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The 10 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

October 17, 2019 in Being Healthy, The Tough Stuff - 6 min read
Intermittent fasting has been a part of my lifestyle for the past two years and I am so glad it is. If you watched my video on why I went vegetarian, you would understand how important it was for me to have a healthier lifestyle. My body, mind and soul was desperate for it and ultimately gave me no choice but to change. Once I became a vegetarian, I did so much research and watched so many documentaries on food. My favorites are Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and What The Health.
As a result, my awareness on the unethical everyday practices of the food industry and how detrimental it is to our planet skyrocketed. As well as my awareness on how my metabolism and the nutrients I need all work together to make me feel and be my best. I found out about intermittent fasting shortly after and was very intrigued. Coming from a Christian household, the term fasting was commonly used. However, growing up I always looked at it as something I could never do. I mean, everyone knows that you are what you eat and to keep eating junk food to a minimum but how could I go without any food for so long? On purpose. Wouldn’t that be counteractive to me feeling better if I’m not fueling my body? Nope. I had it all wrong. I feel like intermittent fasting gets a bad rep because so many people have so many misconceptions about it.
the 10 benefits of intermittent fasting pin

So what is it?

It is the practice of intentionally eating within a certain timeframe and committing to fasting the hours after that window closes. During the fasting period, the only things you can have are water, black coffee, or tea. That’s it. That’s the golden rule of intermittent fasting. There aren’t any restrictions about what to eat during your eating window (but I give you some tips below). It’s all about when you eat.

What types of intermittent fasting is there?

  • The 16/8 Method: daily 8 hour window to eat followed by a 16-hour fast
  • The 12/12 Method: daily 12 hour window to eat followed by a 12-hr fast fast
  • The 20-Hr Fast (Warrior Diet): 4 hour window to eat followed by a fast for 20 hours
  • The 24-Hr Fast: fasting for 24 hours
  • The 5:2 Fast: pick two days of the week (not back to back) where you eat only 500-600 during those two days
  • The 3-Day Fast: fast for three days not consuming anything except MCT Oil and ketone sources
  • Alternate Day Fasting: pick a method and fast every other day
  • The 36-Hr Fast: fasting for 3 days straight without any consumption of calories
The first three are the most popular and I personally stick to #1. You can commit to intermittent fasting 7 days a week or only 5 days out of it. It’s all up to you. Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend you do #4-#8 without doing some research of your own and talking to a healthcare professional first.
intermittent fasting schedule

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?*

There are a ton of benefits and they all work together to make sure you start everyday at your best physically and mentally. Intermittent fasting works with your body not against it. By getting yourself on a this schedule of eating, you’re building a healthy habit and syncing with every system in your body. It helps on the the cellular and molecular level.
  1. Boost of Human Growth Hormone (HGH): gives you more energy
  2. Weight Loss: As a result of the the HGH being optimized, it increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline) making it is easier to lose weight since on top of that you’re eating less. So no crazy diets or being self conscious about your calorie intake here.
  3. Get Physically Stronger: By working out first thing in the morning during your fast, specifically with weight lifting and high intensity interval training, you will boost your hgh even more and gain muscle easier. If you need a mental boost to start working out again, read this.
  4. Anti-Aging: balances your cortisol, human growth hormone, insulin and other hormones responsible for aging.
  5. Normalizes Insulin Sensitivity: insulin and weight gain is correlated. As well as testosterone and estrogen levels. However, by fasting and eating meals full of protein, fiber, healthy fats and other antioxidants, it will keep you leveled and energized so there won’t be any drastic dips before or after you eat.
  6. Regulates Ghrelin Levels: ghrelin is your hunger hormone but eating right and fasting will help curb your hunger.
  7. Balances Leptin Levels: leptin sends signals to your body from your fat cells to store or burn fat in your system but intermittent allows the fat storage to become more accessible while you fast.
  8. Lower Triglycerides: by eating herbs (turmeric, basil, oregano, rosemary, cinnamon, etc.) and fasting you can better protect yourself from heart disease.
  9. Detoxification And Cellular Repair: it gives your body more than enough time to break down food, digest it, get rid of old proteins and rest.
  10. Gene Expression: The function of your genes embrace intermittent fasting and lower your possibility of disease.

What changes have I personally seen?

Personally, I live for a routine. I love being on schedule. I feel calm and confident when things are planned. It keeps me productive and avoids me feeling overwhelmed. This didn’t always translate into my eating habits though. Before intermittent fasting, I ate whatever I want. Whenever I wanted. No matter if it was 2 am or 9 pm. Now that it’s a part of my lifestyle, I feel like my life has structure, I finally understand my body and just feel better overall. Also, now that I am committed to intermittent fasting, I am more mindful about what I put in my body. Being vegetarian doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. It’s just as easy to eat processed food packed with soy but now that I have a strict window to eat, I make the most of it by making healthier choices to properly fuel my body.
I’m still a work in progress. Everyday is not perfect. Sometimes something comes up and I have to eat dinner after my window but no matter what, I’m mindful about getting a balanced meal of protein, fiber, healthy fats and other antioxidants. I rather eat something nutritious late than eat on time with something that won’t fuel my body.
Another big change I’ve seen is the ease of losing weight. When I stick to my eating window and work out right before it begins, I notice that I make it a priority to eat a big, hearty breakfast and I lose weight without even trying.

Is intermittent fasting for you?

I can’t tell you that. Only you you make that decision for yourself. If you need help, talk to your doctor, nutritionist or practitioner to see if they recommend you trying it or not. Though it is far from those crazy diets out there, it’s still not for everyone. They are still important factors to consider like if you are underweight, have a history of eating disorders, pregnancy and diabetes just to name a few. As you’ve seen above, there a variety of different methods of intermittent fasting to do. Start with a small window and see how you feel. Listen to your body and go from there. If you aren’t suffering from any major illnesses or diseases, I would say that is worth a try but of course, get professional advice to find out if it’s a right fit for you or not.
*https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156

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Hi Empress! I show women the endless opportunities to be themselves by empowering them to embrace and grow from their shared experiences through vulnerability and community. I help you accept that you'll always be a work in progress and complete at the same time so you can take back power over your life and reach your full potential!

Shantel

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