Intermittent fasting is big news.
It is big news because it is disrupting a health industry worth billions of dollars.
Corporations are scared of a technique that promotes weight loss, detoxifies the organs, helps regulate blood sugar and cures inflammatory diseases. And they can’t make money from it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
In a nut shell – longer periods of time between the consumption of food.
No diet pills, meal plans, books or support groups.
Just more time elapsed between meals.
What Does Intermittent Fasting Look Like?
Currently, a western person’s typical day of feeding loosely unfolds like this:
When practicing intermittent fasting, however, your typical day of feeding may change to this:
Meal 1: 10am
Meal 2: 4pm
The overall amount of calories you consume throughout the day may stay the same, but there is a longer period of time between your last meal of the day, and your next one (Before Intermittent Fasting: 13 hours. With Intermittent Fasting: 18 hours). That’s 5 extra hours where your body is food free.
The next level up is to adopt fasting on a weekly scale (which is one adopted by the EVOLVE DIET APP.) In this instance you might eat normally for 6 days of the week, but then somewhere in between, be required to complete a fast day. That’s potentially 24 hours or more, food free.
What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?
Essentially, intermittent fasting is a form of cleansing.
When you reduce the frequency with which you eat, your body manages to process the last food you ate more effectively. It can better decide how to treat that food, whether for immediate or stored energy and for nutrient absorption.
There are 4 key benefits of adopting a weekly pattern of intermittent fasting.
1: Weight Loss
Perhaps the main one on your mind eh?
During a fast, your body will likely use up the bulk stores of it’s primary energy source – glucose. This was absorbed into your cells during your last meal or snack (primarily from carbohydrates). It is the body’s most immediate source of energy.
When glucose is depleted, your body needs to find an alternative energy source to fuel everyday functions (breathing, movement, organ functions etc). Luckily, we have plenty of reserve energy stored all over our body, and it’s called fat.
Fat is the backup energy source and it’s breakdown into energy is called ketosis. Essentially, with glucose gone, fat stored in the kidneys and muscles is now utilised to fuel your body. With your body in an extended state of ketosis, the result is a reduction in fat stores, and consequently, weight loss.
By adopting a habit of intermittent fasting, you can condition your body to access those fat stores more readily. In addition, if you can keep your glucose levels low (e.g. eating less sugar/carbohydrates) your body will be more adept at converting fat into energy and this will turbo charge your fat loss objective.
However, one caveat. Extended fasts I.e. more than 36 hours, are not recommended as the body can start to burn muscle as well as fat. You want to keep your muscle density high, as it’s healthier and means you burn more energy at rest.
A constant exposure to food can put a strain on our digestive system. Our bodies are working continuously to process the new stimuli and decide what to do with it.
When fasting you give your body a break. It can take a breather and not only better manage the energy and nutrients you’ve previously ingested, but start cleaning up the debris.
Debris like food additives, refined sugars and hard-to-digest proteins that have been building up in the lymphatic and digestive system. A lot of modern food production uses chemicals that humans never used to be exposed to, and these can build up as toxins inside us – leading to many kinds of chronic illnesses including cancer.
These toxins are generally stored in fat, and as we’ve covered, if you can use more fat as energy, it will reduce the amount of toxins held in your body.
Think of a fast as a system flush. Once every 10 days (when using the Aggressive Weight Loss setting in the Evolve Diet App) you are cleansing your body, healing from the inside out. And trust us, you will feel amazing for it.
3. Internal Healing
The consumption of food is one of the biggest strains on the body. A lot of resource and energy is focused towards the digestive system as, with 3 meals a day, it is always on the clock.
When you fast, however, you give your digestive system a break. Your digestive organs can go into a resting state, which allows the extraneous energy to be directed to other areas of attention like the healing of muscles, bones and potentially, inflammatory diseases.
Studies have shown that fasting provides relief from chronic illnesses like stomach ulcers, arthritis and even eczema.
4. Blood Sugar Regulation
Having high blood sugar can have serious long term effects. If it’s not addressed, it can damage vessels that supply blood to vital organs, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and nerve problems.
Your blood sugar levels are regulated by the hormone Insulin – secreted from the pancreas. Insulin is released when we eat food and aids the absorption of the glucose (sugar) from the blood into our cells – which can can then use for energy. Like all organs, however, the more it is made to work, the less effective it will be over time. Constantly bombarding your blood stream with glucose means that the pancreas is always on – and eventually it will wear down – leading to higher levels of sugar in the blood.
By employing a regular fast, not only will you be reducing the amount of new sugar absorbed into your blood (because you haven’t eaten), but you’ll be giving your pancreas a well deserved break.
With less stress placed on the pancreas, it can start a healing process (expanded on in point 3) so that when it is asked to do its job again, it will be much more efficient. Regular resting periods all lead to a healthy, efficiently functioning system that will keep your body operating in its best possible condition.
So, as you can see, intermittent fasting really is a fantastic practice to get into, with so much health benefits.
The EVOLVE DIET APP advocates the use of a fast day once during a 10 day cycle, to promote fat loss, detoxify your body and give your digestive system a reboot.
To start your 10 day diet cycle, download our free app today and join the diet (r)Evolution.