Posted on November 06, 2020 by Josh Puttock
Have you heard of intermittent fasting? Mostly likely yes, but how much do you know about it? You may assume it is just the next fad diet, and it is becoming a popular way to lose weight, but studies are showing a host of other beneficial effects on our bodies that should interest us all.
Many of us typically spread our food intake throughout the day with meals and snacks. Food is so readily available, we don’t need to hunt or gather anymore, and it is a pattern that has become the cultural norm. If we look, many other species and even our human ancestors, they will eat when they want or when they can, regularly going long periods without food as they need to earn it. It makes sense that our bodies can adapt to a longer fast and even begin to operate more effectively.
Possible health benefits of fasting:
- Weight loss and muscle gain
- Improved sleep
- Improved Gut health
- Cell regeneration
- Boosted brain function and mental focus
- Reduced insulin response
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced blood pressure
- Increased longevity
How to fast:
A 16 hour fast / 8 hour calorie intake (16:8) is a very popular plan to follow and a 20:4 plan could yield even greater benefits. You already fast during sleep, which could be as much as 8 hours. Start increasing that fasting period, either eating your first meal of the day later or your last meal earlier, you’ll be surprised how quickly your ‘eating window’ gets smaller. Yes, you will feel hungry, your brain is reminding you of times you usually eat and you will have good days and bad, rest assured these cravings will gradually decrease as your body adjusts. Drink plenty of water during a fast, unsweetened tea and coffee will also not ‘break your fast’. It goes without saying the healthier you eat during your feeding window, the easier and more effective your fast will be.
So many ‘diets’ fail because they don’t fit our life-styles and we quit before the results even show, think about how simple it would be to only eat once or twice a day in a window of 4 – 8 hours? A lot of us eat more than we need, putting strain on our bodies (and bank accounts) with no benefit to our wellbeing – maybe ‘Intermittent Fasting’ is a return to a more healthy way of life that will work for you.
Written by Mitchell Hollis, 250 City Road Gym & Spa Manager