Numerous people around the world have incorporated intermittent fasting into their lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where one schedules their meals around the clock. So, rather than changing what you eat, intermittent fasting helps with weight loss by changing when you eat. Therefore, you can continue eating your favourite meals (in regular quantities!).
When the body is digesting and absorbing food, it is in the ‘fed’ state. This state lasts for three to five hours. Resultantly, it’s very hard for the body to burn fat since insulin levels are pretty high.
The ‘post-absorptive’ state follows the fed state. During this time, the body isn’t digesting or absorbing any meal. This period is called the ‘fasted’ state and it lasts eight to twelve hours. During the fasted state, it is easier for the body to burn fat because insulin levels are low.
The 16/8 method is the most popular intermitted fasting schedule. It involves having your first meal in the afternoon at around 13:00, this is the first break of the fast. This then means that the eating period will go from 1300h to 2100h. After the final meal, the fast begins and carries on for 16 hours. You can opt to break your fast earlier or later than 1300h, just as long as you maintain the 16 hour fasted stated and 8 hour fed state.
Intermittent fasting helps you consume less calories by restricting your meals to a set time window. This style of eating also changes hormone levels and lowers insulin, which increases the release of norepinephrine (noradrenaline), a fat-burning hormone. Do note that if you binge eat during your eating window, you will not lose any weight.
Children should not partake in intermittent fasting as their bodies are not fully developed. Individuals with a chronic illness should also avoid this method of weight loss. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should seek professional medical advice before participating in intermittent fasting.
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