Everything you need to know before starting intermittent fasting.
You have probably heard of intermittent fasting and have probably done it unconsciously. Never confuse it with a diet, because it certainly isn't. It is much more than that, because you learn to feel what your body can handle and what you feel good about. But now the question is: how do you actually start and what do you have to take into account?
What is it?
You can already partly deduce it from the name. Intermittent fasting actually means that you are going to insert periods in which you are not allowed to eat. There are many different methods to which you can apply this, so experiment and listen to your body is the message.
To be clear, intermittent fasting is NOT a diet. You are generally free in the things you eat. It is rather an eating pattern, because you know at what times you can eat and when you can't.
With intermittent fasting you 'force' your body to burn fats instead of glucose. You will have to be patient before your body can do that effectively in a smooth way, but it is definitely worth it. You will feel faint less quickly and you will realize that you can go without food for a longer period of time and that you can safely skip a meal. In addition, intermittent fasting promotes the hormone BDNF in the brain. As a result, you have more concentration and you think more clearly.
Give it a chance
‘You have to eat enough, don’t you?’, I can already hear some of you thinking. It is not bad to supply your body without food for a while, on the contrary, it is even good to do so. This way your digestive system gets the necessary rest and your body can burn your fats and other stores in addition to your glucose. So your body gets half a detox cure so to speak. So if you feel like a snack again because you think you're hungry, you should actually realize that your body has so many reserves that you can survive without food for a few weeks (although that would of course not be very healthy).
Do you want to lose a few kilos? Then it is definitely worth trying intermittent fasting. You automatically eat less when you do intermittent fasting, so you absorb fewer calories. A 2014 study showed that you lose an average of 3-8% over a period of 3-24 weeks.
Have you ever tried a diet or just tried to live a healthier life in the past? Then you realized that you had to do some preparation work. What exactly can I eat, how can I make a full meal, ... With intermittent fasting you don't have that inconvenience. Of course it's still important to get all the essential nutrients, but you don't have to weigh and weigh your meals so to speak. So you no longer have to clean so many pans, plan meals and waste time cooking.
Side effects in your body
You give your pancreas the opportunity to repair itself. How did that happen? With every meal you consume, there is a rise in your insulin and that damages your pancreas. So, for example, if you eat 6 small meals/snacks every day, your pancreas has little chance of repairing itself and could cause problems in the future. So with intermittent fasting, the amount of insulin in your body drastically decreases, making it easier to burn your stored fats in your body.
That's not all! Intermittent fasting also affects growth hormone levels, which will also make you lose weight faster and build muscle mass faster. So you get lower amounts of insulin, but there is an increase in the fat-burning hormone norepinephrine, which means you will also lose belly fat.
A way of life
Intermittent fasting is therefore not a diet that you apply temporarily, but it really is a way of life. You are meant to make peace with your body and eat only when you are hungry and not because you have to. In addition, it is extremely important that you get the correct and sufficient nutrients during your eating window and that you achieve your daily total.