It’s no secret that Intermittent Fasting is great for weight loss (see our previous blog post A Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting). But there are lots of other benefits to fasting.
One of the most significant benefits of Intermittent Fasting (known as IF), is that it can reduce the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), which is associated not just with Type 2 Diabetes but also cancer.
IF has been shown to produce many of the same benefits as calorie restriction even if you don’t restrict calories on other days. Many people say it feels easier to follow than traditional ‘diets’ because they tend to make you feel constantly deprived. Additionally, when fasting your body moves away from using glucose for energy to using the fat stores, which is when fat is converted to ketones, a more effective source of energy.
Fasting can also promote the sympathetic nervous system. This means your body is more able to become more resistant to stress, so if you are experiencing pressure at work or other areas of your life, adopting IF could boost your performance at work – or at the very least help regulate and reduce your stress levels.
You can opt for whichever IF protocol works best for you, but the two we find easiest are:
Time-restricted Feeding (Phase 1 of The What IF Plan)
This involves eating within an eight hour window that suits you and fasting overnight. Often, this becomes such second nature you may not even notice that you are going longer between meals. You can fast the 16 hours overnight and part of the morning or you can eat earlier in the morning say 9am and fast from the evening earlier i.e. 5pm.
Alternate Day Fasting (Phase 2 of The What IF Plan)
This involves consuming 500-700 calories (women), 600-800 calories (men) on alternate days for one week. The other days where you aren’t fasting, you can eat the portions that feel right for you. Just eat with mindfulness!