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What You Need To Know about Intermittent Fasting

by Marine Le Sager December 05, 2019

The Intermittent Fasting Guide For Beginners

Intermittent Fasting

Let me tell you a little bit about me.

I never believed in any diets and I never tried any of them.
But when I was looking to lose some weight, I looked on the internet for an efficient and non-restrictive technique that could have helped me in my quest of the summer body.
This is when I found out about fasting, and let me tell you that I've been in love with it since. I've been implementing this lifestyle for 6 months and I have never felt so good and healthy in my life!
I lost weight, I don't have stomach issues anymore, I don't feel heavy all day because of the food I ate, and I save money in the long run!

This diet really changed my life, and I hope that it can change yours too!
This article is a complete intermittent fasting guide for beginners! Keep reading if you want to know how it works and the incredible benefits it has.


Intermittent Fasting Meaning

Intermittent Fasting Meaning

Fasting is the act of going through a period of time without eating anything. You may have heard about it because this technique has been implemented for centuries in religious customs like the Ramadan. 

Intermittent fasting works as a detox. It is a diet that consists of alternating periods of fasting with normal feeding time. In our over-consuming society, we tend to eat way more than our body need. The goal of this diet is to eat less time during the day and let your stomach recover longer from the last meal.
In other words, fasting gives your body a break from digestion and allows it to focus on other things. According to Dr. Gundry, this is especially important when it comes to the brain. "The brain needs large amounts of blood flow and digestion is using an incredibly huge amount of energy".

Fasting can be extremely healing for our organism.
According to recent studies, people who have done intermittent fasting managed to lose weight, improve their digestive system, strengthen cognitive functions, and increase energy levels! But how?

How does it work?

Fasting stimulates autophagy. This cellular mechanism consists of the rejuvenation of your cells. It allows cells to remove unwanted particles or substances that may have entered them: viruses, bacteria, toxins, etc. In the end, it promotes longevity and helps to fight against diseases. 

However, this diet isn't for everyone. Fasting is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women or people with a history of an eating disorder. According to Vincent Pedre, you should also be careful if you have stomach issues, food sensitivity, insomnia, anxiety or chronic stress or diabete. 

During a period of fasting, you can drink water, black coffee or tea.

So not only it helps us feel younger, but it also stimulates loss weight!

 

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss 

If you fast during a long period of time, you are skipping meals, and this is creating a caloric deficit which leads to weight loss. The body also learns to better manage the food ingested.

Intermittent fasting will not only reduce your caloric intake but also disrupt your body's hormonal balance so that you can draw on your fat stock. The following modifications come out: 

  • It improves insulin sensitivity, especially when you exercise. This is great for overweight people because low insulin levels in the blood are associated with fat burning.
  • The secretion of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) rises. This increases protein synthesis, and therefore makes you burn fat faster.

The fasting lifestyle isn't restrictive: it does not prevent you from eating any kind of food. It's really up to you! 

HOWEVER, don't forget that the less you eat, the more your basal metabolic rate decreases. For an efficient and stable weight loss, you need to stimulate your metabolism! If you are wondering how to do it, have a look at our list of food that increases your metabolism.

 

Health Benefits

Health Benefits

Here is a list of some of the numerous fasting benefits. It goes from reducing your sugar cravings to preventing Alzheimer:

  • Improves the insulin level,
  • Reduces inflammations
  • Improves cognitive functions,
  • Increases longevity,
  • Cuts down sugar and food cravings,
  • Boosts sports' performance
  • Expands your energy levels

Furthermore, fasting is believed to help the following conditions:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some type of cancer
  • Brain Fog
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Fatty liver
  • Arthritis and joint inflammation

Did I convince you to try this lifestyle? Keep reading to discover different fasting methods and find the one that fits you the most!

 

5 Intermittent Fasting Types

Fasting must be implemented carefully. Prefer to design your diet plan with a health professional to be sure that you are not affecting your immune system. 

      1. The 12-hour Fast

You are probably already implementing this lifestyle without even knowing that it's called intermittent fasting!

This first version consists of having dinner at 7 p.m. and having your breakfast at 7 a.m., which creates a fasting window of 12 hours a day, easy, isn't it?
This plan is a piece of cake since you will be sleeping 7 or 8 hours during the 12 hours of fasting.
This 12-hour fasting plan is a great place to start!

If you feel dizzy or weak during your fasting time, try to eat be something high in fiber, protein, and healthy fat.

      2. The 16-hour Fast

With this plan, you are having your last meal before 8 p.m. While skipping breakfast, you are eating the next day for lunch at noon, thus creating a 16-hour fasting window.

You can adapt the time hours of your lunch regarding your daily routine, what matters is to follow the 16 hours of fasting.

      3. Alternate Day Fasting

This third type of fasting consists of alternating days of normal eating with days when you limit your calorie intake.

One version involves a "fast day" in which you can consume 25 percent of your normal calorie intake. The following day is a "feeding day" when you eat whatever healthy food you want.

On the 25 percent day, you have to eat protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. A study of normal-weight and overweight adults found that Alternate Day Fasting was effective for losing weight and preventing heart diseases.

This method is more complicated to implement and better fits people that had already tried the two first types of intermittent fasting.

      4. The 5:2 Plan

A slightly easier variation of the version above, plan 5:2 allows you to eat normally for five days a week while eating only 500 to 600 calories on the other two days.

Among its benefits, a small study of 24 women found that the 5:2 diet could help to protect against breast cancer. On restricted days, the quality of the food eaten is as important as the number of calories. The focus should be on protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.

      5. Listen To Your Body

This technique necessitates a great knowledge of your body. Basically, you are giving food to it only when it requires. Learn how to perceive the "real" hunger from the one created by your brain. Don't eat because you are anxious or bored or because of social customs like lunch.

This lifestyle perspective works best when a health professional tailors a plan for you! Make an appointment with a nutritionist before implementing such a diet.

 

To Wrap Up


When it comes to intermittent fasting, not all plans work for everyone. It may be a great option for me, but you will maybe have more difficulties to follow it.
Finding out which one suits you the best, requires trial and error.

Fasting is not a magic trick to lose weight. It also has to be combined with a healthy diet and frequent exercising. It worked great for me to exercise in the morning while fasting, but as mentioned above, you have to make an appointment with a health doctor before trying anything.

I hope that I convinced you to try the intermittent fasting lifestyle and that it will help as much as it helped me!

Don't forget to drink Falcon Protein to complete your diet and get the amount of protein you daily need! For more content about Health, fitness & lifestyle, please feel free to have a look at our Birdman blog

 

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Bibliography

  1. Longo, V. D., & Mattson, M. P. (2014). Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications. Cell Metabolism19(2), 181–192. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2013.12.008

  2. Collier, R. (2013). Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal185(9), E363–E364. http://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.109-4451

  3. Hatori, M., Vollmers, C., Zarrinpar, A., DiTacchio, L., Bushong, E. A., Gill, S., … Panda, S. (2012). Time restricted feeding without reducing caloric intake prevents metabolic diseases in mice fed a high fat diet. Cell Metabolism15(6), 848–860. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2012.04.019

  4. Varady, K. A., Bhutani, S., Klempel, M. C., Kroeger, C. M., Trepanowski, J. F., Haus, J. M., … Calvo, Y. (2013). Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal12, 146. http://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-12-146

  5. Collier, R. (2013). Intermittent fasting: the science of going without. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal185(9), E363–E364. http://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.109-4451

  6. Johnstone, A. (2015). Fasting for weight loss: an effective strategy or latest dieting trend?. International Journal of Obesity39(5), 727.




Marine Le Sager
Marine Le Sager

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