Intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way you could manage weight, promote health, feel more energized and naturally detox the body of harmful chemicals and toxins accumulated every day.
Studies have shown that restricting foods and consuming only liquids for occasional short periods, may help you live longer and keep disease at bay. Here’s everything you need to know about intermittent fasting and why its methods are here to stay.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting refers to a dietary pattern of abstaining from food for a short period, to then resume a regular eating pattern immediately after finishing the fast. The most popular and easiest type of intermittent fasting involves fasting for 16 hour periods, twice a week, and is known as the ‘16/8’ method. Some people go one step further and do two sets of 24-hour period fasting, but this should only be trialed once you are comfortable with the 16/8 method.
Although intermittent fasting may sound like a hard thing to do, it’s actually very easy as it requires no calorie counting and I bet you didn’t realize that you were already practicing fasting whilst sleeping every night? The body does a lot of its repair work at night, as instead of focusing on digestion, the body can spend its energy on other areas of the body that need attention. Intermittent fasting therefore allows more energy to be freed up, allowing the body to once again rejuvenate other areas of the body.
Intermittent Fasting In History
The history of intermittent fasting goes back thousands of years when our ancestors had to go without food often when it wasn’t readily available. Although it may seem unnatural to forego eating whenever the clock tells us its mealtime, our bodies are well equipped to go long periods of time without food. You may even notice loss of appetite when you are ill, which is a form of fasting and is how the body helps itself once again get well, by diverting energy to the parts that need it over the energy intensive digestive system.
The Scientific Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Modern research has shown many health factors associated with intermittent fasting. By restricting your current calorie intake by 30 to 40 percent twice a week, results have shown an increase in life span, reduction of illness, and improvement of overall health conditions.
1. Increase Lifespan
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry, intermittent fasting may increase lifespan and reduce age-related diseases in humans. Intermittent fasting was shown to enhance cardiovascular and brain functions and decrease the risk factor for stroke and coronary artery disease by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing blood pressure. Intermittent fasting was also shown to protect brain and heart cells from injury.
2. Reduce Diabetes and Increase Weight Loss
A 2014 study showed that intermittent fasting may help with weight loss, which may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. This study also showed that periods of fasting improved health, increased longevity and reduced diseases such as neurological disorders. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure and lipid levels.
3. Delayed Aging and Decreased Risk of Disease
According to a 2014 study, intermittent or periodic fasting improved heart disease, neurodegeneration, diabetes and cancer in rodents. In humans, it improved hypertension, obesity, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It also was noted to delay aging and prevent diseases that are associated with growing age.
4. Improves Memory and Brain Structure
According to a study published in 2013, mice that practiced intermittent fasting had significant memory and learning improvements. Results also showed that brain structure in the mice was improved by their fasting diets.
How To Incorporate The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Method
Fasting does not have to be as hard as it sounds. Those that have done it often state it has helped them to sleep better, and also has helped to improve digestive system function. Our digestive systems are so overworked by the unnatural chemicals and additives found in our modern food supply, that many people find benefit to this area of health by taking a break from food in this way, from time to time.
The most popular and perhaps easiest way to fast is to try the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting. This involves skipping breakfast and only eating from midday, to then finish eating again by 8pm. So for 16 hours you are sleeping and ‘fasting’. Then from noon, you are free to eat and carry on your regular diet in your usual preferred way until you stop eating that night.
Healthy Breakfast Options
Of course, when it comes to eating in your regular way, this hopefully means you are going to choose super nutritious meals all day long, to maximize your detox! When it comes to breaking the fast at noon, this is where extra attention should be spent to ensure your choice here is well-balanced. As by practicing this one small act, you will be helping to kick start your metabolism, which will promote your body to work in the right way, ensuring you are not storing excess weight and harmful chemicals and toxins known to destroy health.
A few healthy breakfast options include;
- Chia pots
- A fruit and veg smoothie with an easy to digest vegan protein powder
- Buckwheat oat porridge (using a dairy free alternative milk)
- Chickpea flour pancakes
How To Cope With The Fasting Part of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting for 16 hours will undoubtedly come easier to some than others. It should also be emphasized that during the 16-hour period, even though no food will be eaten, plenty of clean purified water should be consumed. This will help to flush toxins out of your body and will of course keep your brain functioning and the rest of your body more able to cope.
There are certain other liquids you can consume over and above water to help give you an energy boost during the fasting phase without breaking your fast, like the Xtend-Life Zupafood range and our Natural Energy Supplement. These SUPER “Superfood” powders are easy to mix with water, and may even help to enhance the benefits to health fasting can bring.
At Xtend-Life, we have created a new category of ‘Superfoods’, which are a quantum leap above traditional ‘Superfoods’ to complement our range of supplements that have a worldwide cutting edge reputation.
There are 3 specialised Zupafood formulas depending on your specific health needs, Zupafood ELITE, Zupafood for SKIN, and Zupafood GREENZ. All of the Xtend-Life Zupafood formulas are 100% natural, with no added sugar and are completely free of anything artificial. They each contain a specially developed natural flavoring, derived from REAL New Zealand fruit. (We can see Mother Nature smiling from here.)
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