Intermittent Fasting for Beginners: Part I

by: Sayed Farah سايد فرح

What is intermittent fasting, and why shouldn’t you overthink it? Intermittent fasting is straightforward; you stop eating. It’s that simple. The caveat is that there are a few tiny details you need to know to improve and accelerate the results.

How about the primary benefits? So many people have had great success with it. The physical benefits are numerous, cellular rejuvenation, fat loss, and muscle gain, especially if added on weekdays on top of keto to maximize nutrient partitioning. The mental aspects such as razor-sharp focus and productivity towards the end of the week are unparalleled, which is of great interest to people undertaking creative tasks such as writing.

There are different types of fasting, mainly intermittent fasting, and prolonged fasting. Other types are water vs. dry fasting. So which one is right for you, and does it make a difference if you’re a man or a woman? A few differences should be taken into consideration to improve the experience. Generally speaking, fasting is not counter-indicated. On the contrary, it’s encouraged to improve health markers and slow down aging.

Intermittent Fasting for Beginners: Part I

Common concerns have not been answered convincingly. Otherwise, those concerns wouldn’t be common, would they? I promise everything will make perfect sense. For example, the muscle loss concern and does fasting slow down the thyroid? Will consuming a little bit of alcohol affect the fast? Do you take supplements during fasting hours?

In its basic form, intermittent fasting is not a diet. Intermittent fasting is a meal timing plan. You eat during a specific period during the day and abstain from food and energy-containing liquids for the rest of the day. The number one reason for failure is: people overthink it. Humans tend to complicate simple matters. Nothing is simpler; intermittent fasting is not eating for a certain amount of time and then consuming your food within a feeding window with different intricacies in between.

The physical benefits are the main reason people are attracted to intermittent fasting. The physical benefits include fat loss, maintaining, gaining, muscle, and increasing muscle tone and muscle density. Improving vascular function is a rarely mentioned physical benefit that enhances every aspect of your health. Skin and appearance in general, nails, hair all improve as nutrients partition more efficiently to tissues. Most physiological benefits are derived from the release of catecholamines, namely adrenaline, and norepinephrine which allow for the mobilization of fat stores and muscle preservation.

Today’s society has so many distractions, so finding true focus is of great value, making fasting a powerful tool for distinction and success.

Going for an extended period without food results in a metabolic switch that allows tapping into fat reserves. A natural state that modern us rarely get into. The hormonal environment that prevents access to stored fat is turned down. Instead, the entire system goes into the natural survival mode. It sounds scary when put in those words, but it’s the favorable state that we’re designed to operate best at. In that state of being, and to preserve energy, the brain becomes very efficient, becoming hyper-focused. Whatever the mental task at hand, it gets easier as all the extra distractions from thoughts that occur in the fed state, which make us unable to focus, disappear. Today’s society has so many distractions, so finding true focus is of great value, making fasting a powerful tool for distinction and success.

Autophagy is when old cells get eaten up by newer cells and consolidate into more robust, more powerful, efficient cells.

If combined with keto, fasting will shorten the time needed for ketone bodies concentrations, which are tremendous brain fuel, to rise naturally. Small keto meals during the feeding window is a little hack that makes intermittent fasting mimic a more extended several days fast. You get to eat and get your health supplements while getting the benefits of a longer fast such as Autophagy. In layman’s terms, Autophagy is when old cells get eaten up by newer cells and consolidate into more robust, more powerful, efficient cells. Making your skin glow better, making you live longer, and improving all kinds of organ function.

How do you start a fast? An important tip for beginners is to consider that the fast begins with the last meal consumed. Some recommend a high-fiber meal before starting your fast. So if you were going to be fasting from, let’s say 11 PM the night before through to maybe 3 PM or 5 PM the next day at 11 PM, you may want to have a little bit of fiber, perhaps adding a fiber supplement if your body handles fibers well. Maybe some vegetables that have a little bit more fiber. That can allow you to stay satiated for a longer time, and you’re still going to get all the metabolic benefits. Still, as far as your hunger is concerned, you’re not going to get the stomach rallies, and that can help you out a lot until your body adapts to the new lifestyle. Your body is accustomed to getting food at certain times, and it takes some time for the hunger reminders to dissipate.

Intermittent Fasting for Beginners: Part I

Now the next thing beginners usually ask about is how long they should fast. When fasting, the benefits you’re trying to achieve are generally dictated by how long the fast is. Shorter fasts have a few body composition effects as long as the feeding phase is not abused. The longer the fast, the more the cellular rejuvenation effects. The recommendation is to start with a 16 hour fast known as the 16-8 fasting protocol. It means you’re fasting for 16 hours, and then you have an 8-hour eating window. If you consume your last meal immediately before going to bed, you’re asleep for eight hours out of the 16 hours fasting period. That makes the protocol work out perfectly because it allows you to get more of a metabolic effect.

The 16 hours protocol is the bare minimum. Every hour you add exponentially adds to the benefits you get out of your fast. The cellular rejuvenation starts at 16 hours, so the recommendation is to start at 16 hours and work your way up to 18 or 20. Yours truly is a fan of the 20-4 protocol, fasting for 20 hours with a 4-hour feeding window. That allows for two meals, one at the start of the feeding window and the other 4 hours later, which allows the 1st meal enough time to get processed in the digestive tract. The supplements that I recommend with 1st meal will be available for cells to create enzymes and cellular structures, and you’ll get all the benefits from the macronutrients in the 2nd meal.

It becomes easier and easier until it becomes a part of you, your natural state. Many studies were performed on the every-other-day fasting protocols, mostly on lab rodents, which proved very beneficial in terms of life extension and metabolic health, which is another option, at least to start your journey with.

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Sayed Farah سايد فرح
Image Photo سايد فرح Amman Post by Sayed Farah Podcast

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