Intermittent Fasting

The True Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Is the thought of fasting making you hungry? Why are people fasting? It’s not for calorie restriction.

One of the hottest health and fitness trends is intermittent fasting. It’s being used to lose weight, improve health, and simplify lifestyles. Studies show that it can have effects on your body and brain.

Fasting is almost as old as the world humans have been around, dating back to our ancestors hunting and gathering days. Fasting is a fact of life, and our metabolism is wired to go through periods of nutrient deficiency—sort of like a mandatory fasting exercise for cavemen. They had to search for food before they had the luxury to eat.

Since our bodies are wired this way, fasting can become a way to regulate our intake and our hormones associated with weight gain.

One of the best techniques to help with fasting is to section the time that you eat and allow for a period of 16 hours a day (or night) for fasting, a 16:8 intermittent fasting method. This type of fasting allows you to fast for 16 hours and eat within the remaining 8-hour window.

However, the biggest question is: does it work? Studies upon studies have been conducted, and they have shown that fasting 16 hours a day comes with so many benefits that we will discuss below.

A Johns Hopkins neuroscientist has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years. The studies conducted indicate that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer.

In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive — and thrive — for long periods without eating. They had to: It took a lot of time and energy to hunt game and gather nuts and berries.

Even 50 years ago, it was easier to maintain a healthy weight. Johns Hopkins dietitian Christie Williams, M.S., R.D.N., explains: “There were no computers, and TV shows turned off at 11 p.m.; people stopped eating because they went to bed.

Portions were much smaller. More people worked and played outside and generally got more exercise.”

How to fast 16 hours a day

Intermittent fasting is a method of fasting for a longer period of time. Don’t worry that you will not be able to do this. Most healthy people can easily switch between going without food for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours.

The human body has a mechanism for enduring prolonged periods without food. The body will burn fat for energy, and your blood sugar will remain relatively normal.

You will be surprised at how well you function.

A method you may employ is to have a good dinner and wait until lunchtime the next day to eat your first meal. Break(fast) may be misnamed for lunch.

This period of fasting decreases the amount of hormone called insulin. This hormone is responsible for the intake of sugar to enter your cells. Unfortunately, with an American diet of snacking, we are on insulin overload which causes us to become insulin resistant get fat, and become dependent on medicine.

Extending your time between meals will better regulate your insulin levels and reset your body’s metabolism. The important thing to note here is that there should always be a gap of at least 16 hours between eating and fasting.

It’s Dieting on Auto-Pilot

Fasting for 16 hours a day may be a better alternative to calorie counting, which typically requires the elimination of certain food groups.

While it still requires you to be mindful of the portions, you do not have to count calories but watch the frequency at which you consume meals. You learn to perceive food for what it is, nourishment, and not some enemy trying to make you fat and ruin your life.

Also, during periods of fasting, the body goes into a starvation state and tries to use up all the fat stores that it can use as its fuel source to nourish the body. The body will actually begin to burn fat cells for fuel. This aligned with Atkins’s theory on the ketosis effect.

Dr. Jason Fung of The Obesity Code stated that, “high insulin secretion has long been associated with obesity. Obese people secrete much higher levels of insulin than do normal weight individuals.” He covers this more in depth in his 6-part video series. Fasting will naturally decrease calorie intake and limit the amount of insulin secreted into your body. 

5 Reasons Why You Need to STOP DIETING

Intermittent Fasting Reduces Body Fat

Weight loss doesn’t always translate into fat loss. When most people lose weight with fad diets, they usually lose water, muscle mass, and a little body fat.

But with 16-hour fasts, you’ll mainly lose body fat. If you want to lose weight, eat less frequently, move more, and focus on improving your diet and exercise habits.

You need to take in fewer calories than you expend. If you want to lose more fat than you lose during the day, fast for 16 hours. Then, when you wake up, wait as long as you can before you have lunch.

Alternatively, a convenient schedule for fasting is to eat breakfast and lunch and skip dinner entirely. Use whatever combination will work for you to achieve the 16-hour gap that is needed for you to be successful.  

Research shows that intermittent fasting does more than burn fat.

One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed data about a range of health benefits associated with the practice. The study explains, “When changes occur with this metabolic switch, it affects the body and brain.” These include a longer life, a leaner body, and a sharper mind.

Many things happen during intermittent fasting that can protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease, and many cancers,” the study states.

It is Easier to Incorporate Intermittent Fasting Into Your Day

Intermittent fasting is easy to incorporate into your day. We are all looking for an easy diet to follow and to get the most bang for our buck.

Instead of eating breakfast in the morning, exercise, read a book, or get an extra hour of work in.

With intermittent fasting, there is no need to prepare breakfast if that is the meal you intend to skip. If you are not hungry, you do not need to eat lunch either. Even if you are hungry, there is still no need to eat.

Your body will start to adjust, and you will eventually crave the food. Most people have been able to achieve long periods of fasting for days or even weeks at a time.

There are many ways to implement intermittent fasting and make it easy to incorporate into your routine.

Here Are Some Tips for Success:

Stay busy

If you reduce the number of meals you eat each day, you’ll be surprised by the extra available time. You might also find that eating is psychologically soothing for you.

One of the best ways to handle both issues is to stay busy. Use the extra time wisely!

If you reduce the number of meals you eat daily, you’ll be surprised by the extra available time.

Drink water freely

The fact that you are reducing the number of times you eat does not indicate that you should restrict the amount of water you consume.

When following a diet that involves periods of fasting and drinking, water is the optimal beverage to consume. Juices, sodas, and energy drinks are filled with sugar and calories that you don’t need.

Quality still matters

Even though you may be reducing the number of meals you eat each day as well as the total number of calories you take in on a daily basis, this does not give you the license to eat everything you want.

The quality of the nourishment you provide for your body remains critical.

Point of fact, it might be even more critical now to ensure that you acquire the necessary nutrition.

Plan out your meals

One of the best tips for staying on track is to plan out what you’re going to eat and when. Make plans for tomorrow right after you’ve had dinner tonight. You’ll be full and satisfied and more likely to make smart decisions.

Expect some challenges

Have you ever thought about how the family dog always knows when it’s time for dinner? His stomach is giving him signals that it is time for him to eat. The same thing happens inside your body.

It is accustomed to eating at a particular hour. It will take time for your body to comprehend what is being communicated. Just keep trying.


You still have the option to exercise, and you should maintain a routine. There is no need to stop—many athletes continue to exercise and perform during fasting.

Your body needs regular exercise to maintain strength, fitness, and overall health.

View the fasting period as a rest for your mind and body

When viewed as a form of self-denial, abstaining from food presents a greater challenge.

You are, in fact, engaging in an activity that is extremely beneficial to both your mind and your body. It is refreshing, soothing, and good for your health.

What Does Success Look Like

How can I be successful at intermittent fasting? If you have decided to fast, then you need to plan.

You can decide how to build out your 16-hour fasting schedule. Are you going to skip dinner, or is breakfast a better fit for your schedule?

The important factor here is that you make a decision and start. It will definitely require some changes to your eating habits. We are all social creatures, and eating with others is a social event in most cultures.

For the best results, you may need to plan around meals that include social gatherings and choose when to be strict or give in on special occasions. Give yourself permission once in a while to break with your fasting schedule, and you will find that adherence to this will be far more effective over the long haul.

Changing your dietary habits takes time and effort to be successful.

By incorporating a simple fasting schedule paired with a reasonable diet, you can achieve success in weight loss, improve your metabolism, and fight the devastating effects of adult-onset diabetes. 

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