I shall begin this blog with a history lesson. Humans lived for thousands of years as hunters and gatherers. When food was scarce, you had to endure long periods of time without nutrition. The options for food was the game you hunted or whatever plants you could find. This was simply how the human body survived in its natural living state. So a plant based diet with fat and protein. Sound familiar? The main point though is that we as humans had windows of time when the body was not breaking down food that we eat. The body had to use its own sources of energy so that it could have the energy to find food to eat. We are designed to be in a state where out bodies are not always breaking down food. There are many benefits of being in your body's natural state, the fasting state.
Typical fast time ranges from 14 to 18 hours. You may also opt to delay eating, which is what I've been personally doing. I advise that you skip breakfast and eat your lunch and dinner within a six to eight-hour time frame, and stop eating three hours before you go to bed. You know you're a fat burner if you can go four to six hours between meals and even skip a meal with no problem.
Fasting will help your body adjust from burning carbs to burning fat. Eating on a six- to eight-hour window can take a few weeks and should be done gradually. Once your body has successfully shifted into fat burning mode, it will be easier for you to fast for as much as 18 hours and still feel satiated. Your craving for sugar will slowly dissipate and managing your weight will be easier.
It is not advisable to practice intermittent fasting if your daily diet is filled with processed foods. Addressing the quality of your diet is crucial before you venture into fasting. It's critical to avoid the wrong calories, including refined carbohydrates, sugar/fructose, and grains.
Within the six to eight hours that you do eat, you need to eliminate refined carbohydrates like pizza, bread, and potatoes. Fill your diet with vegetable carbohydrates, healthy protein, and healthy fats such as butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, and raw nuts.
So what are the benefits of the eating window other than the fat burning through controlled insulin hormone levels? Human growth hormone has been shown to increase by as much as 5 times which will facilitate more fat burning and muscle development. When we go to the cellular level, your body cleans your cells by removing waste material and there are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease. Intermittent fasting has been shown to help prevent CANCER in animal studies. One paper in humans showed that it can reduce side effects caused by chemotherapy. Bottom line is that the more energy our body has to use in order to break down food, the less time it will have to heal itself! Basically you have a building window of eating where you intake nutrients that heal you body and the you have a cleansing window in which you let your body use those nutrients to push out toxins and heal.
So fasting is not as intimidating as you would think. Most of the fast happens as you sleep so just by moving your dinner to an earlier time and moving you breakfast to brunch, you create a window for your body to heal itself from burning fat to healing at the cellular level. I suggest this for everyone simply because its the natural thing that the human body is supposed to do in the first place! Get on it and reap the benefits!