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Intermittent Fasting for Beginners - The Complete Guide - Diet Doctor

Health benefits of intermittent fasting

Health benefits of intermittent fasting
  • Weight and body fat loss
  • Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels 
  • Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Possibly improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Possibly increased energy
  • Possibly increased growth hormone, at least in the short term
  • Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
  • Possibly a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Possibly longer life
  • Possibly activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy
  • Possibly reduction of inflammation

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Intermittent Fasting for Beginners - The Complete Guide - Diet Doctor

Intermittent Fasting for Beginners - The Complete Guide - Diet Doctor

https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting

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Key Ideas

Fasting....

...is the voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons.

Food is easily available, but you choose not to eat it. This can be for any period of time, from a few hours up to a few days or – with medical supervision – even weeks on end.

It’s done by someone who is not underweight and thus has enough stored body fat to live off. 

Intermittent fasting for weight loss

When we fast, Insulin levels fall, signaling the body to start burning stored energy as no more is coming through food. Blood glucose falls, so the body must now pull glucose out of storage to burn for energy.

In essence, intermittent fasting allows the body to use its stored energy. 

Health benefits of intermittent fasting

  • Weight and body fat loss
  • Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels 
  • Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
  • Possibly improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Possibly increased energy
  • Possibly increased growth hormone, at least in the short term
  • Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
  • Possibly a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Possibly longer life
  • Possibly activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy
  • Possibly reduction of inflammation

Possible side effects

  • Hunger is the most common side effect of intermittent fasting. 
  • Constipation is common. Less going in means less going out. Standard laxatives can be used to help.
  • Headaches are common and tend to disappear after the first few times on fasts.
  • Mineral water may help if your stomach tends to gurgle.
  • Other possible side effects include dizziness, heartburn and muscle cramps

Things to keep in mind

  • Drink water
  • Stay busy
  • Ride out the hunger waves
  • Give yourself 1 month to see if intermittent fasting (such as 16:8) is a good fit for you
  • Follow a low-carb diet between fasting periods. This reduces hunger and makes intermittent fasting easier.
  • Don’t binge after fasting.

Types of fasting

Shorter fasts (<24hrs): 

  • 16:8: eating only during an 8-hour window during the day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours.
  • 20:4: 4-hour eating window and a 20-hour fast.

Longer fasts (>24 hours):

  • 24-hour fasts: fasting from dinner to dinner (or lunch to lunch).
  • 5:2 fast: 5 regular eating days and two fasting days.
  • 36 hour fasts: fasting the entire day.

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Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF)

The dietary practice of restricting your food consumption to a specific window of time. It is used as a supplement to your diet.
In this fasting state, our bodies can break down extra fat...

Approaches to intermittent fasting
  • Skipped meals - when you skip over a meal to induce extra time of fasting. 
  • Eating windows - this condenses your entire macronutrient intake between a 4 and 7-hour window. The rest of the time you are in a fasting state.
  • 24-48 hour cleanse - where you go into extended fasting periods and do not eat for 1-2 days.
Autophagy definition and benefits

The process by which the cell devours itself.

  • Non-essential parts like damaged proteins are recycled and invading microorganisms and toxic compounds are removed. 
  • Autophagy plays an important role in stopping the aging process, reversing disease, and preventing cancer, but it doesn’t happen all the time. 
  • Autophagic processes can be initiated by fasting, protein restriction and carbohydrate restriction.

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Intermittent fasting...

 ...is an increasingly popular eating pattern that involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time. It may boost your health. However, fa...

Popular regimens of fasting:
  • The 5:2 Pattern: restrict your calorie intake for two days per week (500 calories per day for women and 600 for men).
  • The 6:1 Pattern: similar to the 5:2, but there’s only one day of reduced calorie intake instead of two.
  • “Eat Stop Eat”: a 24-hour complete fast, 1–2 times per week.
  • The 16:8 Pattern: only consuming food in an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours a day, every day of the week.
Keep fasting periods short

Longer periods of fasting increase your risk of side effects, such as dehydration, dizziness, and fainting. 

The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter fasting periods of up to 24 hours — especially when you’re just starting out.

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Intermittent fasting

Fasting means abstinence of some or all food for a period of time.

Intermittent fasting ranges from eating a few calories all day every other day or several times a week to fasti...

A metabolic shift

It can take 10 to 12 hours to use up calories in the liver before your body changes over to use the stored fat.

After meals, glucose is used for energy, while fat is stored in fat tissue. During fasts, once glucose is depleted, stored fat is broken down and used for energy.

The easiest way to lose weight

To lose weight, strive for sixteen calorie-free hours. Stop eating by 8 pm, and eat again at noon the next day. Results can take up to four weeks to notice.

Intermittent dieters should eat healthy foods, including whole grains and healthy fats and protein. They should limit saturated fats and avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. Be sure to stay well-hydrated.

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