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Ever wondered “How does intermittent fasting works for weight loss?” Well, wonder no more because you’ve come to the right place as here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how intermittent fasting works for weight loss, the different phases of intermittent fasting, and its benefits to health. Come on then “How does intermittent fasting work for weight loss then? Here we go!
Intermittent fasting is a voluntary interruption of food for a few scheduled hours and during this period, depending on how long you are doing intermittent fasting, chemical reactions take place in your body that improve your metabolism and improve your quality of life. This type of fasting consists of not eating solid foods between 16 and 36 hours in a row, a few times a week, on a scheduled, returning to the usual diet, preferably based on foods with low sugar/carb and fat content.
Intermittent fasting does not only burn body fat and help you lose weight, but it also reduces insulin resistance, lowers triglycerides, regulates blood pressure, lowers your bad cholesterol, improves your liver fat, lowers intestinal inflammation, favor detoxification of the body, help to improve immunity, increases your ability to concentrate and makes your metabolism work faster.
Also, intermittent fasting allows your gut/intestine to relax and rest for a period of time – when you’re constantly eating, your gut/intestine is also constantly working to digest the food consumed. So, if you have an irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease or any inflammatory bowel disease, intermittent fasting helps to reduce the inflammation, because you’ll allow your bowel to relax for a while.
Another good thing about intermittent fasting is that when you don’t eat, you don’t produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that says to the body, we’re going to store fat because there’s food coming. Thus, if you’re not consuming food, and not producing insulin, you also diminish the stimulus for your body to have to store fat.
In addition, with intermittent fasting you have something amazing, called cellular rejuvenation – cell repair. Intermittent fasting stimulates your cellular rejuvenation. Although it is true, we’re all going to get old, but we do not have to get old aching, sick and feeble – No at all, we can have a healthy aging and that, in my opinion, is one of the brightest promises of intermittent fasting.
There are different types of intermittent fasting strategy, although in all of them, a period of food intake is restricted, interspersing with a period in which you can eat. If you have never fasted, it is usually recommended to the intermittent fasting once a week and for a maximum of 16 hours.
This fasting period can be increased gradually, that is, you can start by doing 12 hours and as your body adapts to it and you feel safe increase to 13h, 14h, 16h, 18h and up to 24h. The 16-hours fasting consists of staying between 14 and 16 hours without eating, including the sleep period, and eating for the remaining 8 hours of the day and the 24-hour fasting is done with a full day of fasting and can be done 2 or 3 times a week.
Most of the fasting, you’ll spend sleeping, so you don’t have to be afraid of being hungry for 16 hours, by the way, you will not be hungry at all if you follow my instruction. I guarantee you that you won’t be hungry while you’re fasting as I’m going to tell you exactly what you’re going to eat before you start fasting.
Intermittent fasting has several phases and I’ll explain what happens in your body on each phase. I’ll also teach you how to get to that moment when your body uses fat as a source of energy, and you start to burn fat which is ultimately what you want – to get to the fat burning stage. In addition, I will show you what to do to overcome any difficulties you may feel on each phase.
I do intermittent fasting between 16 and 20 hours every week and on each phase of intermittent fasting, the body draws on a type of energy – that’s what determines each phase, and it is on the fourth phase, which we call the fat burning phase, when the body can actually access the fat storage and that body fat melts away.
The initial phase of the intermittent fasting happens in the first 4 hours of fasting. It is called the anabolic phase – it is when you simply digest your last meal, and your body uses the energy (the protein and carb) from that meal and the nutrients on that meal as an energy source.
So, if you make insulin, the insulin takes the carbohydrate inside the cells as it normally happens – as per the normal process of digestion. It usually takes 3 – 4 hours for your body to run out of energy, then you’ll draw on your energy reserve – at this stage glucose is still the main source of energy.
After your body consumes all the energy and nutrients that was circulating from that last meal you had, it then runs out of energy. As you’re fasting and you’re not going to eat again, and because your body is smart it starts to look for alternative ways of energy to continue functioning – the liver then starts to produce, to release glycogen. This glycogen will also be used as a source of simple sugar – a simple source of energy for energy production.
Between 4h and 16h of intermittent fasting, you enter a phase called catabolic. At this stage you either no longer have insulin or you have very little insulin. You have less insulin in your body and your body begins to make an effort to use the body’s reserves as a source of energy. At this point it is very typical for you to feel more like peeing and your body feels less inflamed.
Then the metabolism starts to accelerate in the effort to use the body’s energy reserve, which is glycogen – this then opens the way to the much-desired phase -the autophagy, which is the phase I love, which is the accelerated cell renewal and make you feel and look younger. This is when your body gets ready for its less efficient cells to be used as a source of energy and other more efficient cells are stimulated to be produced and renewed in your body from the inside out.
At this stage there is not much to do – you wake up and there are still 4 hours left for the third phase of the fasting. During this period of the morning, you shouldn’t feel hungry – maybe a desire to eat but not hungry. For you to overcome the craving of the habit of eating, you should drink a warm tea or coffee without sugar – that will make you feel satiated. Remember sugar has calorie and calories break the fasting.
From 16 hours onwards of intermittent fasting, your body begins to draw on its own energy and start doing something called Autophagy, which is when the body uses its own cells, which are not as efficient cells, with aged proteins, that don’t work so well anymore and turns those cells into energy and stimulates the body to produce new and more efficient cells that will make your body look and feel younger – It’s like an exfoliation.
For example, if you exfoliate and remove the dead cells that are on your face – you stimulate the cellular renewal process that happens while exfoliating and your skin looks more vibrating and wonderful. That’s exactly what happens in this period of the intermittent fasting, your body goes into a cell renewal process -your body’s cellular rejuvenation gets stimulated from within. you don’t see it, but it looks beautiful.
It’s this part of intermittent fasting, Autophagy – the faster cell renewal process of delaying aging, of healthy aging that I love, that makes me do intermittent fasting regularly. Regularly is the secret – it’s no use doing intermittent fasting once, and waiting for all the magic to happen, not at all. You need to decide what your strategy is and do it consistently and regularly.
Between 16h and 24 hours of intermittent fasting, that is when you start turning to fat as a source of energy – that’s when everything pays off and you actually start melting the belly fat you want to melt so badly. from 16 hours onwards of fasting you are completely adapted to fasting, so it is then that your body turns to fat as a source of energy, in another word, you’ve reached the peak, and that’s when not only fat burning happens, but the Autophagy phase accelerates. Amazingly, the cell renewal process is very accelerated when you arrive at 16 hours.
After 16 hours of intermittent fasting, you feel a very different energy, you feel like you been renewed, as though you’ve started again – you feel as though you had a meal, because, in fact, all the energy you need is within the fat storage inside of your body – Your body now has access to that fat warehouse that was closed. At this stage it is recommended to do a physical activity to maximize fat burning. This is called the fat burning phase and lasts between 16 hours and 24 hours.
At this phase of the intermittent fasting, your body quickly changes the source of energy, and the main source of energy becomes fat, which is that source of energy that you want and need to be used and released from your body and that is one of the greatest benefits of fasting. During this process, you also have another advantage, which is the renewal of your cells. This is an incredible cell turnover that makes your body able to improve metabolism. Metabolically, from 16 hours of fasting you’re a new person.
In the meantime, while you’re not yet done with your fasting, you can have a glass of water with lemon, a cup of coffee or mint tea, again without sugar as you don’t want to ingest any calories at this point- drink lots of water, yes, water is always welcome. Forget sugar –especially when fasting, no sweeteners or nothing artificial, and no industrialized products. Obviously, you can add a little fat (a spoonful of coconut oil) in your coffee.
Intermittent fasting works because it’s really intermittent, it’s not for you to do it every day, it’s for you to suddenly, one day, close the supply of energy from food so that your body is forced to find alternative ways to keep it working. The body then uses the fat you don’t want, and does not allow it to store fat, because your body needs it at that moment. So the insulin drops, the supply of energy production from fat tissue increases and that’s what you want during the fasting period. To find out What you should eat before starting the intermittent fasting and after the fasting, click here to read How Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss? Part II
I hope you find this article helpful and if you have any question about “How Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss?” or want to leave your own personal opinion, leave me a comment below. And if you liked what you’ve read, share this post with your friends and family.
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