Cool, so you want to add Intermittent Fasting to your life and not just shed those pesky pounds, but gain many other rewards along the way!
You definitely can.
In this chapter, we will start with the basics of Intermittent Fasting ? what it is, its benefits, its history, and the three types. We’ll also examine some of the silly myths around fasting. I want to get you excited to start upon this journey!
So … What is Intermittent Fasting?
It is exactly what it sounds like!
When you do something intermittently, that means you are not doing it continuously, but in smaller amounts. To fast is to abstain from all foods that have calories for a certain period of time.
When you add those two words together, you get Intermittent Fasting!
This is a scheduled way of combining both extended fasting times and eating times into a continuous routine. It is a way to unlock the exciting features and benefits of Intermittent Fasting, which gives you incredible rewards like:
~A slimmer, trimmer body
~Having your cells cleaned and revitalized
~Effortless weight loss
~No exercise required!
That is what Intermittent Fasting is designed to do.
But, why has this become a new way of losing weight? What makes it so powerful, and why is it an ideal process for your body to drop the pounds?
Those answers come from how your body actually works and has worked for centuries!
Intermittent Fasting for Human Survival
While in modern times, there is a grocery store or restaurant on every corner … that was definitely not the case throughout most of human history.
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It is thirty thousand years ago, in Europe. It’s at the height of summer, but winter is only a few months away. You are expending a lot of calories just doing your daily living. But you’re also eating as much as you can while the plants are in season and the animals are plentiful. You eat and eat, basically gorging yourself and eating way more calories than you normally need to survive.
We’ll talk more in the next chapter about the science behind food storage in your cells. But thousands of years ago, that’s exactly what was happening. Your body stored every tiny extra bit of nutrients in your fat cells. That was their purpose then, and it is still their purpose! You were meant to store extra fuel.
After a few months, the plants died, the animals became scarce, and winter came. Now your body was prepared to face the months and months of vastly reduced food supply. You had spent your summer days storing the food that you needed.
Winter was historically a months’ long fasting period. Your body was prepared for it, and your ancestors survived those long, cold winters. You’re here!
But your body was built to withstand prolonged fasting times with few calories to sustain you. You were forced to live off of the stored fuel. Consequently, your body switched metabolic states and went into what’s called ketosis. Ketosis helped your body use fat as a primary fuel source, not glucose.
Our ancestors survived because their bodies could switch metabolic states so easily, adapt to pretty hardcore fasting, use their stored fuel efficiently, and prevent themselves from starving to death.
Nowadays, though, we live in seriously the most abundant and food plentiful time in human history. Our ancestors would be staggered at the amount of food available to us, the variety, and the constant freshness! They had to make do with whatever they could hunt or gather.
So, that is the history of fasting. It is built into the DNA of each of your cells. Your body was economically designed to conserve and store as much food as humanly possible. It is very efficient and has helped the human race persist and thrive as much as we have for thousands of years.
However, it certainly does not help modern humans like you and me who want to lose that conserved and stored energy! We want to shed that stored fuel, and we want to do it quickly.
The best way to do that?
Turn back the clock on your body. We are going to pretend like it is thirty thousand years ago. We want your body to go into a prolonged fasting mode, so that your existing stored fuel is used. The less stored fuel on your body, the less you weigh. Intermittent Fasting will help you meet those weight loss goals.
That’s really all there is to it!
Your Two Fasting Goals
You have two basic goals with Intermittent Fasting:
~Burn even more fat than you would if you weren’t fasting
~Boost your energy levels
These are not just goals; they’re also benefits! In Chapter 3, you will read more about the specific fat burning benefits, and why fasting kicks your metabolism into high gear. You will also read about the science behind why you get so much energy, too.
When we proceed to the preparations before the 30 Day Challenge, you’ll be thinking about the weight loss goals to set. It’s great to set a small amount of weight to lose, but don’t be surprised if your weight loss far surpasses that! Intermittent Fasting is specifically designed to burn fat. Many women have reported astonishing results. You will, too!
Imagine what you would be able to do if you did have plenty of extra energy. Right now, you’re probably feeling sluggish from blood spike and crash cycles. Not to mention that your life is pretty busy. You have a full to-do list each day. How can you expect to get it all done?
That is when the power of Intermittent Fasting comes into play. This is an extremely energy boosting way of eating. It lifts up your energy levels to new heights, and helps you accomplish everything you need to do each day ? and then some! Wouldn’t it be great to feel younger, refreshed, vitalized, and having a natural positive outlook each day? Well, when you decide to both fast the correct way and eat the correct way on Intermittent Fasting schedules, that’s really when great stuff happens.
Are You Fasting or Feeding?
Intermittent Fasting is not just about abstaining from food. You are actually going to both eat and not eat on a continuous looping cycle. There are two parts to this cycle:
~Feeding times (also known as eating windows)
You are either in one or the other.
You actually already implement a fasting cycle every day of your life! Did you know that? It’s when you are sleeping in between dinner and breakfast. The word “breakfast” literally comes from the phrase “break a fast.” Yes, sleeping definitely counts as fasting.
Most of us follow a pretty regular weekly feeding schedule of eating breakfast in the morning, lunch around noon, and dinner in the evening. You fast at night when you sleep. You feed and fast, feed and fast, continuously throughout the weeks and months.
With Intermittent Fasting, we are going to take that same schedule, but just apply more rigidity and structure to it. So, instead of being free to eat whenever you want while you’re awake, now you’ll have a set period of time when you are supposed to be eating. Also, instead of just fasting when you’re asleep, you will also set aside certain hours during the day to fast while you are awake.
Creating your own feeding schedule means that you will set up what are called eating windows. You will be consuming all of that day’s calories within the window of time.
Your Intermittent Fasting schedule is now entirely dependent on the clock! Are you feeding or fasting? Depending on the time of day and your Intermittent Fasting schedule, you will know.
The 3 Types of Intermittent Fasting
There are three main types of Intermittent Fasting schedules. Let’s take a look at them from easiest to the most challenging.
1. Skipping Meals
You have probably skipped breakfast many times before, especially if you were trying to get to class or work on time. You just did not know you were Intermittently Fasting at the same time. Skipping meals to extend a fast is definitely the easiest way to continue the benefits of fasting. You could either skip breakfast to extend your fast from the night before, or you could skip dinner to start your nightly fasting time earlier. When you skip meals, you reduce your eating window. You want to make sure you’re hitting your calorie count goals before your next fast starts.
2. Fast a Lot, Eat a Little
This is the second most common type of Intermittent Fasting. You stick to a schedule that includes a long period of time fasting followed by a shorter eating window. These eating windows average between six and eight hours per day. Then, you spend the rest of the time fasting. The most common types of this fasting schedule include:
~8 hour eating window / 16 hour fasting
~7 hour eating window / 17 hour fasting
~6 hour eating window / 18 hour fasting
I’ll talk a lot more about this version of Intermittent Fasting, because it is the most common and also helps produce amazing results!
3. Multi-Day Fasting
Once you get the hang of Intermittent Fasting and really want to take it to the next level, then you can try fasting for between 24 and up to 36 hours. This is a more complicated, complex version of fasting. You will need to prepare for it, and you will also need to have special mineral rich foods to eat once you come out of the fast, too. In the 30 Day Challenge, I have included two 24-hour long fasts. Those who do the multi-day fasting are especially pleased with the results. I highly recommend becoming proficient enough at fasting that you are able to go for longer periods of time. Don’t worry ? I’ll walk you through all the tips and tricks you need to do it.
In this book I will go into much greater detail about these three types of fasting, how to do them properly, and exactly how to incorporate them into your lifestyle. For now, just be aware of them and start thinking about which type would best fit your schedule. If you are too busy these days with work, family, and other obligations, you might want to just skip meals. For other women, a shorter eating window of six or seven hours is totally doable.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do Intermittent Fasting. This is a highly customizable form of losing weight. It is custom tailored to you!
Is Fasting Harmful?
Well, since you fast every single night of your life, fasting is definitely not harmful! It is not unhealthy, either. In fact, fasting is a perfectly normal and natural process that gives your body time to rest in between your eating windows.
What about starvation mode? That is when your brain and vital organs start shutting down because they are completely deprived of any food source. No glucose is being consumed and no glucose is stored, either.
Starvation is serious, but Intermittent Fasting never gets that drastic. We are not suggesting you abstain from food for longer than five days at a time! All we are doing is fasting for up to about 36 hours at a time. Those short fasting windows don’t produce any starvation adverse effects. Your liver will be using the stored fat in your cells as the ketones for fuel, in place of glucose.
Another misconception about fasting is that it shrinks or depletes your muscle tissue. Yes, it is true that some stored glucose and fat are deposited in some of your muscle cells. But during the fasting times, your body will use those stored fatty acids and not touch your muscle tissue at all! Only during extreme starvation does that happen.
In essence, the short time periods of Intermittent Fasting prevent many of the really bad problems associated with severe fasting and starvation.
So, not to worry! Fasting for up to three days is not harmful. It’s all about using up your stored fat and melting that weight right off!
This Will Work for You
Yes, Intermittent Fasting really will work for you. You have the same DNA and the same cells in your body that your ancestors did, and they will act the same way when you fast intermittently!
So, what are you waiting for? Now that you’ve gotten the basics of fasting, let’s go deep into your cells and see what exactly is going on when you’re fasting.