What is Intermittent Fasting? What is the benefit?

First of all, I want to state that Intermittent Fasting may not be suitable for everyone, and everyone should be cautious when trying. Many people hold different opinions about intermittent fasting, which is normal. My view is not necessarily traditional, and I am not afraid to break the tradition and introduce something new. I believe in scientific basis and value personal experience more.

Intermittent fasting is a controversial topic whether at home or abroad. Many people say that this is not possible without personal experience that is not, this has no practical significance. Because many things cannot rely on imagination alone, but also on personal experience, just like looking at photos cannot truly appreciate the meaning of travel.
That’s it for nonsense. Next, I will talk about three points:

1. What is intermittent fasting?

2. What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

3. Reference plan and personal experience of intermittent fasting.

1. What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting refers to keeping zero calories or very low calorie intake for a certain period of time periodically. Periodicity means not always fasting. It can be fast for one day per week or one day per month, but not for several days in a row. This is very different from the traditional bigu or starvation diet. Intermittent fasting generally refers to not eating within 18-36 hours.

Zero calorie or very low calorie intake is also different from traditional bigu. Some people who do not eat food can eat fruits and vegetables, but they do not eat anything except drinking water and supplement vitamins and electrolytes during intermittent fasting.

Many people feel a little scared about fasting. In fact, in ancient times and famines, people often had a meal without a meal, and were often in a state of intermittent fasting. High blood pressure and diabetes were rare and not entirely accidental. Besides, in fact, we often inadvertently fast intermittently in our daily lives, but we just don’t pay attention.

For example, after eating dinner at six o’clock, go to bed with an empty stomach at night. Sometimes some people do not eat breakfast until noon the next day. In fact, they have fasted for 18 hours. Besides, sometimes we are busy at work and don’t care about eating. In fact, this is also intermittent fasting.

2. What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

These are the results of more than one study by authoritative research institutions. The summary is as follows
Reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk.
Regulate cholesterol levels, and promote the body to use fat as an energy source.
Significantly increases the secretion of growth hormone and promotes metabolism.

Attention, the above studies have proved that fasting can improve cardiovascular system disease indicators (for example, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels), whether intermittent fasting really can reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease or diabetes requires long-term research and follow-up to draw conclusions. But in some religious customs, such as Arabs during Ramadan and Mormons only eat one meal a day for a period of time. Studies have found that these people have better cardiovascular health indicators than the average person during this period. Maybe this is not entirely accidental.

Of course, I know that many friends care about the effect of fasting on fat loss. In this regard, Dr. John Berardi, an authority on sports nutrition, has used his body to do a six-month experiment. I have done many experiments myself, and each time has a similar effect. The results of the most recent 24-hour fast are as follows

Weight: Reduced by 0.9 pounds (about 0.8 kg).
Fat: Reduced by 0.4%.
Body water: Increased by 0.3% (measured on my electronic scale. This is very important because it tells me that the weight loss is not caused by dehydration).

Waist circumference:

Decreased by 0.5 cm (I measure it under the same conditions, and take the average of three measurements each time to reduce the error).

In addition to these objective indicators, I think the biggest benefit that intermittent fasting brings to me is the sense of physical relaxation. Perhaps it was because I felt a sense of accomplishment after persisting for 24 hours. It was also because the fat accumulated in the blood vessels was cleared. I felt very relaxed.

I don’t want to explain more about the fat loss mechanism of intermittent eating. In fact, it is similar to the mechanism that benefits the cardiovascular system. After all, fat is the body’s excess energy reserve. When fasting, when there is no other energy source, people need to maintain normal physiological functions and can only use the body’s reserve oil. Some people may still have doubts. We can think about it. In modern society, we have food to eat when we are hungry. Will we fail to provide enough reasons for the body to burn fat (exercise is one of the reasons)? After being idle for a long time, is our body’s fat burning mechanism dormant due to waste? Will it be activated because of intermittent fasting?

3. The intermittent fasting reference plan

The following is my own plan for reference only. Note that there are many intermittent fasting programs. I personally think this program is more feasible and I have experienced it many times, so the introduction is as follows
6 pm on the first day: After eating a normal dinner, fasting begins.
Skip breakfast, lunch, and snacks the next day, try to eat nothing, but pay attention to drinking water.

At 6 pm the next day: After eating a normal dinner, fasting is over.
I think it’s easier to start fasting after dinner. Because I will not sleep hungry. Moreover, people have to fast for 10-12 hours when they sleep overnight, so fasting is only extended for more than ten hours on this basis.

The next day, I will feel very hungry at breakfast time, and I have to get through it and drink water or green tea. Around ten in the morning, you will feel hungry again, and your body will even get a little cold, because the body feels insufficient energy supply and starts to reduce metabolism to save energy. You can drink green tea or black coffee to refresh and improve metabolism. After going through it, I didn’t feel so hungry at lunch.

I may feel a little excited in the afternoon because some adrenal cortex hormones are secreted. Because I have no illusions about food, I sometimes feel that my work efficiency is higher. The last two hours were a little uneasy, because the fast was almost over. At this time, try to stick to the scheduled time, because most growth hormones are secreted at this time, and growth hormone is a fat burning weapon. Sometimes two or three hours early is fine, and I have done this many times myself.

Other reference information and precautions

Note: Fasting is not forbidden to water. Be sure to drink plenty of water! I usually drink 500ml every two hours, in the form of boiled water, lemonade, brine, black coffee, and tea.

Pay attention to vitamin and electrolyte supplement:

I take multivitamin tablets, salt water, or potassium supplement tablets.

Try to achieve zero calorie intake

But sometimes very low calorie intake is acceptable. I usually take about 20 grams of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) within 24 hours to reduce muscle breakdown. If you are really hungry, you can eat a little vegetable such as cucumber, or a few almonds or peanuts, but try not to, because once you eat it, you may not be able to keep it up. Do not eat fruits, because too much sugar will affect the effect.

Choose a day you can control and fast.

I myself mostly fast from Saturday night to Sunday night because it is easier to control the time on weekends. But some have done a period of fast on Monday, and work as usual. Because there is no food distraction, it is more efficient.

When traveling on business

It is actually a good opportunity to fast. I personally used to travel on business trips every Monday and Thursday, which is a good opportunity to fast because I no longer have to worry about eating unhealthy junk food outside. However, you must pay attention to hydration when fasting during business trips.

It is best not to exercise vigorously

During the 24 hours of fasting to avoid hypoglycemia and excessive muscle breakdown. Some fasting programs suggest that you can exercise one hour before the end of fasting. This may have a good effect on muscle gain. I tried it and it didn’t feel good.

Note that the first meal after 24 hours

of fasting is the key to success or failure. Follow a normal diet and balance carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Enjoy slowly. Do not burst or eat a lot of sweets. I have not achieved the desired result several times because of this, and I have made myself very regretful for losing self-control.

Regarding the frequency of intermittent fasting.

During my fat loss period, it is once every two weeks, sometimes once a week, and I feel uncomfortable too often. Sometimes after eating a lot of cheating meals, I also fast for one day to keep my progress. Intermittent fasting is also a way to break the plateau of the fat loss period, but you must be careful not to eat more rebounds the day after fasting. During the muscle gain period, I rarely do intermittent fasting. If the fat gains too fast, I will do it once a month

People with stomach ulcer

And low blood sugar, or those who are phobic about new things, try cautiously!

I repeat, intermittent fasting is not for everyone. I also know that most people will not try. However, if you think the above research has some truth to what I said, you might as well experiment with your body and experience it for yourself.
Maybe some people have to try a few times before they can really appreciate the effect of intermittent fasting. The first time I tried fasting for 16 hours, I couldn’t bear it. Later, I tried a few more times to keep it up to 24 hours. There were also many times I tried to fast until 18 hours. Now my hunger during fasting is no longer so strong, it is more of a sense of control over my body and a sense of relaxation after fasting.

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