You have probably spent your entire life hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that, in order to be healthy, you should eat several small meals throughout the day. However, these concepts have changed with time and there are researches today that confirm the benefits of intermittent fasting, which is what you do when you leave the house in the morning without eating anything, or when you spend the day in bed on the weekend and lunch is your first meal of the day.
These researches also suggest that fasting has the same beneficial effects as calorie restriction, which drastically raises the life expectancy of animals. In addition to all of this, intermittent fasting may be used as an option for those who are unable to reduce their daily calorie intake and need to lose weight. Other benefits of intermittent fasting are: an increase in the production levels of the growth hormone (also known as the “fitness hormone”), making losing weight easier, reducing insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure and increasing lean body mass.
There are several types of intermittent fasting and you may choose the one that is easiest to incorporate into your lifestyle. It may be done only for a short and specific period of time, or it can be done for as long as you feel necessary. If you choose the type of fasting that I consider the easiest to implement (16×8), you eat in a 8 hour window (ex.: from 12:00pm to 8:00pm) and fast during the other 16 hours. In order for this to work properly, you need to have some kind of routine, in order to break your fast and have your last meal at about the same time every day. Another type of fasting that is very popular is that of eating normally during 5 days of the week and then drastically reducing your calorie intake on the other two days. I prefer the first type because your body incorporates this rhythm and, after a few days, you no longer feel hungry during those hours and your energy levels go back to normal.
To put it simply, your body starts using up fat as a source of energy once carbohydrates and all your glycogen reserves (primary sources of energy) have already been used. This way you lose the weight you need (there is a reduction of fat and not only water).
You should make sure (whether you are fasting or not) to eat real food, minimally processed, consume very little sugar, drink in moderation and all those other things you already know. Fasting, without a doubt, makes you lose weight, but that doesn’t mean that you should go around eating anything, after all, the goal isn’t just to be thin, but healthy in general. Also, do a lot of research before trying this out, especially if you have any health conditions. If that’s the case, consult your doctor.
Do you find this a bit crazy? Remember that our ancestor used to feed this way (due to a lack of options, sure). And we know that the exaggerated supply (and ingestion) of food (and not only badly chosen food) is the greatest cause for health problems that are common nowadays, especially chronic diseases.