Date(s) - 05/13/2019
We’ve slowly gotten accustomed to eating regularly. Unfortunately, this makes fasting sound unappealing to most people. What you should know is that intermittent fasting has many benefits such as burning fat, preventing heart disease, and boosting longevity.
When you contemplate it, intermittent fasting will sound difficult. You’ll have questions and doubts. How can you go for long hours without food? Isn’t skipping meals bad for your metabolism?
Well, the good news is that fasting for a set number of hours is possible. Many studies show that fasting is beneficial to our health. With an intermittent fasting plan, you eat normally after your fast. In most plans, fasting lasts for a set period of time and you don’t have to do it every day. Your metabolism will stay up because you are rotating between periods of eating and fasting.
Here are the intermittent fasting benefits.
Look around and you’ll notice that most people are constantly snacking. Unfortunately, this habit messes up with the activity of a hunger hormone in our bodies. The hormone increases to signal you that it’s time to eat. In other words, it makes you feel hungry.
Generally, the hunger hormone (known as ghrelin) adapts to your regular eating times. For example, if you eat 3 meals a day, it will peak at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time. On the other hand, if you eat throughout the day, the hunger hormone increases regularly whether you’re truly hungry or not. Ghrelin no longer peaks to signal that you need calories; it peaks because your body is constantly consuming calories.
With intermittent fasting, you normalize the levels of ghrelin. At the beginning of your fasting journey, it will still peak at your regular eating times. When you don’t eat, it will keep rising. This is why the first week of fasting is challenging. You’ll likely feel hungry throughout your fasting window. If you stick to your fast, ghrelin levels will eventually drop.
With time, your hunger hormone will peak when you need to eat. In this way, fasting helps you manage hunger. You can identify what makes you hungry and what triggers constant snacking. Eventually, you’ll be able to go for longer periods without food.
Intermittent fasting is as simple as deciding what time you should eat. There are no major meal restrictions. This makes it easier to fit into your lifestyle. Once you choose an intermittent fasting method, the rest is simple. For example, for a 16-hour fast, all you need to decide is which meal you’ll skip. You can either skip breakfast or dinner. If you choose to fast for two days a week, you’ll decide which days will be the most convenient.
This simplicity of intermittent fasting makes it very attractive. You don’t have to count macros or calories. Plus, you get to prepare and enjoy your favorite foods
Going for extended periods without food will help you easily recognize when you’re full. You will eat less when you break your fast. If you overdo it with the first meal after fasting, you’ll end up feeling uncomfortably full and bloated. Studies have shown that people on the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet consumed fewer calories overall. This effect of intermittent fasting makes it effective for weight loss.
You can only break one habit with another. If you cultivate a habit of going without food for several hours, you’ll break the habit of snacking all the time. One incredible benefit of your new habit is reduced cravings. Though, you’ll have to stay busy during your fast to avoid obsessing over food. With time, you’ll feel less hungry. Remember, you can always enjoy your favorite snack during your eating window.
With intermittent fasting, there are no food restrictions and no major changes to one’s lifestyle. Most methods involve skipping a meal and keeping off snacks for a specified window of time. You are advised to stay hydrated to help keep the hunger pangs away. You’ll notice better clarity and focus in your day to day activities. Many people find it easy to stick with intermittent fasting. In fact, many nutritionists recommend this diet plan.