Intermittent Fasting: Lose Weight Without Harming Muscle Mass

Intermittent fasting is a natural, safe and effective way to lose weight without damaging muscles. More and more body ethusiasts are turning to intermittent fasting instead of spending untold fortunes on "special supplements", preparing and eating "special (tasteless) foods" and continuous measuring and gyming. While intermittent fasting is easy to do, it's important to research and follow a program before you do it.   Luckily, we've done all the research for you...

Intermittent Fasting

What exactly is it? This method of fasting is not what one would normally think of when hearing the word, because it does not entail going for long periods of time without eating. It is commonly used by athletes and people looking to get healthy as a way to help their body’s metabolic functions. It involves anything from a 12-20 hour fast between meals to allow the body to fully digest and begin the boost in all metabolic processes, giving the body time for essential repair operations and for cortisol levels to balance out.

Fasting Basics

The idea is very simple, just find a time that works within your schedule when you can stop eating to begin your 12-20 hour fast.  Most people will do this just after supper, and not eat again until late morning/early afternoon because most of that time is spent sleeping, so it doesn’t feel as much of a hardship when you’re sleeping it away. You want to be sure you have plenty of water, because water is not just allowed during a fast, it’s encouraged to keep you hydrated. It is also suggested you do any exercise of choice during this time, because it helps with the boost before your next cortisol drop. Most people find it easiest to exercise in the morning if they’re fasting at night.

Benefits of Fasting

The benefits are innumerable. They include: Increasing life span, improvement in functional indexes, reduction of metabolic risk factors for chronic disease, lowering of blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels, while boosting good cholesterol, and decreased risk for diabetes or other metabolic disorders. There are plenty more, and unlike a good deal of dieting advice these are backed by authorities in their field, like the following:

Intermittent Fasting Results

If the benefits don’t speak loudly enough to what you can expect from starting a fasting lifestyle, consider this.  You could wake up every morning with more energy to face the day.  You will feel more aware, your mind will be sharper and you will think with far more clarity.  You will be less hungry on a daily basis, allowing you to naturally eat less during meals.  You will be able to fit into clothing you have wanted to wear for a long time, but just couldn’t quite squeeze into.  You will have more stamina for strenous activities, and it will show in your skin.  You will glow from head to toe from your body’s ability to process nutrients and send them throughout your system optimally, and thanks to the increase in your water intake, your skin will also be smooth and supple.

Intermittent Fasting as a Diet

This certainly needs some defining, because you cannot eat things like pizza, cookies, cakes, chips, or any other high sodium, high fat, and high sugar food and expect to lose weight even if you’re fasting.  The best you can hope for if you wish to continue eating badly is for your weight to remain at a baseline, neither moving up nor down.  The best foods to eat remain whole, natural, raw foods.  This means things like vegetables, certain nuts, some grains, nearly any sort of fish due to the amount of good fats and omega 3′s within them, and berries.  There has been a marked rise lately in websites offering recipes for raw foods, so it doesn’t have to taste bland or unappealing, they’ve found ways to make it both satisfying and delicious.  Many of our comfort foods, the things that we know are bad for us but we can’t help but eat, can be replaced by something else. Here’s two sites to get started: Healthy Eating and Life Extension

How To Practice Intermittent Fasting

As with anything, it is best to do all your research before trying anything new.  It is also very important to ask your Doctor before going on a fasting regimen, especially if you have things like diabetes, as drops in blood sugar while fasting can be life threatening if done improperly.  If you don’t already have a gym membership, purchase some at home equipment like resistance bands, small rubber coated weights, ankle weights or a pilates ball to be sure you get some workout benefit at home. Make sure you have things planned for the times you eat out of boredom, find things to do that will keep you busy so you don’t head for the refrigerator, up to and including going to bed early in the beginning.  Stock up on plenty of water, and keep an extra toothbrush with you, as fasting can cause bad breath during the fasting phase.  Be prepared to be irritable at first as you adjust to a new eating schedule and try to manage your stress or mood away from those you love.  Knowledge is power, so the more you know what to expect, the better you can do with this lifestyle.