Intermittent Fasting: What You Need To Know

by | Nov 4, 2022

toxic body storage

What if I told you that an essential part of healthy eating includes short periods of not eating?

That line of thinking runs counter to everything we do today.

Have humans always eaten like this?

Fasting in Human Evolution and Culture

Humans didn’t always have access to food whenever they felt a craving for a snack, so the human body, your body, evolved to expect long periods of time in which food was scarce. Of course, your ancestors still needed to find food if they had any hope of reproducing and passing their genes on, so certain side effects of hunger developed to increase their success at getting food. A day or two without food left your progenitors with a singular focus to find a source of calories. If they weren’t able to function during times of scarcity, chances are they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to bear children and pass their genes down to you through the generations.

As society developed, regular periods of not eating became less of a consequence of food scarcity and more of an integral part of cultural norms and identities. Meals were eaten at certain times of the day. But as technologies like electricity progressed and spread to the general populace, society’s habits and meal times changed to fit the highly variable daily schedules of modern people.

There are a lot of changes in human history that have collectively altered the health, and indeed the girth, of the world’s population, but the effect of technology and modern life may have especially far-reaching implications on hunger, weight, and energy levels. This is where intermittent fasting comes in.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Put simply, intermittent fasting is alternating periods of fasting with periods of eating. Many people who practice intermittent fasting adjust their eating schedule to align with the natural rhythms of hormonal and sleep-wake cycles of the body. This cycle can be one of your own devising or 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating, this practice a good way to start for beginners.

The protocol you choose hinges on your health goals, energy needs, and willpower.

Why Try Intermittent Fasting?

One argument for intermittent fasting is that it’s easier to stick to compared with dieting or eating small amounts of food throughout the day for weeks or months. Eating things in moderation or miserly portions isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people find dieting difficult for this very reason. If you take an “all or nothing” approach to dietary changes, intermittent fasting might help you get the results you want. Restriction.

Eating on a Schedule with Intermittent Fasting

When you eat at times when your body isn’t prepared for food, you start throwing all the various clocks in your body out of sync. That midnight snack triggers your digestive system to start secreting all the digestive juices it needs to break down that midnight snack during a time when your brain is calling for sleep. A few hours later, when you’re sleeping, your blood floods with sugar from the meal and your pancreas deploys insulin to herd that sugar into cells. Your cells don’t need a rush of sugar at midnight. This throws your organ systems and hunger-regulating hormones off-kilter. Eating out of sync with what your body needs can affect how your body responds to hormones like insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. Disrupting these hormones can significantly affect your appetite, and how you use and store energy in your body.

Ideally, stick to an intermittent fasting schedule, you’ll have to be diligent about eating on time and avoiding snacks and meals if they fall out of the designated eating window.

The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

The brain, weight loss, and fitness benefits make intermittent fasting an appealing option for anyone looking to improve their health, especially for anyone trying to maintain weight loss after obesity or people with type 2 diabetes.


Intermittent Fasting Patterns

Generally, the longer the fasting period, the better the results. Some people find they experience some emotional effects with fasting. You may find that you feel irritable and short tempered while adjusting to an intermittent fasting schedule.

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

If you can stretch your fast out for longer periods of time, you’ll quickly see lower insulin levels and spend more time in ketosis, the fat-burning state. To start intermittent fasting, I recommend starting with 12:12 schedule: a 12-hour window in which you can eat followed by 12 hours of fasting. If you find this schedule easy, try an 8:16 schedule next. Fasting for longer periods with comparatively short windows to eat (6:18 or 4:20) are a key component of the warrior diet regimen, a diet inspired by our ancestors’ eating habits. Extend your fast beyond even that benchmark and you reach alternate day fasting.

You’ll have to evaluate what works with your daily schedule and workout goals to find a stable, sustainable intermittent fasting pattern. Some fasters find that a 10:14 or 6:18 fasting plan is a better fit for them. Fasting, in general, will yield an array of health benefits, so don’t be afraid to shift your schedule around to suit your needs. Just make an effort to eat earlier in the day rather than late at night to decrease fat storage. However, if you typically skip breakfast, feel free to begin your eating period around lunchtime.

Some people respond to fasting significantly better than others. If you are particularly stressed out or you’re going through some difficult life events, I would advise you to put fasting on hold until you get your stress under control.

What to Eat during an Intermittent Fast

Although you don’t have to adopt a different diet to try intermittent fasting, it’s never too late to eat healthier. I recommend a whole food diet with lots of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to improve nutrition and maintain health.

If you’re looking to your diet to kick-start fat loss, try one of our lifestyle plan which will solely work around your personal needs and goals. Unlike most diets or fasts, I designed yours to cleanse the body with whole plant foods like avocado, nuts and low carb fruits.

This tool does not provide medical advice, it is intended for information purposed only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the Colleen The Coach website. If you suspect you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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