Intermittent Fasting: A Guide for Beginners

Intermittent Fasting: A Guide for Beginners

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Intermittent Fasting: A Guide for Beginners

You want to hear a crazy idea …


I’m sure at least once in your life you’ve had issues with having low energy, trouble focusing, and were dissatisfied with your weight. (everyone does, no judgment here)


And while these issues can be from a number of causes, they’re often a result of poor diet and food choices (and from not drinking enough STRONG Coffee ;)


But here’s something you’ve probably never heard before … (here comes that crazy idea)


If you want to maximize your health, it’s not just about what you eat, it's about when you eat.


What I’m talking about here is the systematic method of timing your meals …


That sounds great and all, but the “systematic timing of your meals?”… What the f*%k is that supposed to mean??


It’s something called intermittent fasting - a calculated guide to scheduling your meal times, and it's proven to have a lot of valuable health benefits that are changing lives.


In this article, we’ll discuss : 

  • What is Intermittent Fasting
  • Intermittent Fasting Methods
  • 3 Benefits of Intermittent fasting



What is Intermittent fasting?

Simply put, intermittent fasting is a diet pattern that cycles between times of eating and times of fasting.


In other words, you have selected hours of the day to eat. Once that time window is up, you’re done eating for the day. Plain and simple. 


You might be wondering “What about drinks? Am I supposed to go without water while I’m in my fasting window?”


Luckily, the answer is no. It’s ok to drink liquids that don’t have any calories or sugar in them. 


This is why water, tea, and black coffee all pair great with intermittent fasting. (especially our own BLACK Coffee ;)


That sounds all nice and dandy, but don’t our bodies need food for fuel on a regular basis? 


Actually … no, you don’t need food every few hours to fuel your body, says Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson.


Along with thousands of other scientists, Dr. Mattson has studied the effects of intermittent fasting and its relationship with the body/brain. In this field of research, he’s found two important things: 

  • Over the course of evolution, our bodies’ naturally developed the ability to go without food for extended periods of time.
  • Our bodies’ actually thrive when deprived from food in a systematic way.


At a first glance, this doesn’t really make any sense … but just think about it.


In prehistoric times before farming was invented, humans got their food from hunting and gathering.


And even if you’ve never been hunting before, it doesn’t take a scientist to know that hunting can be a long, energy draining process. Because of this, our bodies have evolved to go long periods of time without food. 


Along with many others, Dr. Mattson has found that through following an eating schedule, this allows us to sync up with our circadian rhythm - the natural rhythm of our bodies that tells us when to eat, when to go to sleep, when to wake up, etc. 


But fasting isn’t as simple as not eating - it's eating at the right times. 


In order to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting, it takes sticking to a disciplined schedule. Below are three different fasting methods that all have proven to be safe and effective.



Intermittent Fasting Methods

16/8 method

One of the most popular methods of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method. 


This method is exactly what it sounds like: you have an eight hour window to eat for the day, and once that window is up, you don’t eat for the next sixteen hours.


While that may sound like a long time to go without eating, it becomes a lot easier when you time it right.


Some popular eating windows for this method are:

  • 7 am - 3pm
  • 9 am - 5pm
  • 12 pm - 8 pm
  • 2 pm - 10 pm


A lot of folks that aren’t a fan of breakfast prefer the 12pm - 8pm window. As long as you can fast overnight and skip breakfast, you’ll easily be able to fill your stomach while also making it sixteen hours without eating.



5:2 Method

The 5:2 method is another simple yet effective way of fasting. 


This method calls for restricting your food intake to 500-600 calories for two days. For the other five days, you eat how you normally do.


It doesn’t matter when you choose your two days to fast, all that matters is that you’re aware of what your calorie intake should look like.


 For the other five days, the choice is yours to eat whatever you heart (and stomach) desires.




The eat-fast-eat method is probably the rawest form of fasting. 


This method is simple: Your fast starts from the second you finish your last meal, and ends exactly 24 hours later.


An example of how this method looks in practice is this:  You eat your last meal at 7 pm, then wait until 7 pm the next day to eat again.


While this might be a more extreme way of fasting, it has been proven to be beneficial for many people.



3 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting


1. Weight Loss

The most popular reason why most folks fast is because it's an effective tool to manage your weight.


Research has shown that intermittent fasting is a simple yet effective way to lose weight. One study in particular showed that intermittent fasting can result in 3-8% weight loss in total body fat during a 3-24 week period


Fasting does this by putting your body into a state of Ketosis - a state where your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. 


Because your body is now burning fat for energy, this helps eliminate excess fat and proves to be impactful when trying to drop some lb’s.



2. Promotes Brain health


Another benefit of intermittent fasting is its shown to be good for your brain health


One study found that fasting increases the brain hormone BDNF, which supports the production and survival of brain neurons and cells. Increased amounts of BDNF have also shown to improve memory and play a major role in the quality of your nervous system.


But fasting’s brain benefits don’t stop here - fasting also has shown to increase overall energy levels, and helps enhance your focus.


Because fasting puts your body into a state of Ketosis, all the extra energy that would normally be used for digesting food is used by your brain. This can lead to better focus, mental clarity, and increased energy.



3. Good for your Heart Health


When comparing diseases, the WHO named heart disease as the number 1 overall cause of death worldwide.


Luckily, research has shown very promising evidence that intermittent fasting can help promote heart health. 


Intermittent fasting does this by lowering something called “risk factors.” 


Risk factors are exactly what they sound like - they are health markers that are associated with heart disease


Much evidence supports that fasting helps improve these risk factors:

  • Blood sugar levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Inflammation markers




If You Read Anything, Read This …


Although most schools of thought revolve around what you eat, maybe it's time you consider when you eat to be just as important. 


Intermittent fasting is a simple yet effective way to improve your diet and overall health. By choosing from a variety of eating windows, fasting can help you lose weight, improve your brain health, and make your heart stronger.


By following the 16/8 method, 5:2 method, or the “eat-fast-eat” method, you can incorporate intermittent fasting into your everyday life. And with a little discipline and commitment, you too can start reaping the benefits of intermittent fasting.


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