Intermittent Fasting ❤️ I Never Thought I Could Do It
Eating all of the time is not normal. Common? Yes. Normal? No.
We are constantly eating or consuming something whether it's food, a sugar free drink, a snack or chewing gum. We never give our bodies time to rest outside of a small window at night while we sleep. The average person in America is consuming something SIXTEEN times a day.
We don't even realize we are doing it until we start a fasting schedule. It's then we realize the hand-to-mouth addiction so many of us have.
Our bodies are not designed to always be eating something. This is a new process for humans and it's proving to be detrimental. Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks, strokes, etc) rates are skyrocketing.
The food industry wants us constantly eating or drinking something (I'm sure you can figure out why this would be). They preach the eat as soon as you wake up, 6 meals a day method. 0 calorie drinks have no effect they say... It's just not true. It all matters.
Once you understand blood sugar, weight gain, fatigue, pain and inflammation - you know that constantly digesting something isn't a good idea. You are never giving your body any time to heal and recover. It's spending all of its time digesting food when it should be repairing and recovering from all of the other stressors of life. Even those 0 calorie drinks create some small effect on our body whether it's insulin or dealing with the chemicals that are in them.
It is important to remember that IF is not a calorie reduction. Yes it can result in one and is likely to by cutting down on frequency of eating but if you have a daily macro (fat, protein and carb) goal, you would stick to that same goal here and consume those during a chosen time period through the day. Most people start out with 12 hours overnight. This would look like not eating past 7pm and not eating before 7am.
Here are some benefits to allowing your body to rest and incorporating intermittent fasting into your life.
#1) Weight Loss
By decreasing the amount of time you're consuming something, you will lower insulin in your body. Our blood glucose goes up when we consume food, insulin comes out from the pancreas to bring your blood sugar back to a normal range. A perfectly designed system, until you disturb it by overloading it with sugar and carbohydrates. Too much insulin over time, your body becomes insulin resistant. Too much over time could lead to diabetes.
High insulin levels in the body - fat storage
Low insulin levels in the body - use fat storage for energy
#2) Reduces the risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. 1/4 deaths are from heart disease. High blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol AKA Metabolic Syndrome.
The main cause? High insulin. Fasting lowers insulin levels.
Reducing insulin will also increase your bodies ability to absorb electrolytes, less problems with the rhythm of the heart.
#3) Improved sleep
Not getting enough sleep will trigger high levels of the hormone Ghrelin which regulates your appetite and will make you more hungry.
Eating before bed or even too close to bed time will disrupt your bodies natural sleep pattern and decrease your ability to produce the correct amount of those hormones. Thus, more cravings and more hungry.
Not eating before bed, allows your body to go into a deep, more restful sleep. Then, your body will produce the correct amount of this hormone and have an easier time the next day with appetite control.
If I don't eat before bed or even after about 4pm, I will sleep so deep that I don't dream or wake up at all in the middle of the night. If I eat around 7, I will have nightmares, wake up to use the restroom and be hungry as soon as I wake up. A completely different day.
#4) Improved mood
Intermittent fasting produces more Orexin which is produced in the brain to help you feel more awake, increases dopamine (feel good hormone), increases endorphins (euphoria sensation). Many people say they feel a sense of euphoria when fasting. Feeling happy over nothing and finding joy in the small things. There is a direct and immediate improvement in mood.
Types of Fasting Schedules:
12:12 (overnight fast)
16:18 (most popular)
20:4 (warrior diet)
22:2 (one meal a day)
You can also use the Carb Manager App to track your eating window. This is the app I use but there are tons of fasting apps also available in the app store.
If you want to start intermittent fasting but need some more help, I have provided some guides below.
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