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The Purpose of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been practiced for many centuries for health and spiritual reasons, however, it has recently become one of the most popular ways to eating due to all its benefits.
Fasting, or giving the body a rest by not eating, has been known to help clear the mind, detoxify the organs and expand spiritual enlightenment.
In fact, Hippocrates, “The Father of Medicine”, often prescribed his patients with rest and fasting as a way of healing the body.
How to Do It
This type of fasting may vary in duration but is commonly set on certain ratios of time that you eat followed by a set time that you are fasting. There several methods to intermittent fasting, but here are a couple of ways that it may be performed.
For example: Eating dinner around 8pm and not eating again until 12 noon the next day would be considered a 16:8 ratio.
That is 16 hours from dinner to lunch and then followed by maybe a snack around 4pm and then dinner again at 8pm. There would be no eating between dinner and lunch the next day.
Another common method would be a 24 hour fast.
Basically, eating a meal such as dinner and then not eating again until dinner time the next day. This is often done once or twice a week while keeping a regular eating schedule the other 5-6 days.
What Are the Benefits?
There are several benefits to fasting this way, however, the three top reasons are weight loss, anti-aging, and detoxification.
Weight loss is probably one of the most obvious benefits to intermittent fasting and can be achieved at an accelerated rate when paired with a diet such as the Ketogenic diet. However, eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is still a great way to achieve optimum results.
Anti-aging benefits are associated with intermittent fasting due to the increase in HGH levels. When HGH (human growth hormone) levels are increased, you have more energy and vibrancy.
Dr. Josh Axe explains how HGH levels naturally decrease as the body ages. Intermittent fasting is a great and natural way to gain higher levels which help to preserve the skin, bones, and support cell regeneration.
Fasting gives the body time to cleanse, detoxify and rest. Constant food intake doesn’t offer that benefit.
The liver, lungs, kidneys and digestive system are designed to heal themselves and fasting gives them that opportunity.
As with any dietary change, it is suggested that you speak with your medical professional before you begin intermittent fasting or any other type of program. As previously mentioned, this type of fasting can be beneficial any many ways, but there are also side effects.
Here are some frequently related reactions to intermittent fasting:
Heartburn – This can happen when the body adjusts to an infrequent eating pattern. Heartburn happens when the body releases acids that are not being relieved by eating food. Therefore, a person who eats 4-6 times and then goes to eating only twice per day may experience this in the beginning of the fast.
Insomnia – Fasting gives the body more energy. That’s why lack of sleep is often associated with intermittent fasting. Dr. Eric Berg, a chiropractic doctor, states that adding more minerals, B vitamins and increasing exercise throughout the day can help to remedy this issue so that you can rest.
Binge Eating – This may happen if you are feeling deprived after breaking the fast. People have complained of missing out on unhealthy foods and going overboard afterwards. It is important to plan your meals and have healthy foods readily available to you to help control unhealthy choices.
Headaches – Many have complained of getting frequent headaches while fasting due the body making the necessary adjustments to eating this way. This may be remedied by drinking more water. If the headaches persistent beyond 3-4 weeks, medical attention is recommended.
Coffee Dependency – Although drinking coffee is fine during the fast, drinking cup after cup and becoming dependent on it for energy, is not good. Science has shown that Intermittent fasting gives the body extra energy due to HGH (human growth hormone) increases. HGH is also known as the anti-aging hormone because of its ability to protect and preserve the skin, retain calcium and cell production.
- Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should not follow this fast, as well as people with eating disorders.