Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular health and fitness trends in the world. People use this technique to lose weight, improve health and simplify their healthy lifestyle.
Many studies indicate that fasting can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you to live longer.
In my social networks I usually talk a lot about Intermittent Fasting, but many people still look for me with doubts. So I made this the guide for beginners.
Be sure to read and share.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting (JI) is a term used to name a food pattern that alternates between periods of fasting and feeding.
Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily fastings of 16 hours, or fastings for 24 hours, twice a week (1).
Many still fear fasting, but this technique is actually quite natural. Just think, humans have fasted during evolution. Sometimes it was done because there was no food available for food, or sometimes it was part of the major religions, including Islam, Christianity and Buddhism (2).
When you reflect on the subject, understand that our ancestors did not have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available throughout the year.
Sometimes they could not find anything to eat, and our bodies evolved to be able to run without food for long periods of time. That is, fasting sounds much more natural than eating every 3 hours.
We already do fasting during sleep. Then, intermittent fasting can be as simple as prolonging this fasting a little more.
You can do this by skipping breakfast, eating your first meal at noon and your last meal at 8:00 p.m.
By doing this, you fast for 16 hours every day and restrict your feeding to an 8-hour food window (time of day you can eat). This is the most popular and simple form of intermittent fasting, known as the 16/8 method.
No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages (without adding sugar or sweeteners, of course).
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
All kinds of processes in our body change when we do not eat for a while in order to allow our bodies to thrive and continue to function during a period of starvation. This process has to do with hormones, genes and important cellular repair processes.
When fasting, our blood sugar levels fall significantly and so does insulin. There is still an increase in growth hormone.
Many people do intermittent fasting in order to lose weight as it is a very simple and effective way of restricting calories and burning fat (3).
Some research also suggests that intermittent fasting can help protect against disease, including heart disease.
In short, intermittent fasting is effective and makes your life simpler, while improving your health.
After all, the fewer meals you need to plan, the simpler your routine will be. Not having to eat 3 to 4 times (or more) per day also saves time.
But do not forget that in order to have positive effects, you should feed properly during the food windows. Always prefer real foods, such as meats, fruits and vegetables. Forget industrialized, sugary and processed foods.
Finally, people with a health problem or who find it difficult to fast should always seek medical advice before starting the practice.
But even if you consume some natural foods from time to time, this is not enough to ensure good health and prevent disease. If you usually eat industrialized and processed foods, you are a step away from seeing your health wane gradually.