Intermittent Fasting 101…An Introductory Guide for Newbies.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is recently one of the most popular health, wellness and fitness trends of the year.

It has been practised throughout history and was just rediscovered in our generation.

It’s has huge benefits if done properly:weight loss, health and lifestyle improvement etc.

This is an introductory guide for Newbies to intermittent fasting.

Disclaimer: While intermittent fasting has many proven benefits, it’s still controversial. A potential danger regards medications, especially for diabetes, where doses often need to be adapted. Discuss any changes in medication and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor.

This guide is written for adults with health issues, including obesity, that could benefit from intermittent fasting. People who should NOT fast includes people who are underweight or have eating disorders like anorexia, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people under the age of 18.

What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

“Isn’t that going on a hunger strike or starving?”

No, it’s an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. That’s just eating at intervals.

It doesn’t restrict you to the type of food you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

Methods

There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.

During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.These are the most popular methods:

  • The 5:2 diet: With this method , you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.This still involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. However, on these two fasting days, it is permitted to eat 500 to 600 calories on each day. These calories can be consumed at any time during the day – either spread throughout the day, or as a single meal.
  • The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.For example, you may eat all your meals within the time period of 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. Generally, this means skipping breakfast. You generally eat two or three meals within this 8-hour period.
  • The 20:4: This involves a 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast. For example, you might eat between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm every day and fast for the other 20 hours. Generally, this would involve eating either one meal or two smaller meals within this period.

By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.

Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.

Health Benefits

  1. Weight Loss
  2. Lowers blood sugar
  3. Keeps your heart healthy
  4. Prevents cancer
  5. Anti-aging
  6. Boosts Brain Health

Who should NOT fast?

You should not do intermittent fasting if you are:

  • Underweight (BMI < 18.5)
  • Pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • Breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child.
  • A child under 18 – you need extra nutrients to grow.

You can fast, but may need supervision, under these conditions:

  • If you have diabetes mellitus – type 1 or type2
  • If you take prescription medication.
  • If you have gout or high uric acid

FAQ

Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.

1. Can I Drink Liquids During the Fast?

Yes. Water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are fine. Do not add sugar to your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream may be okay.

Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.

2. Isn’t It Unhealthy to Skip Breakfast?

No. If you make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then the practice is perfectly healthy.

3. Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?

Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements like fat-soluble vitamins may work better when taken with meals.

4. Can I Work out While Fasted?

Yes, fasted workouts are fine.

5. Will Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?

All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it’s important to lift weights and keep your protein intake high.

6. Will Fasting Slow Down My Metabolism?

No. Studies show that short-term fasts actually boost metabolism.However, longer fasts of 3 or more days can suppress metabolism.

7. Should Kids Fast?

Allowing your child to fast is probably a bad idea.

Should You Try It?

Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do.

Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out.

If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your health.

I’m still experimenting with this and I’ll write about my review soon.

Advertisements

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Interesting post, Alex.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Baffledmum says:

    Thanks for all the information!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Alex Nwosu says:

      I’m glad you like it

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Baffledmum says:

        I’ve been thinking about trying this for a while, wanted to ask- can fasting time be sleeping time?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Alex Nwosu says:

        Yes it can, it’s a period of time your body stays without food and thus slows down metabolism

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I had a friend who drank liquids on a Monday.. never ate..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Alex Nwosu says:

      Wow.
      That’s a still a form of IF it’s really rare seeing people who can cope with it

      Liked by 1 person

  4. antonio morena says:

    Reblogged this on Revolver Boots.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I started intermittent fasting a month ago and I’m loving it! I actually just posted my one month of fasting update 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alex Nwosu says:

      Wonderful, update me on how you’re doing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! so far so great! Losing weight and feeling amazing!

        Like

  6. jvlivs says:

    I appreciate this post. I’ve come across IF by accident, literally by accident (I’ll explain later), but let’s just say that as time went on, this discipline was hard (it still is, but manageable now), but it’s enjoyable as well. Currently my 8-hour window is 11:30-19:30. Push come to shove, 11a-7p, or 12-8p. There were occasions that I’d eat a few minutes past due to circumstances beyond my control, other occasions if I didn’t eat within the first few hours of my window, I’d eat a big meal, yet I was able to lose some weight. I’ve lost about 55-60 lbs. so far, I was exercising prior to my fasting, but the fasting actually broke the ice for me. I went down a size, some clothes I’ve had for years I can wear now whereas the others, I just had to hang up. But I love intermittent fasting. I regret not doing it in my younger years.

    Like

  7. Jessica says:

    What about bulletproof coffee? Since it doesn’t spike insulin, will it break a fast?

    Like

    1. BHL Blog says:

      It does technically break the fast because it’s caloric intake. In the other hand, as you said, fats such as butter and coconut oil don’t require insulin to be metabolized. I suppose it comes down to personal preference. This is a great post, by the way, Alex.

      Like

  8. Quite interesting 👍

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: