It seems like the latest “dieting trend” and it’s like everyone is suddenly doing it; skipping breakfast or Intermittent fasting. But, what is it exactly and does it work? I’ve always learned that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why is everyone suddenly all into this new diet regime where you skip it? Isn’t that the exact opposite of what we’ve all learned? Or is it just a way to justify skipping your breakfast? How many hours aren’t you eating? Is doing this healthy for your body? Let’s find out!
What is intermittent fasting?
Let me start of by saying that intermittent fasting is not a diet. It is a way of eating, where you plan when you’re eating, not what you’re eating.
The main idea of Intermittent fasting is to eat all your foods during a few hours of the day. The other hours you are fasting so you don’t eat anything during those hours. During the eating-hours you are suppose to eat all your meals including breakfast, lunch and diner. Or just lunch and diner, but in bigger portions. You still need to get in all of your required calories!
It is also very important that when you do eat, you make sure the food is of a good quality such as fruits, vegetables, good fats, high-fibers and lean proteins. Also make sure to only drink coffee, tea and water. No alcohol, soda, energy drinks or any other sweetened sugary drinks. You need to nourish your body, not just stuff it with junk to feel full.
Will it make you lose weight?
A lot of people use intermittent fasting in order to lose weight. The basis rule for weightloss (on an average healthy person) is to burn more calories than you’re consuming. If you are intermittent fasting but eat more calories during your eating-hours than you are burning, then you will eventually still gain weight.
However, if you are eating high quality foods in the specific time frame and not eating for the remaining hours, your body will tap into its stored up fat reserves and that in turn can make you lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.
Intermittent fasting can also make it easier for a lot of people to lose weight as well. Since you’ll only be eating for a specific amount of hours and probably in a healthier way than usually, you’ll feel more full and the chances of overeating are smaller. It can also help you against the well known late night snacking (you know what I mean right?!).
So the answer on whether or not intermittent fasting will make you lose weight is: If done right, then intermittent fasting can indeed be a handy tool in order to lose fat while maintaining muscle and therefore you could lose weight.
So, what are some of the other benefits?
- Celular rejuvenation: Most people that do intermittent fasting go for an 8 hour eating window and don’t eat anything for the remaining 16 hours. The reason for this is that the benefits of fasting on your body starts after 16 hours and increases every hour after that. This is when the natural recycling process of damaged and old cells in your body start to renew themselves to become stronger and better versions of themselves. This can result in a better organ function and ultimately a longer, healthier life.
- Skin, Hair and Nails: The cellular rejuvenation mentioned before will also effect your skin, hair and nails. Their cells will improve and could give you a glowy skin and stronger hair and nails.
- Better focus: There are also some mental benefits that come with fasting. When you go for a longer period of not eating your brain will go into a survival mode which causes it to become hyper-focussed. This way you’ll be less likely to become distracted and focussing on the tasks at hand will be easier to do.
Is intermittent fasting good for everyone?
No, everyone is different and therefore it might not be good for everyone. You have to take your lifestyle into consideration too. Intermittent fasting is not recommended for women who are pregnant, children, highly active people or people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
Are there other ways to do a fast?
Yes, there are different ways to fast. Fasting can be helpful to cleanse your body. Here I’ll explain a few fasts to you.
- Detox fast: Where you fast with a liquid diet. This is meant to give your digestive system a break and to help you recover. I’ve made a video of my 7 day liquid detox, where I show you what I did. You can watch the video here.
- Intermittent fasting: Not eating for a time window of 16 to 20 hours followed by eating for 8 to 4 hours.
- Prolonged fasting: Here you fast for 24 to 48 hours. This is not something you want to do weekly! This kind of fasting could be better to do every quarter or after a longer period of time to give your body a short fasting boost. You will get the benefits of fasting here as well. DO NOT exceed the maximum of 48 hours! I have done a 24-hour water fast once and it was very tough!
- Dry fasting: Here you don’t eat or drink anything for a certain period of time. This is quite extreme, but also has some benefits as well. This is the kind of fasting that can also be seen within some religions. For example during the Ramadan, muslims do this type of fasting where they don’t eat or drink anything for a certain period of time. This is a tough fast and it is not recommended to do this more than once or twice a year.
Before starting any kind of fast it is very important to ALWAYS ask your doctor if fasting is right for you! You want your body to become healthier not worse! Healthy foods and drinks should be consumed always, whether you are fasting or not in order to maintain a healthy body.
So here you have it, the simple explanation of what intermittent fasting is and what it does. What do you think of fasting? Have you ever done any kind of fasting? Are you planning on starting a fast? Let me know in the comments down below!