You have probably heard people talking about intermittent fasting and wondered to yourself what all the hype was about. Well fasting as a practice as existed for thousands of years and is practiced by many religions. There are many different ways of intermittent fasting and the methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
Each person's experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the most popular types of intermittent fasting.
1. Fast for 12 hours a day
The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
According to research, fasting for 10–16 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which in turn releases ketones into the bloodstream. This will encourage weight loss.
This type of intermittent fasting plan is a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.
2. Fast for 16 hours a day
Fasting for 16 hours a day, leaves an eating window of 8 hours. This is commonly called the 16:8 method or the Lean gains diet.
During the 16:8 diet, men fast for 16 hours each day, and women fast for 14 hours. This type of intermittent fast may be helpful for someone who has already tried the 12-hour fast but did not see any benefits.
On this fast, people usually finish their evening meal by 8 p.m. and then skip breakfast the next day, not eating again until noon.
A study on mice found that limiting the feeding window to 8 hours protected them from obesity, inflammation, diabetes and liver disease, even when they ate the same total number of calories as mice that ate whenever they wished.
3. Alternate day fasting
There are several variations of the alternate day fasting plan, which involves fasting every other day.
For some people, alternate day fasting means a complete avoidance of solid foods on fasting days, while other people allow up to 500 calories. On feeding days, people often choose to eat as much as they want.
One study reports that alternate day fasting is effective for weight loss and heart health in both healthy and overweight adults. The researchers found that the 32 participants lost an average of 5.2 kilograms (kg), or just over 11 pounds (lb), over a 12-week period.
Alternate day fasting is quite an extreme form of intermittent fasting, and it may not be suitable for beginners or those with certain medical conditions. It may also be difficult to maintain this type of fasting in the long term
4. A weekly 24 hour fast
Fasting completely for 1 or 2 days a week, known as the Eat-Stop-Eat diet, involves eating no food for 24 hours at a time. Many people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch.
People on this diet plan can have water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks during the fasting period.
People should return to normal eating patterns on the non-fasting days. Eating in this manner reduces a person's total calorie intake but does not limit the specific foods that the individual consumes.
A 24-hour fast can be challenging, and it may cause fatigue, headaches or irritability. Many people find that these effects become less extreme over time as the body adjusts to this new pattern of eating.
People may benefit from trying a 12-hour or 16-hour fast before transitioning to the 24-hour fast.
So as you can see there are a number of different ways to fast. You may be asking yourself why do I want to fast and be hungry. Well the initial reason most people initially take up fasting is to lose weight mainly in the form of fat stores. And this is true you will lose weight as restricting your eating window will ultimately restrict your calories hence a reduction in body weight.
But how does it work? To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the fed state and the fasted state.
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it's very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the post–absorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isn’t processing a meal. The post–absorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you're in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don't enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it's rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.
So as you can see fasting promotes fat loss. But thats not its only benefit. The process of fasting starts a number of physiological mechanisms. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, leads to increases in the quality of mitochondria, and it also increases autophagy. This is the cellular self-cleansing process whereby damaged cells are cleared.
So to summarise not only does fasting help you lose weight but it will actually make you live longer and prevent inflammation and the diseases associated with this so why not give it a try.
Our products are developed to assist you with this process. They contain collagen proteins along with MCT fats. These are proven to assist with fat loss. They can be taken during your eating window or during your fasted period. If taken during your fasted window they will assist with satiety and give you that boost in energy to get you through to your eating window. Due to the products containing minimal carbs your insulin levels will remain stable whilst the MCT fats will provided instant energy.