I’ve heard a lot of experts talk about the healths benefits of fasting, especially for weight loss. My 2018 New Years Resolution is to get back to my wedding weight: 115 lbs. I recently read The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting by Jason Fung. With it being New Years and all, I figured now would be a good time to give it a shot! I’m always up for trying something new, especially if it has health benefits.
The Complete Guide to Fasting explains:
• why fasting is actually good for health
• who can benefit from fasting (and who won’t)
• the history of fasting
• the various ways to fast: intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting
• what to expect when starting to fast
• how to track progress while fasting
• the weight loss effects of fasting
• how to ward off potential negative effects from fasting
Intermittent fasting is often described as a diet, however, unlike traditional diets, there are no rules about what types of food you can and cannot eat. There are no foods that are restricted and no calories to count. Rather, intermittent fasting is a schedule of when to eat and when to not eat, or fast. The foods you choose to eat are entirely up to you.
Intermittent fasting is a schedule of eating and fasting for specific amounts of time during the day. There are several different fasting schedules. Fasts can range from hours to weeks. You could do a twenty-four-hour fast or try a forty-eight-hour fast. “Some try eating only once a day, every day. Others try a continuous fast for an entire week. Any of these can be effective,” says Dr. Jason Fung. The most popular time frame seems to be 16:8. That’s 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating.
I like the idea of eating only once a day, every day. That way you are still fasting for a good amount of time, but it isn’t anything crazy. It also isn’t a strict or set schedule.
On New Years Day, Monday morning, I weighed in at 122.5 pounds (with 22% body fat). I ended up only eating one meal that day (breakfast). I didn’t eat for the rest of the day. The next morning, I weighed in at 119 pounds. I was down 3.5 pounds in just one day of IF. It was hard skipping dinner that night, watching my husband eat his grilled cheese and tomato soup. I almost gave in when he said ‘are you sureeee you don’t want some?’, but I’m so glad I didn’t cave.
Intermittent fasting is much easier than it seems, especially if you stay busy, and it is an excellent way to simplify your healthy lifestyle. By cutting out a few meals, you spend less time and money eating.
There are also many health benefits. While fasting, your insulin sensitivity will improve, your body will undergo cellular repair, hormones that aid in muscle gain will increase, and your stored body fat becomes accessible and is burned. I don’t know about you, but I have some body fat I’d like to burn! In The Complete Guide to Fasting, Dr. Jason Fung says “Fasting: improves mental clarity and concentration, induces weight and body fat loss, lowers blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity, increases energy, improves fat-burning, lowers blood cholesterol, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, extends life, reverses the aging process, and decreases inflammation.”
If you have tried diets in the past without success, or if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, it might be time to give intermittent fasting a try. By simply adhering to a cycle of fasting and eating, intermittent fasting will give you control over your calorie consumption without any counting, measuring or restricting.
“The amount of weight lost on a fasting regimen varies tremendously from person to person… you must simply persist and be patient… Like everything else in life, fasting becomes easier the more you do it.” – The Complete Guide to Fasting
Have you tried intermittent fasting? How was your experience? Share in the comments below!