Intermittent fasting is the ancient secret of health. It is old because it has been practiced throughout human history. It's a secret because this powerful habit has been virtually forgotten.
But now many people are re-discovering this dietary intervention. It can have huge benefits if done right: weight loss, increased energy, reversal of type 2 diabetes and many other things. In addition, you will save time and money.
In this beginner's guide, you can learn everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting, is not that starvation?
No. Fasting differs from starvation in a crucial way. Control. Hunger is the involuntary absence of food. It is not deliberate or controlled. Fasting, on the other hand, is the voluntary retention of food for spiritual, health or other reasons.
Food is readily available, but you choose not to eat it. This can be for any period of time, from a few hours to days or even weeks. You can start a fast at any time of your choice and you can also end a fast at will. You can start or stop a fast for any reason or for no reason.
Fasting does not have a standard duration, since it is simply the absence of eating. Anytime you are not eating, you are fasting. For example, you can fast between dinner and breakfast the next day, a period of approximately 12 to 14 hours. In that sense, fasting should be considered as part of daily life.
It is perhaps the oldest and most powerful dietary intervention imaginable.
Consider the term "break fast." This refers to the food that breaks your fast, which is done daily. Instead of being a kind of cruel and unusual punishment, the English language implicitly recognizes that fasting must be done daily, if only for a short period of time.
Intermittent fasting is not something strange and curious, but a part of everyday and normal life. It is perhaps the oldest and most powerful dietary intervention imaginable. However, we have somehow forgotten its amazing power and ignored its therapeutic potential.
Learning to fast properly gives us the option to use it or not.
At its core, fasting simply allows the body to burn off excess body fat. It is important to realize that this is normal and that humans have evolved to fast without harmful consequences to health. Body fat is simply the energy of the food that has been stored. If you do not eat, your body will simply "eat" its own fat for energy.
Life is about balance. The good and the bad. The yin and the yang. The same applies to eating and fasting. Fasting, after all, is simply the other side of eating. If you are not eating, you are fasting. Is that how it works:
When we eat, we eat more food energy than can be used immediately. Some of this energy must be stored for later use. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of energy from food.
Insulin increases when we eat, which helps to store excess energy in two different ways. The sugars can bind in long chains, called glycogen and then stored in the liver. However, there is limited storage space; and once it is reached, the liver begins to convert excess glucose into fat. This process is called de novo lipogenesis (which literally means getting fat again).
Some of this newly created fat is stored in the liver, but most of it is exported to other fat deposits in the body. While this is a more complicated process, there is no limit to the amount of fat that can be created. So, there are two complementary systems of food energy storage in our bodies. One is easily accessible but with limited storage space (glycogen), and the other is more difficult to access but has unlimited storage space (body fat).
The process is reversed when we do not eat (intermittent fasting). Insulin levels decrease, which tells the body to start burning the stored energy as it does not pass through the food anymore. The blood glucose falls, so the body must now take the glucose out of storage to burn it and get energy.
Glycogen is the most accessible source of energy. It breaks down into glucose molecules to provide energy to the other cells. This can provide enough energy to power the body for 24-36 hours. After that, the body will begin to break down the fat for energy.
So, the body only really exists in two states: the fed state (high insulin) and the fasting state (low insulin). Either we are storing food energy, or we are burning it. It is one or the other. If the diet and fasting are balanced, then there is no net weight gain.
—————– Source: www.dietdoctor.com
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