What is Intermittent Fasting?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

September 10, 2020

Intermittent fasting cycles fasting and eating for a period of time. That period of time could be fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours, or it could be fasting for 20 hours and eating for 4 hours. Options for longer hour fasts do exist, too.

Generally, intermittent fasting is used to lose weight and improve overall health. But, it needs to be done the right way to reap the benefits.


The Absence of Eating

First things first: Fasting is not starvation!

If you fast for a certain number of hours in a day, you are not going to jeopardize your health.

Think about it this way: Fasting can be looked at as a period of time where we voluntarily give up food for additional health benefits; Starvation is not voluntary.

Furthermore, when we fast, our bodies feed on the extra fat in our bodies - not damaging our internal health one bit.


The Weight Loss Process of Intermittent Fasting

To sum it up, fasting causes the body to quite literally eat its own fat to produce energy.

To clarify, the process goes as follows:

When we eat, some of the food is automatically used up, and the rest of the food is stored away for later use. While the food is stored, insulin levels rise and sugar is stored in the liver, while additional unused food is turned into fat and stored throughout the body.

When we fast, the opposite happens. Insulin levels drop and our bodies burn the already stored sugar and fat.


What are the Benefits?

There are many long-term benefits to long-term fasting. Some of the most common ones that you’ll be able to see shortly into the process include:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased fat burning
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Increased energy
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Reduction in inflammation


What Are Some Fasting Options?

The most common options include the 16:8 choice and the 20:4 choice.

16:8 requires the faster to give up food for 16 hours of the day. The faster is then only allowed to eat 8 hours out of the day, leaving room for approximately two meals and snacks in between.

Usually, the first meal of the day or the last meal of the day is skipped or ‘lessened.’ Some choose breakfast, others choose dinner.

A typical 16:8 will break fasting at 11 AM and start it back up at 7 PM.

20:4 requires the faster to give up food for 20 hours of the day. The faster is then only allowed to eat 4 hours out of the day, leaving room for one large meal or two small meals and possibly one snack.

When not fasting, the only consumption that can take place is that of water and coffee. Some teas are subject to the rule.

Longer fasts may need medical supervision and attention.


When is Fasting Not OK?

There are certain circumstances to be aware of when fasting. Some situations are not healthy, at all, to fast.

If you are underweight, pregnant, or breastfeeding, fasting can cause dangerous side effects.

Also, consult a doctor if you have diabetes, other underlying health conditions, or if you’re on prescription medications.


Possible Side Effects

Side effects are rare, but they can happen. It’s best that you’re aware of symptoms that can and may pop up through fasting periods.

The most common include:

  • Hunger
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Muscle cramps

Also in The Keto Blog

Everything you need to know about MCT Powders
Everything you need to know about MCT Powders

May 14, 2021

If you're new to the ketogenic diet, you might not have heard of MCT Powders and some of its advantages. This article discusses everything MCT powder-related, from what it is to the benefits while on Keto.

What is MCT?

Most of the fatty foods that you consume have some form of triglycerides. They can be categorized as short, medium, and long-chain triglycerides. You may have already guessed it, but MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides.

MCT's are absorbed faster in the bloodstream, which is excellent when you are on Keto because you can get an energy boost quicker.

Read More

Keto Dieting Over 50
Keto Dieting Over 50

May 07, 2021

The older we get, the longer our bodies take to break down food. Even if you monitor the amount of food you eat, it's inevitable; you'll gain some weight. Some people may see changes in their metabolisms as early as age 30. The ketogenic diet helps promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism and reducing your carb intake. According to Harvard Health, keto is the ultimate low-carb diet. Keto is ideal for anyone that wants to reduce the number of carbs they consume daily, in addition to a reduction in appetite. 

Read More

The Importance of Electrolytes on Keto
The Importance of Electrolytes on Keto

April 09, 2021

As you begin the ketogenic diet, you may experience some dramatic shifts in your body's functionality. As your body adjusts to operating on a low-carb diet, you may experience the keto flu but also a surprising loss of sodium-potassium and other essential mineral intakes. This may lead to dehydration for some keto dieters. In this article, we will discuss some of the importance of electrolytes during the ketogenic diet.

Read More