is not a free for all where you can eat junk food just because you’re eating in a certain time frame. Calories matter because it still boils down to a restriction in calories in order to lose weight and body fat.

While intermittent fasting usually people follow a ketogenic diet because it helps to speed up the process of fat loss. When these 2 factors are taken into consideration: I.F & the ketogenic diet it is important to supplement because we can lose certain minerals from the
elimination of certain foods and food groups.

The supplements to consider are:

Minerals: Trace minerals including potassium, magnesium, magnesium citrate, sodium, calcium and electrolytes.

Vitamin B1, B3 AND B5: important for the burning of sugar into a fat burning system Vitamin A & D: for functioning of vision, skin cells, neurological and for the absorption of calcium.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics lets move on to other areas of interest that haven’t been reviewed.

NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

As much as Intermittent Fasting seems like a phenomenal technique there are other aspects of this to discover. For instance:

  • Money & costs: Intermittent fasting is beneficial in many ways and actually helps your wallet because your mostly purchasing high quality fats which are easier to preserve. However once you lose weight your clothes will no longer fit properly and you will have to purchase more clothing or tailor your clothes
  • Weight gain & other disorders:Intermittent fasting is not the way to go when you want to gain weight it is also not beneficial for people who have a history and pattern of eating disorders. The most common being Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder which both male and females can partake in. These eating patterns neurologically stem from anything between genetic, biochemical, psychological and cultural factors.
  • Social life or lack thereof: Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle choice however it can be hard when trying to plan a social activity or even when you want to be around friends or family in social events. If you go to a planned dinner party and there may not be much of a variety pf high fat, low carb and 0 sugar foods to eat the people may take offense when you dont eat their food presented. It is also hard to eat out, making it hard to have an outing.

What sparked my interest in sustaining Intermittent fasting into my daily life? Number the science behind it is astonishing and secondly I reviewed the cultural aspects to get collect some knowledge of ancient history.

Buddhist monks follow the ‘Vinaya rules’ a practise where they commonly do not eat each day after the noon meal. Vinaya in sanscit is another word for discipline. In carrying out this discipline doctrine many buddhists were able to attain a higher way of life through
meditation. Physiologically in the brain once you can surpass a certain timeframe of fasting (which can build unto days or even weeks) in order to tap into the brain and implement the pineal gland. The pineal gland id considered to be a glad that “controls everything in the body” in and tricks your nervous system into believing that your fully nourished. Religious groups like Asian cultures, Hinduism and Islam have yearly celbrative practises that take on fasting techniques to sacrifice for religion (as in Navrati in Hinduism and Ramadan in
Islamic faiths).

If we take a glance into Western culture many athletes and film industry actors that have taken on the philosophy of Intermittent Fasting include Terry Crews, Dwaye Johnson (The Rock), Beyonce, Ben Affleck, Live Tyler and Supermodel Miranda Kerr, just to name a few.

About the Author

Monica Gurcha is a former Police officer for Montreal Police, she graduated her studies at
Concordia university Majoring in a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Psychology. Monica
has been training for over 20 years delving into Martial arts; Judo, running marathons &
Sprinting, Swimming and Bodybuilding. Monica’s expertise is in frontline Crisis &
Intervention and psycho- social analyzation of mental health and psychological disorders.
Monica is also the creator of an online coaching company called Pioneerprofitness.com

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