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Taking the STRESS Out of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has been a buzzword for a while, with people fasting for a variety of different reasons – from health weight-loss goals. Many people have contemplated giving this health trend a try, but procrastinate because it may seem tough and stressful. The truth is that the execution is simple.
If you are new to the world of Intermittent Fasting, you may feel overwhelmed by the information that is already out there and the wide variety of methods people use to achieve their goals. The good news is that incorporating Intermittent Fasting into your lifestyle doesn’t have to stressful or hard. What’s important is what works for your body. You don’t have to compare your health journey to anyone else, as your body has its own needs and goals.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
At a quick glance, Intermittent fasting is when you set out a specific amount of time where you don’t consume any calories. The most popular method is to split the time allocation into 16:8 where you don’t consume any calories for 16 hours and then consume all your calories in the next 8 hours. There are a variety of time allocations that people use for fasting; the goal is to find the method that works for you.
Let’s look at some of the top objections you may have and how they are stopping you from achieving your health goals:
“16hours is just too long”
This might be your very first thought when you see the words Intermittent Fasting. 16hours seems like a very long time to not consume any food. When you think about it logically, you will realise it’s not that hard. The trick is to have dinner as early as possible. You then go about your normal night routine, sleep for 8 hours, manically go through your morning routine, rush through traffic, and before you know it the 16hours will be done. Starting your fast at 6 pm continuing through to 6 am is already 12hours. Now you just need to stretch and push through for the next 4, and you will have achieved your goal.
“I can’t remember how long to fast”
There are many apps you can use to use to track your fasting journey, with free and more enhanced paid versions, on both iOS and Android. These trackers are useful to show you exactly in which stage of fasting you are and what is happening within your body. This is a good way to track how many times you have achieved your goal. By using a tracking app you can challenge yourself to longer fasts.
“Intermittent Fasting is just a phase”
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Fasting has been used since ancient times and has been used for cleansing rituals within many different religions. Imagine a world where you had to hunt for food, the people were only able to feast once they caught something, while they waited they may have had to fast for extended periods to survive. It’s only in the past 10 years that scientists have been closely researching the remarkable benefits of fasting.
“Fasting is just a fancy word for starving”
This is a myth and here is why – your body is simply amazing. Your body is rich with alternative sources of energy (such as body fats) that are stored in the body. You aren’t starving your body, but rather giving it a chance to use what it already has stored. It also gives your body a break from digesting food to focus on other important processes that will benefit YOU.
“Diets never work for me”
Intermittent Fasting is not a diet; it’s simply a pattern or way of eating which activates your metabolic cycle. There is more to Intermittent Fasting than just losing weight. By actively exercising your metabolic flexibility (your body’s ability to adjust between burning carbohydrates and burning fat), it will be easier for your body to adapt to energy demands by quickly adjusting the fuel source. This process may result in lower blood sugar and insulin levels, body fat loss, lowered blood pressure, and more.
“I can’t handle the hunger pains!!!”
When you start intermittent fasting you may experience some hunger pains, but with anything in this world – the more you practice the more benefits you will experience. It gets easier as your body adjusts to using other fuel sources and your metabolic flexibility increases. Don’ worry, you got this. It’s recommended to stay hydrated while you fast. Drinking water may help ease the initial hunger pains.
“Do I really have to fast every day?”
The choice is completely up to you and what your health goals are. If your goal is to lose weight then you may benefit from doing it more regularly. If you chose to start with 1 day a week, that’s great. Once you feel you can do it a little more often then adjust your schedule accordingly. Intermittent Fasting is not a diet - you don’t have to worry when you have 1 cheat day or you aren’t able to complete 16hours but rather only 14hours.
“I don’t see the benefits of Intermittent Fasting”
Intermittent Fasting is not a quick-fix strategy that will make you lose weight overnight. To reap the benefits of Intermittent fasting you need to be disciplined and incorporate it into your lifestyle. The more you fast the more you will feel your body changing and adapting to what your lifestyle needs.
Fasting doesn’t have to be stressful. It doesn’t require any extra equipment and fancy shopping lists. All it needs (to be effective) is a little willpower and discipline. Something is better than nothing, so start today! Set your health goals and experience the benefits of fasting.
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This blog is made available by OPTMZ. We are not medical professionals, nutritionists or dieticians. Please do not make any changes to your lifestyle or diet without discussing it with your health care practitioner.The information in this blog and all content provided is for informational purposes only. Content should also not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.