In one of the last post we discussed about the need to control insulin, as in the continuous presence of it you can't lose weight. The easiest way to achieve this is with intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is the first easy step into the world of fasting and autophagy where countless benefits can be found in your journey for health and longevity.
Simply put IF is the absence of food for a certain period of time. This absence of food for weight loss purposes is not as obvious as you may think. The goal here is not to eat less but to reduce the eating window during the day.
First benefits of intermittent fasting
- Tap into your body fat for energy in the form of ketones.Your body has an abundance of fat (even if you are thin) waiting to be converted into energy. In the presence of insulin you can't use that fat for energy. However for this to happen first you must digest the food you have eaten and then deplete from your liver the glucogen that is stored there. This takes some hours so the longer the fast the better the results.
- Become insulin sensitive, which means that you are really maximizing the absorption of nutrients by the cells.
There many more health benefits to IF such as
- Give your body time to rest and recover. Digestion is one of the most heavy processes in the body and you need to give your organs (mostly liver and pancreas) time to relax.
- Improve energy levels throughout the day. This may sound strange but if you think of it, you are actually a captive of food. You are always on the lookout for energy in the form of food. As mentioned though you have plenty of energy on you already. You just need to use it! And in this way you will regulate the blood sugars which are going wild every time you eat.
- Prevent diabetes. Diabetes in most cases is an insulin resistance problem and we will discuss this in depth in later posts.
- Trigger autophagy, which is the natural and most potent way of your body to get rid of waste such as toxins and dead cells.
- Promotes Growth Hormone creation which is crucial for muscle recovery and longevity.
How to start
I do not believe much in starting with any strict protocols, apart from a few guidelines.
- Eat dinner as early as possible. This will also help you sleep better. Between 6pm - 7pm is ideal.
- When you wake-up drink a glass or two of water. This will hydrate you and get your system going.
- Try to drink your first coffee (black only) or tea 1-2 hours after you wake-up. You actually don't need it before, for energy reasons, since your cortisol level is at its peak in the morning. Coffee will also help suppress your hunger.
- After this point whenever you get hungry feel free to eat. By now you should be already fasting for 12-14 hours.
- Don't over-do it. Fasting even for 12 hours can be a stressful process if you are new to this, so take it easy, follow the suggested steps and write down your challenges in the comments section.
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