Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that restricts when you eat, not what you eat.
Most commonly used is the 16:8 pattern, where someone fasts for 16 hours out of the day and has an 8 hour window in which they eat. 10AM to 6PM is the average window for someone who is following 16:8 but any alternative would work if it fits your lifestyle.
I’ve used intermittent fasting throughout the last few years and I’ve found much success with it.
The jury is out if we lose weight because of the fasting itself or because we eat less calories because of it, but either way it is a proven way to help lose fat.
Top 5 Intermittent Fasting Benefits
The benefits to IF range from better gut health to making our day easier by eliminating a meal and even balancing hormones.
1. For my life, weight loss is #1. The top benefit.
As long as we don’t consume too many calories in our eating window, evidence proves that intermittent fasting aids in weight and fat loss. Lower insulin levels turn our bodies into fat burning machines, and it even increases hormones which increase our metabolism. So not only are we consuming less, but we’re burning more.
2. Speaking of lower insulin levels, it can help reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes
Insulin resistance is caused by having too high blood sugar for too long – we’re talking years worth of high blood sugar. By restricting what we eat, our blood sugar stay low which means our insulin is used properly when we do eat.
3. Cells and hormones can function more effectively
Have you ever heard “don’t eat right before you go to bed”? Of course you have, and for good reason. When we are in a fasted state, our bodies react by:
- Repairing cells by expressing waste
- Producing the human growth hormone, which burns fat and builds muscle
- Dropping insulin levels, which increases fat loss (double whammy in the fat burning department!)
- And more!
4. Our hearts are healthier
Heart disease is humanities largest problem – it kills more globally than any other disease. Animal studies show that intermittent fasting improves bad cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, blood sugar and triglycerides – which point to less heart disease in humans.
5. It may help prevent cancer
Another animal study, yes, but the data trends show less cancer in animals who were placed through intermittent fasting testing. IF also has been proven to help reduce chemotherapy treatment side effects.
There are so many more health benefits to intermittent fasting – this is just the tip of the iceberg.
On a personal level, intermittent fasting helps mentally + for multiple reasons.
- It gives me willpower
- My feed window is from 10AM to 6PM. It stops me from eating as soon as I wake up, and it helps me from eating too late.
- I drink more water
- What do you do when you can’t eat? You drink alllll the water. I drink like a mad man in the morning before I can eat, and in the evening after I can’t to help keep me full.
- It resets my eating habits
- I don’t want to eat anything heavy after I’m coming off of my fast, so that keeps my food choices under control
- It clears my mind
- I feel like I can focus better. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I feel like it does!