What is Intermittent fasting and why would I do it?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
Why would I want to change the times I eat versus what I eat?
Well, most notably, it’s a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing.
Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of “simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.”
There are 5 different versions or ways to fast with Intermittent Fasting:
1 – Leangains: Which is fasting for 16 hours and then eating for 8.
2 – Eat Stop Eat: Fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week
3 – The Warrior Diet: “Undereating” for 20 hours and then eating one large meal at night.
4 – Fat Loss Forever: A combo of Eat Stop Eat, The Warrior Diet and Leangains, and combines it all into one plan. You also get one cheat day each week (yay!) — followed by a 36-hour fast.
5 – Up Day Down Day Diet: Eat very little one day, and eat like normal the next. On the low-calorie days, that means one fifth of your normal calorie intake.
What are the benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
1. Reduces kitchen food prep time, therefore making you days simpler.
Intermittent fasting allows me to eat one less meal, which also means planning one less meal, cooking one less meal, and stressing about one less meal. It makes life a bit simpler and that can be a huge help within my busy days.
2. Helps you live longer.
Scientists have long known that restricting calories is a way of lengthening life. From a logical standpoint, this makes sense. When you’re starving, your body finds ways to extend your life.
The good news is that intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction. In other words, you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
Way back in 1945 it was discovered that intermittent fasting extended life in mice. More recently, this study found that alternate day intermittent fasting led to longer lifespans.
3. Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.
This one is up for debate because there hasn’t been a lot of research and experimentation done on the relationship between cancer and fasting. Early reports, however, look positive.
This study of 10 cancer patients suggests that the side effects of chemotherapy may be diminished by fasting before treatment. This finding is also supported by another study which used alternate day fasting with cancer patients and concluded that fasting before chemotherapy would result in better cure rates and fewer deaths.
Finally, this comprehensive analysis of many studies on fasting and disease has concluded that fasting appears to not only reduce the risk of cancer, but also cardiovascular disease.
4. Intermittent fasting is much easier than dieting.
The reason most diets fail isn’t because we switch to the wrong foods, it’s because we don’t actually follow the diet over the long term. It’s not a nutrition problem, it’s a behavior change problem.
This is where intermittent fasting shines because it’s remarkably easy to implement once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time. Its simply a change in your habits and creating new ones.
Watch my journey of Intermittent Fasting for 5 days here.