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The Basics of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is time-based, not food-based (essentially)

First things first. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating. It alternates between a period of fasting and eating. It is not a diet. Dieting involves exclusively eating certain foods, or omitting some. Intermittent fasting is a very flexible eating pattern. Basically, it is like skipping breakfast, or pushing it later in the day. If you’re looking to try something that can benefit your health, and at the same time caters to your lifestyle, you’ve found something worth your time.

Secondly, how do you do it? Here are the most common patterns: 

The 16/8 method makes you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8. For example, if your first meal is at 11 am, your last meal should be at 7 or 8 pm. 

The 5:2 makes you eat only 500 calories for two non-consecutive days in a week. You can eat normally the other 5 days. 

The 24 hour fast involves not eating at all for 24 hours, only once or twice a week. The rest of the week allows for normal food consumption. This is the simplest to understand, but hardest to do.

Third, should you do it? This is one aspect that should be taken in significant consideration. If you want to lose weight, and have a better body, go for it. By eating fewer meals, you cut calories. But think about your lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is a sure way to save your time. Now if you’re a teenager considering this, it is safe. No, your body won’t eat your muscles if you fast. It will only do that if you fast for 48-72 hours straight. Pushing your meals 5-7 hours later in the day will not compromise your health. If you have a disease, a weight disorder, breastfeeding, or have LBP, consult with your doctor. Of course, adults and even the elderly can do intermittent fasting. It depends on whether they can.  

You can eat this much kebabs with IF!

But, what is the scientific reasoning behind this, and its effect to the body? The answer, is that many studies have shown that intermittent fasting improves brain and body functioning, and decreases signs of aging (links below). Instead of getting energy from food when you eat breakfast, your body will depend on your fat when it needs energy, effectively burning it. Bodily changes during fasting include: Human growth hormone levels skyrocketing (HGH builds muscle), dropping of insulin levels, and the kick-starting of cell repair process. 

What about my stomach rumbling and hunger pangs? When beginning intermittent fasting, you will feel A LOT OF THINGS. Your body will receive hunger pangs, and hunger comes in waves. This is normal, so don’t feel bad when skipping breakfast. You can make bawi later in the day. However, the sensation of stomach rumbling is natural. The stomach undulates to move food. When food is absent, it still moves, creating noises due to inside gases.

In all, those are the basics to intermittent fasting. This is a general overview, and if you want more information, there will always be verified studies to search for.

Studies/Researches:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095528630400261X
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163706000523

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