What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is the practice of abstaining from eating for a set period of time. When the fasting period is over you resume eating. You cycle from fasting and then feasting, fasting and then feasting, etc.
There are different forms of intermittent fasting. Some people like to have a whole day of unbridled eating followed by a 0 calorie day. Others, like to eat just one meal a day and then fast the rest of the time.
My favorite form of IF (intermittent fasting) is the 16/8 hour split method. You fast for 16 hours and then you eat during an 8 hour window. I usually eat my first meal at 12pm and eat my last meal at 8pm. I fast from 8pm to 12pm each day with about 8 hours of the fast occuring while I sleep.
Why does IF seem to work so well? Well there are many physiological benefits that come when practicing IF. Here are a few:
- Fasting improves insulin sensitivity. Improving insulin sensitivity is one of the best ways to shed unwanted fat, gain muscle, and have a better body composition in general. Less of the food you eat is stored as fat when your insulin receptors are sensitive.
- Increased Growth Hormone- Your greatest surge of growth hormone happens while sleeping. Upon waking, your growth hormone levels are still high, but once you raise your insulin levels via eating, your growth hormone production shuts off. By delaying breakfast, you maximize the life of the growth hormone secreted during sleep. In addition, fasting for even longer periods of time, like 24 hours, has shown been shown in some studies to increase growth hormone by 2000%!
- Improved Fat Oxidation: Studies have shown that fasting for 12 hours or more can improve fat oxidation
- Increased Metabolism: fasting has shown to increase metabolic rate and overall energy expenditure.
- Normalized Appetite: Fasting has been shown to help regulate ghrelin, aka the hunger hormone. Ghrelin levels normalize during a fasting protocol. The less often you eat the less ghrelin you secret, which results in you feeling less hungry, more often.
- More testosterone: Short-term bouts of fasting have been shown to increase secretion of GnRH (Gonadotropin releasing hormone). GnRH signals to your gonads to release more luteinizing hormone which effectively upregulates testosterone production.
- Increased Autophagy: Cells clean themselves up by “eating” cell waste like damaged proteins and damaged cell membranes. Autophagy essential heals your body at the cellular level. This process has been linked with anti-aging, longevity, and improved metabolic health because it keeps cells young and functioning optimally. Autophagy has also been shown to reduce estrogen levels which is a major plus.
- Improved Gut Health: Fasting can make your gut stronger and healthier by giving it a break from digestion, protecting it from the negative impacts of stress, increasing levels of beneficial gut flora, and killing off the harmful ones..
- Increased Energy Levels: fasting tends to lead to increased energy levels and cognitive function. This is due to increased fat metabolism and ketone production.
- Improves Immunity: IF triggers immune stem-cell proliferation. During a fast, white-blood cells decrease in number. After a re-feeding, your body regenerates new, healthier immune cells that are ready to attack invaders.
Its safe to say with all of these benefits IF has a positive impact on hormone optimization, fat loss, and overall health.
I believe IF is the single best tactic to improve body composition. I also believe mastering insulin is super important for having a better body.
If you want to have a better body makes sure to check out my free Insulin Reset Plan. If you want to improve your insulin sensitivity and make your body a fat burning, muscle building machine this is definitely for you!