Intermittent fasting for beginners

Intermittent fasting for beginners

Intermittent fasting for beginners

If you are a follower of this blog you will probably know that we have blogged about fasting for weight loss before. This article is a response to all the emails we got from our readers who would like to know more about Intermittent Fasting for beginners.

What is intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is exactly as the name suggests, it’s an eating practice (not gonna say diet) that, other than most diets, tells you when to eat rather than what to eat . Fasting has been used as a religious and health practice for 100s of years but it has only recently gained popularity as a weight loss technique.

Fasting is actually a very natural part of being human and our bodies are more adapted to fasting than eating 3-6 meals a day. Just think back at the times when humans were hunter-gatherers, humans would often go through periods where foods were scares and other periods where there was a large supply of food.

How does intermittent fasting work?

The principal of the (IF) diet is actually simple and has a very logical mathematical application that I shall explain below using the 5:2 method as an example :

The average man naturally burns about 3000 calories per day but usually eats enough calories in a day to not accumulate a calorie deficit. If an average man fasts only 2 days a week the net calorie deficit would be a whopping (2×3000) = 6000 calories a week.

It’s also important to know what the fasted and fed state is in order to fully understand how this process works :

The fed state:

During the fed state our bodies are absorbing the food we eat; in this state; its very difficult for the body to burn fat as insulin in our blood is high.

The fasted state:

During the fasted state our bodies are not absorbing glucose from the food we eat but rather using the bodies fat reserves for energy and sustenance

It is clear that intermitted fasting can be a powerful tool in getting to your goal weight.

Intermittent fasting has been liked to a reduction in the “Bad cholesterol” LDL, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance – according to IDM fasting can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 30% over time which will drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks. Inflammation makers are protein or otherwise that are used to detect the body’s level of inflammation; an IF lifestyle has been proven to improve the IF followers’ Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma viscosity (PV) which are all causes of inflammation which directly cause risk of heart attacks. Blood sugar levels can adversely affect the heart if they are out of control and IF diet helps to regulate blood sugar levels thus assisting in heart health and diabetes

Intermittent fasting for beginners
A Burger Meal Is easy on an IF diet .

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?​

Intermittent fasting has been liked to a reduction in the “Bad cholesterol” LDL, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance – according to IDM fasting can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 30% over time which will drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks. Inflammation makers are protein or otherwise that are used to detect the body’s level of inflammation; an IF lifestyle has been proven to improve the IF followers’ Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma viscosity (PV) which are all causes of inflammation which directly cause risk of heart attacks. Blood sugar levels can adversely affect the heart if they are out of control and IF diet helps to regulate blood sugar levels thus assisting in heart health and diabetes

Heart health:

Intermittent fasting has been liked to a reduction in the “Bad cholesterol” LDL, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance – according to IDM fasting can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 30% over time which will drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks. Inflammation makers are protein or otherwise that are used to detect the body’s level of inflammation; an IF lifestyle has been proven to improve the IF followers’ Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma viscosity (PV) which are all causes of inflammation which directly cause risk of heart attacks. Blood sugar levels can adversely affect the heart if they are out of control and IF diet helps to regulate blood sugar levels thus assisting in heart health and diabetes

intermittent fasting and heart health

Insulin resistance:

Depending on the IF method you choose Intermittent fasting can really help protect against type 2 diabetes as it reduces fasting insulin levels by up to 30 per cent and lowering blood sugar levels by up to 6 per cent.

With the growing obesity crisis in much of the world, it’s important to watch your sugar and insulin levels in order to prevent diabetes, intermittent fasting can be a great way of doing this without having to read countless food levels to figure out how much sugar is in the product.

Type 2 diabetes is BOTH treatable and reversible with a good diet and exercise.

Cancer Prevention :

According to mesothelioma.net, Intermittent Fasting may help to prevent cancer as it activates the immune system so that the cancer cells in the body are attacked by ones’ own immune system.

Insulin resistance on an IF diet

Brain health and Clarity:

Many people, me included, say that they feel clear and alert on their fasting days/periods;this improvement in one’s clarity of mind is probably due to the fact that the body is using all resources in a more efficient way when fasting because :

  1. The body immune responses are triggered
  2. The caveman instinct kicks in so the mind is already more optimised for problems solving and goal congruence (a plan to hunt and kill my dinner).
  3. There is no insulin in the blood so one doesn’t become sleepy or lethargic and;
  4. It increases the levels of brain hormone BDNF and may assist in the formation of new nerve cells in the brain.

I personally do all my best work on fasting day; it affords me focus and concentration that I do not get in my fed state.

Reduces the need to count calories and stops food type restrictions:

Intermittent fasting makes life easier as it eliminates the need to cut out food groups such as carbs and it already has an inherent calorie counting system, which means that its users don’t have to count calories.

What are the different ways that one can apply intermittent fasting to their daily schedule?

There are a few popular methods of IF I will begin with the one I use most often :

5:2 (Eat for five days of the week and fast for 2)

The 5:2 method is probably one of the more difficult methods of intermittent fasting as you go for without eating for 48 hours in that week. I start the fast when I go to bed on a Sunday night and then only eat breakfast on Tuesday. The next fast day starts Wednesday and ends breakfast on Friday morning.

 I personally love this method because I know that when Friday comes along I have fasted for the week and only have to worry about fasting in the next week.

The 16:8 method (where you fast for  16 hours of the day and eat for 8 )

The 16:8 is usually referred to as the skip breakfast method this method is great if you don’t mind only eating your first meal of the day 8 hours before you go to bed so this could be anywhere from 12:00 to 16:00 depending on when you sleep.

The first eight hours of this diet are spent sleeping and the rest are in the morning when you wake up.

Is intermittent fasting right for me?

It’s important that you DO NOT ATTEMPT intermittent fasting if you are suffering or have suffered from any of the conditions below:

Anorexia nervosa ( or any other eating disorder)

  •  It’s important to note that an IF diet/lifestyle may be a trigger for people who have a history of eating disorder as some of its applications involve periods of not eating which can be dangerous for a former

Are pregnant or expecting a child

  •  A pregnant woman must not attempt this as it could be dangerous for her baby as and can lead to miscarriages

Breastfeeding

  •  When breastfeeding you want to keep your blood sugar levels at a reasonably high level as your child is literally sucking calories from your body and everything from the sweetness to the colour of your breast milk is affected by the foods you

Have been prescribed medicine

  •  Sometimes being on a course of medicine may require you to halt your intermitted fasting methods until you get well IF they require you to have the tablets at a specific time of the Please consult with your healthcare practitioner for more information about this

People with the following conditions may fast but MUST consult their healthcare practitioners for supervision/advice:

  • Type 1 or Type to diabetes
  • High levels or gout or high uric acid

Is it dangerous to fast and work out?

No, in fact, it is recommended to rather workout (cardio) when you are in the fasted state as this burns more body fat than when you are in the fed state. If you are doing IF and lifting weight then I recommend that you lift soon after your first meal so that there is glucose in the blood for good gains.

What is the possible side effect of fasting?

The side effects of fasting vary from person to person but the most common are:

  • Light-headedness
  • Heartburn
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches and migraines

I personally have only had a mild headache and some heartburn, but, as I said this will differ from person to person.

What do I do when I get hungry?

It stills allows you to consume liquids such as water, tea or coffee.

Water can be used to fool the body into thinking that it is full to do this make sure that you stay hydrated and drink lots of water on your fasting days.

Tea has tons of weight loss and health benefits I wrote an article about tea on my blog that describes this in more detail but there are many teas that are natural appetite suppressants having a few cups of these teas and help greatly with your weight loss.

Depending on the method, you choose you may have more flexibility some users of the 5:2 method DO have up to 300 calories on their fasting day, but this, again, is a matter of personal preference.

Won’t I lose all my gains if I fast?

Yes and No

  • Foods that have just been consumed for which the body produces insulin ( Glycogen into Glucose )
  • Fat turns into glucose for energy
  • Amino acids
  • Muscle

Few users of the IF complain about muscle loss. all of the users that have sighted muscle loss have been users who fast for extended periods of time.

Can women and men fast?

Absolutely IF is effective for both men and women as a weight loss mechanism.

Will I lose weight?

Yes, you will lose weight but you will feel lighter days before you see any results on the scale it personally took me about 3 weeks to see a noticeable difference.

 Is Intermittent Fasting Sustainable?

Intermittent fasting is the MOST sustainable weight loss choice because you don’t have to cut out carbs, count calories or follow any conventional weight loss method

So what is the best way for a beginner to get started with intermittent fasting?

I would personally say that any beginner that starts this must first :

  • Know where you are
  • In order to know what you want you need to know where you are that why I recommend that you get on the scale weigh yourself and take measurements of all your centimetres
  • Make an assessment of what you want. (make a goal)
    1. In order to be successful at any venture in life, you need to have a goal and a plan for how you are going to achieve it. I recommend that beginners but their goal weight into a dairy or calendar
  • Asses your lifestyle and see which IF method will be best for you :
    1. No method of IF is best to choose the method that fits best into your lifestyle for the best
  • Document your results and setbacks
    1. Starting to lose weight? Missed a fasting day ?  all of these events must be daiarised so that you can see your progress this will keep you motivated and prevent failure
  • Add some exercises to your lifestyle
    1. You don’t have to run a marathon – start by taking your dog (or lizard ) for a walk and gradually step up the pace.

What should beginners know before intermittent fasting ?.

Beginners should remember these 6 important things

  • Pace yourself and start by not eating breakfast (it’s an effective way to get into fasting)
  • Start with only 1 to 2 days max fasting per week
  • Eat well balanced and nutritious foods and meals
  • Have you favourite fast foods too, this is not about starving yourself
  • Put your fasting schedule into your calendar to remind you about when you are fasting ( so you don’t accidentally eat on a fasting day )
  • Join communities to stay motivated and connect with people who are also on IF.

Intermittent fasting for beginners doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s the easiest and most effective way of losing weight and staying lean with little effort. Celebrities love intermittent fasting too. With intermittent fasting, you can get swole like Terry Crews and be lean and fit like Beyonce all by sticking to your fasting schedule and adapting your diet for your end goal. Take this guide and enjoy your new worry-free IF self.

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Franz Van Rooyen

Franz Van Rooyen is a health and fitness, blogger, interior designer, and sales and marketing expert with experience in the retail, design, and information technology fields. His love for health, fitness and beauty is the inspiration for many of the articles you will see on bionicsgo.com .

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