There seems to be a current wave on Intermittent Fasting (IF) going on, however, IF has been in existence for so long. I remember when I decided to embark on the healthy lifestyle/ weight loss journey over eight years ago, that was one of the approaches I applied for sustainable weight loss. And I still use it for its enormous health benefits. And yes, it truly does work especially for losing weight, when done right.
However, I have met a good number of people who say, oh, they do not lose weight with fasting. And yes…that is a possibility. You see eh, restricting food for a good chunk of your day is firstly a mind game. Your mind has to tell your mouth, “Hey, Mouth, we are doing this for good health, do not over eat when you finally see food”.
One of the common fasting approaches is the 16:8 method. Here, you fast for 16 hours and eat in the 8-hour window. This typically means skipping breakfast.
But the issue now is, during that 8- hour window Are you over eating? Do you eat breakfast, Lunch and Dinner within 8 hours? Do you eat a whole lot of junk food during your eating window? Remember, a calorie deficit is still important for weight loss.
You see, when you embark on the intermittent fast path, condition your mind that you are going to do it and do it right. Intermittent Fasting has a good number of benefits that could motivate you:
- Lowers cancer risk.
Multiple studies have shown a link between intermittent fasting and a reduced risk of breast cancer.
- Enhances heart health.
Intermittent fasting is thought to lower heart disease risk due to its ability to lower triglycerides and blood pressure and raise beneficial HDL cholesterol.
- Improves autoimmune conditions.
A fasting-mimicking diet under 1,000 calories a day for three-day cycles has been shown to improve symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis as well as lupus.
- Improves blood sugar.
When it comes to managing blood sugar, intermittent fasting takes centre stage. With its proven ability to lower insulin resistance and increase metabolism, it’s one of my favourite tools to recommend to patients with blood sugar problems.
- Encourages weight loss.
Weight-loss resistance can often be due to an underlying hormone imbalance. Leptin resistance occurs when your brain stops recognizing leptin’s signals to use your body’s fat stores for energy. This causes your body to continually store fat instead of using it. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve chronic inflammation that can dull the brain’s leptin receptor sites.
- Curbs cravings.
If you’re worried you’ll be starving while fasting, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Intermittent fasting decreases your hunger hormone ghrelin, which in turn can increase dopamine levels in the brain. (Just another example of the gut-brain axis at work.) Fasting can also help free people from emotional eating and kill cravings by transitioning your metabolism from unstable sugar-burning to steady fat-burning.
- Increases cognitive function.
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Improves lung health.
One study showed intermittent fasting’s ability to decrease asthma symptoms as well as reduce oxidative stress.
- Helps heal the gut
Lowering inflammation in the gut with intermittent fasting improves inflammatory gut problems such as IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.
So, are you ready to do it right?
Start by conditioning your mind first…And prepare your self for the process… Its MIND OVER MATTER!
Find below a Sample of a 16: 8 eating plan Nigerian Style:
|7am||1 cup of Black coffee or Green Tea|
|10am||1L of water|
|11am||Green Smoothie (Green, apples, Chia seed, water)|
|4pm||A bowl of vegetable soup with fish and ¾ cup of oat swallow|
|7pm||A bowl of watermelon and ¼ cup of Cashew nuts.|
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