The Skinny On Fasting To Lose Weight

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Fasting, Not Just For Monks

Intermittent fasting is a well researched way to lose weight healthily and quickly while maintaining muscle tone and boosting health.

Intermittent fasting involves cycles of feeding and fasting. Contrary to what you might think, this is not a new fad or concept. Our ancestors fasted naturally when food was scarce or when they returned from a failed hunting trip. To this day, many religions and cultures use fasting as a way to cleanse the body and soul. There are multiple health benefits to intermittent fasting.

BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

  • Reduces oxidative stress therefore slowing down the aging process
  • Lowers insulin levels, reducing the risk of various diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s
  • Increases your body’s growth hormone production, helping you burn fat more easily and keeping you looking young
  • Improves skin (reduces acne, eczema)
  • Benefits from fat burning and muscle building workouts
  • Boosts energy levels and productivity; fasting releases norepinephrine and epinephrine, which make you more alert
  • Saves you money!

There have been many human and animal studies on intermittent fasting over the last 18 years. Animal studies began as early as 1943. There was an article comprising forty four different studies published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 that explains a lot of these benefits.

THE FAT BURNING PROCESS

During intense exercise, your body burns fat for energy. The fat in your fat cells turns into free fatty acids (FFA) which your body uses as fuel. This process results in weight loss.

During intermittent fasting, your body goes into the same state where you body starts burning fat for energy. Doing exercise while fasting will help you lose weight even faster.

According to research, 24 hours of fasting will give you the most weight loss results. It is not recommended that you fast longer than a 24 hour period and no more than once or twice a week.

Fasting also means a reduced weekly calorie intake as long as you don’t binge on unhealthy foods after your fast.

If you have hit a plateau on your weight loss, intermittent fasting can help you boost your metabolism. Most diets are hard to maintain because they are not designed to be followed long term, but intermittent fasting is a healthy tool you can continue to use to speed up your fat loss results.

LASTING EFFECTS

Intermittent fasting can help change your body chemistry so that your body stores less fat, naturally.

Insulin helps your body process carbohydrates and fats, but it also stores excess calories as fat. Over time, your body develops more and more insulin resistance. When this happens, your body needs to release more insulin to process the same amount of sugars and carbs. A higher level of insulin will cause your body to store more fat.

Regulating insulin sensitivity causes your body to release less insulin to process carbs and fats. Less insulin means that less fat will be stored. With higher insulin sensitivity, it will be more difficult for you to gain weight in the future.

Do you want to know what’s best to eat&drink during your fast, and what type of exercise is most effective? Post your questions below!

Anna

Comments

  1. Great post Anna! I guess the type of food you eat before the fast is as important as what you eat after. What do you recommend?

  2. Hi Sam,

    I pressupose you are already eating healthily, meaning that you eat mostly fresh unprocessed foods, i.e: veg,good quality proteins,good fats… and drinking lots of clean water. If so, continue to eat this way, maybe add a few carbs depending on how strong you feel afterwards. Good quality carbs that won’t bloat you are: sweet potato and brown rice pasta.

    If you have a strength training session scheduled for your fast day, try to do it just before your meal is due, so you can eat pretty much afterwards. Then, you can afford to eat some good carbs too to optimise your results and boost your energy levels.

    If you don’t have a lot of weight to lose, you can do 2 x 16 hour fasts a week and see how you get on. Something like 8pm till 12pm or 1pm the following day.

    Hope this helps!

    Anna

  3. Hi Anna,

    I'd love to know the below?

    Do you want to know what’s best to eat&drink during your fast, and what type of exercise is most effective?

    I take supergreen mix in the morning (spirilla, chlorella, wheatgrass mixture you drink) can I still take this along with my other supplements (milk thisle, kelp , omega fish oil).

  4. Hi Anna,

    I'd love to know the below?

    Do you want to know what’s best to eat&drink during your fast, and what type of exercise is most effective?

    I take supergreen mix in the morning (spirilla, chlorella, wheatgrass mixture you drink) can I still take this along with my other supplements (milk thisle, kelp , omega fish oil).

  5. Hi Anna,

    Thanks for the great post, I have been using IF a lot recently and find it is a great tool for weight loss, once you don't try to do too much.

    Thanks again,
    Clea.

  6. Hi Clea,

    Yes, IF works great when included strategically into the right nutrition and training plan. I don't advise people to do one here and there and see what happens though.

    Thanks,

    Anna

  7. Hi Fiona,

    During a fast drink lots of mineral water, liquorize tea in the morning – until about 2pm, and three tulsi tea afterwards. You can have organic coffee, without milk or sugar of course, but I'd avoid it as much as possible. If you have a tough workout scheduled and you think you need the boost, go for it though. During your fast you can do cardio, but if you have a strength training session scheduled for that day, I recommend you do it before you are due a meal, so you can eat after your workout and you'll feel better for it.

    I hope this helps,

    Anna

  8. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this site needs far more attention.
    I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

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