What is intermittent fasting?
Put simply, it is eating within a restricted timeframe, to put your body into a fasted state. In this fasted state your body works in magical ways.
It begins to use energy from your fat stores, you will feel very alert and energized and, best of all, not hungry at all!
Here are some tips to get you started.
I would suggest a shorter fasting period, therefore a longer eating window. Once you are a confident faster, you can reduce your eating window and do extended fasts.
On waking, wait to eat for 4 hours minimum. Then eat within a maximum of an 8 hour window. It is that simple.
After a few weeks, see if you can reduce the eating window to 6 hours.
In your fasted state you may drink:
LEMON/LIME IN WATER
A tiny splash of milk in drinks, providing it is a total of 25 cals per fast or less, may work. People have different opinions on this. It is best not to.... but if it is a matter of fasting or not, you should do it the way that suits you. You will still get benefits from doing it. Avoid all sweeteners!
What you may feel in the beginning...
Starting out fasting is an adjustment period for you and your body. You may experience lethargy, headaches and the simple disappointment of not eating breakfast.
This all passes. For me, I never enjoyed breakfast. And after 10 days I felt wonderful. It can take up to 3 weeks, so be patient.
You may experience headaches. Its essential to take electrolytes daily. This helps massively. And stay hydrated. The last piece of advice I'd give in this early period is to exercise... the endorphins you release helps dramatically.
For me, it was a decision based around weight loss. Simply put, to eat within a restricted window can mean less calories. And if you are thinking, well I'd just eat the same amount but in less time, you might not. In addition, during the latter part of your fast, your body learns to burn it's own fat stores for energy, so you are likely to get leaner and healthier, even if your total food intake is the same.
Your appetite decreases
You will feel a surge of energy in your fasted state
It can boost brain function, with clearer thinking
Fasting can aid with reducing inflammation
It may positively affect your heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels
It can increase Growth Hormone secretion, aiding weight loss and muscle renewal/strength
There is research to show it can aid in preventing cancer and reduce aging effects
24 hour fasts and extended fasts are something you can do once you are a seasoned faster!
Every so often I do a 24 hour fast. Sometimes, I'm just not hungry so I go with it.
Other times, I have been eating more than I'd like, so I would plan a 24 hour fast to get me back on track.
Extended fasting is not my area of expertise and I would suggest that you do some research if you are interested in doing it.