So before diving into the benefits of intermittent fasting (IF), how it works, why you should do it and how it’s an effective method to lose weight, I would like to share with you how I came across IF and why I decided to do, make it part of my lifestyle & why it is the reason why you will never have to diet ever again! 🙂
It was only last summer just before Ramadan when I wondered why many religions (Buddhist, Islam, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, just to name few) include a fasting period?! Many people fast because it’s part of their religion and many fast to become closer to God etc.. I personally did it because it was a “must”, my role as a Muslim, I believed it was my duty & everyone fasted in my family so why would I not! But it was only last summer when I kept wondering if there was any health benefits to it??
& why wouldn’t there be any… Personally, I am a believer in God and if fasting is part of my religion then surely, there must be a good reason for that! 🙂
Anyways that’s how I started to do some research on fasting and came across an amazing blog post (Title “On Becoming Superhuman” !) and you guys should definitely check it out (click on the title) 🙂
So if you’ve read my last blog post “Breakfast. Is it really the most important meal of the day?!” you know that I’ve been doing IF for few months now, and I am in love, one for the obvious reason – WEIGHT LOSS! but if that’s not your goal then let me share with you the many other reasons why you need to integrate fasting into you diet 🙂
Before moving on, I really want to make sure that you know that this is not a diet, this is not starving yourself, it is not depriving yourself of things you want (chocolate or crisps) – it is simply a method that will help you burn FAT and become self-aware of your relationship with food along tons of other benefits (read below) !
Also I want you to know that you do NOT need to fast on daily basis, fasting once a week is just as good for you! Hence the 5:2 diet is a hit for some people! but not my style personally! :’)
Okay so why don’t I start by defining what I mean by fasting.. so for me when I say I fast I aim to fast for at least 14 hours! HOLD ON… don’t leave just yet (hopefully you’re still reading…) ! Let me tell you how that works…
My fasting period starts from the last meal I had the night before and it includes sleep! so say my last meal was at 9pm Wednesday evening and my first meal the next day (Thursday) is 3pm! I have just fasted for 18hours! 18 hours is a very long time for someone who is new to this so my advice is to fast for 4-6 hours upon waking up, drink plenty of water (which is allowed by the way!) and do what you need to do that day (while you digestive system gets some rest & you bowels get moving!….)
What are you allowed when fasting?? water, tea, black coffee a fruit! as long as it doesn’t include carbs, protein and fat you’re good! once you break your fasting period you are then allowed to eat WHATEVER YOU LIKE!
So what are some of the benefits of fasting??
It has now been scientifically documented and demonstrated that one of the most effective factors in improving human health and longevity is the reduction of intake and consumption. Therefore fasting allows the digestive system, the engine of the body, to rest from the normal demands of processing and breaking down food, freeing up system resources to cleanse and purify the body of accumulated toxins, thereby allowing more effective healing and tissue repair. Fasting keeps the body healthy and youthful (provided one does not overindulge when breaking fast).
Other benefits include:
- Intermittent Fasting Changes The Function of Cells, Genes and Hormones. When you don’t eat for a while, several things happen in your body. For example, your body initiates important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Bottom Line: When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes and change which genes they express.
- Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories, while boosting metabolism slightly. It is a very effective tool to lose weight and belly fat.
- Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels.
- Intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. This should have benefits against aging and development of numerous diseases.
- Intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
- Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.
- Intermittent fasting may have important benefits for brain health. It may increase growth of new neurons and protect the brain from damage.
& here you have it, how I came across IF and the benefits of IF 🙂 I want to stop here as this post is longer than I wanted it to be, but I am really excited for my future posts, where I will share with you how you can fast effortlessly and never get hungry, how you never have to cut any of your favorite foods, how you can eat late at night and still lose weight and how you will never have to track no macros or calories ever again!
I hope I didn’t put you off by mentioning the words: fasting or God! and I hope you enjoyed reading this post, you will click on the “Follow” button below! 😉
Lot of love, Arwa X