Understanding Intermittent Fasting

The concept of fasting:

Fasting has been around for centuries. Fasting is abstaining from all or some kinds of food or drink for a specific amount of time. First introduced for religious reasons, fasting has many health benefits as well.

The body needs energy to function. The primary source of energy is a sugar called glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. That usually is a trigger word and your mind could goes straight to pasta, bread, and dairy products, but carbs also include fruits, vegetables, and beans. The liver and your muscles will store the glucose and release doses of it into the bloodstream when the body needs it.

However, when you fast, this process changes. During the fasting period, after 8 hours has passed, the liver will have used the last bit of glucose it was able to store. When this occurs, the body reaches a state called gluconeogenesis, which mean the body transitions from releasing glucose that is stored to creating its own. The body will use fat within the body to produce glucose to give energy to the body. 

After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters into a state called gluconeogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.

Studies have shown that during the gluconeogenesis period, the body will burn more calories than in its natural state. 

Eventually, the body runs out of sources to make glucose with which in then turns into starvation more. Here, the body will start to use tissue to create energy for the body to use. 

24 hour fasting has a few more benefits than just burning more calories. It can improve your cardiovascular healthy, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.

Concept of Intermitted Fasting:

Intermittent fasting is the process of cycling in and out of periods of eating and not eating. There are a few different forms of intermitted fasting. The two most common are known and the 5/2 method and the second is 16:8.

5/2 is very simply. You eat normally 5 days out of the week and fast the other 2. On the alternative, 16:8 is a daily fast. You restrict from eating 16 hours of the day and consume a day’s worth of food in the other 8. 

The theory behind intermitted fasting comes from the caveman era. It was rare to have access to food like we currently do today. Food was only consumed when it was available. The body was able to thrive during the times when food was not available. 

Intermitted fasting is not a diet, but a lifestyle. Choosing to be selective to when you consume your food rather than when it is convenient. 

This lifestyle has many health benefits, along with the mental discipline of self-control. The list below are a few benefits:

  • Boosts weight loss
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes cellular repair and autophagy (when your body consumes defective tissue in order to produce new parts)
  • Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers bad cholesterol
  • Promotes longevity
  • Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improves memory and boosts brain function
  • Makes cells more resilient

Here at Mantra Fitness, are excited to be connected with some of the best experts in the business. We will be collaborating with Lindsay Huelse bringing to you an intermitted fasting meal plan. Please check back to the blog and our social media pages for the release of the FREE meal plan!

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