Read on to learn about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting


What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an easy way to get the benefits of fasting without the long-term commitment of a traditional fast. It’s much easier to do and stick with since you still get to eat. You simply choose not to eat for a few hours. 
There are a few different ways to do intermittent fasting. Give them a try and see which method works best for you. One of the simplest ways to get started is to just fast for 12 to 16 hours per day. Real fasting benefits don’t start to kick in until you’ve stopped eating for at least 12 hours, so the longer you can make that window, the better your results with each day of fasting. 
Start with 12 hours and see how you feel. It’s a lot easier than you may think since you’ll be sleeping during big chunk of that time. Let’s say you eat dinner around 6pm. Load up your plate and enjoy your food. If you can, cut out the sugar and refined carbs. Not only will it make fasting easier, it will also get you the best results since your body won’t be busy pumping insulin through your system to process that sugar. 
Next just don’t eat for at least 12 hours. That means no late night snacks. Go to bed, get a good night sleep and grab a cup of black coffee when you get up. The good news is that you’re 12 hours are likely already up. Stick with that for a week or so and then see if you can make it another 4 hours before enjoying a late breakfast or early lunch. Before you know it you’ll be on a regular schedule of fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an 8 hour window each day. That’s something you can easily stick with for life. 
Many intermittent fasters find it easy to stick to two or even just one big meal per day. It makes intermittent fasting an easy and convenient way to eat. You don’t have to worry about preparing a bunch of meals and snacks and when you’re stuck out and about you just keep on fasting until you can get your hands on a healthy meal. To be perfectly honest, it’s one of the easiest and cheapest weight loss programs out there… with quite a few other health benefits to boot. 
And there are other ways to practice intermittent fasting. Instead of only eating for a few hours per day, you can fast one or two days per week, eating regularly the rest of the week. Or fast one day, eat one day. Heck you can even have some food on your fast days. Just keep it below 500 calories and try to fit that into one or two meals so you still have the benefit of a longer stretch of time when you don’t eat at all. 
The key with intermittent fasting is to give your body a time where it isn’t busy processing and digesting food and can run on body fat instead. And isn’t going to happen until you’ve allowed enough time for your body to burn through the food you’ve just eaten and whatever is stored in as glycogen. We’ll go into more detail on how this can help with weight loss in the next chapter.
For now, realize that this is something we’ve done since the beginning of time. Before supermarkets and fast food restaurants at every corner, it wasn’t uncommon to go through times when food was scarce or nonexistent. It wouldn’t be unusual to make do without food while you were out working for long stretches of time. You may eat something in the morning before heading out and then make do without food until you got back in for dinner. And when there wasn’t any food because the harvest hadn’t come in yet, or your hunting trip was unsuccessful, you would go hungry for a few days until you had better luck. 
While we no longer need to fast, it is still something that has a long tradition in our culture. It is an important part of any major world religion. Fasting is a great way to clear the mind and find focus. And quite frankly it’s good for the body. Not eating gives our bodies time to heal. 
Whether or not you use intermittent fasting as a weight loss tool or not, I hope you give it a try and see if you can’t benefit from it. It’s a great tool to have in your tool belt toward a happier, healthier you. 
How to Use Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
We’ve talked about what intermittent fasting is. Now let’s dive into how we can use it to force our bodies to burn excess body fat. We’ll start by talking a little bit about what happens in your body when you start to fast for a few hours and then we’ll go into the “how to” of intermittent fasting for weight loss. 

Let’s start with what’s happening in your body when you start to fast for a few hours. There’s a hormone at play that I’m sure you’ve heard of – it is Insulin and it’s about so much more than diabetes. 

One of the main jobs of insulin is as a gate keeper to body fat. Basically when we have insulin in our system, any energy (broken down into sugars) that we don’t need right away is stored as body fat. And sadly while our insulin levels are up, we also can’t burn any body fat for energy. If on the other hand there isn’t any insulin in our system, our body switches to burning body fat for energy and we lose weight. 

Now let’s look at how intermittent fasting can help us manipulate this hormonal system into losing weight. When you eat insulin levels go up to help our bodies process the energy in that food. Then over the coming hours, insulin starts to drop. Once it gets down to a certain level, the body starts to switch to burning body fat for energy. Until your next meal which is when insulin spikes again and the cycle starts over. 

The reason intermittent fasting works so well for losing weight and burning body fat in particular is because we’re extending that window of fat burning during fasting hours. If you only eat during an 8 hour window any given day – which isn’t very hard to do as you’ll see in a minute – you’re burning fat for the remaining 16 hours. 

And something else happens. As insulin levels drop, adrenalin and HGH (human growth hormone) go up. The Adrenalin will help keep your energy up and your metabolism burning high and the HGH helps you maintain muscle mass and keeps you in shape. 

As your insulin levels drop and stay low, you’ll also notice that you’ll crave less foods and sugars and carbs in particular. And that’s a good thing. 

Got you interested yet in giving this a try? Great. Let me show you how easy it is to get started with intermittent fasting. While traditional fasting can take quite a bit of willpower, particularly during the first few days, intermittent fasting is easy. You just have to postpone indulging in food for a few hours. It’s much easier to tell yourself that you can have something to eat in two hours than it is to not eat or not eat certain foods for days and weeks to come. 
Eat your dinner at the regular time. Let’s say it is 6 p.m., eat your fill and don’t do any snacking after dinner. If you ate a decent dinner, hunger is not going to be an issue. But it may take you a little while make new habits if you’re a late night snacker. Get a glass of water or fix a cup of herbal tea (no honey) if you feel like you need something. 

Then go to bed and sleep for 8 hours or so. Let’s say you go to bed around 10pm and sleep until 6am. The good news is that you’ve already made it through 12 hours of fasting. See if you can make it 14 hours by postponing breakfast until 8am. Just grab a cup of coffee and if you can, don’t eat breakfast until 10 and see how that goes. Work yourself up to a point where you can easily fast for 16 hours at a time. That’s 16 hours when you’re burning fat. 

That’s easy enough, isn’t it? The key thing to remember when you’re getting started is that you’re not really dieting. Unless you chose otherwise, there are no forbidden foods and the likes and you don’t have to make do without for days on end. All it takes is postponing food for a few hours. And since you sleep through the majority of your fasting time, it’s surprisingly easy to do. 
Most people need a bit more than just the plan to be successful.  Why?  Because our society has taught us so many things that are not correct and all the ads, shake mixes, drink mixes, pills and supplements, and fake diet foods have made it where we are not able to even tell when we are really hungry.  
And all the diet programs out there have reinforced what I call “diet brain”.  Overcoming diet brain usually requires more than just something like intermittent fasting.  It requires some help with reprogramming our mindset.  I offer a course that walks you through intermittent fasting and helps you break the emotional “diet brain” patterns.  
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