When using a low carb diet, a great way to kick things up a notch is to add in intermittent fasting. It’s been used since ancient times and can help boost metabolic health.
These days, it’s making quite the comeback, and when done correctly, it has a bevy of benefits for your health.
What can intermittent fasting do for you?
The biggest benefit to working intermittent fasting into your life is that you’ll lose weight. When you’re fasting, it cleanses your body of toxins and revs up your metabolism to increase your fat-burning potential.
More research is needed, but the evidence thus far suggests that intermittent fasting can possibly:
– Lower blood sugar and insulin levels
– Reverse type 2 diabetes
– Increase energy
– Improve cholesterol
– Activate cellular cleansing
– Reduce inflammation
Additionally, when you choose intermittent fasting, you’re simplifying dieting. Even those on low carb diets like keto can benefit from throwing intermittent fasting into the mix.
As an added bonus, you won’t have to keep much of an eye on what you’re eating all the time. Plus, there are many ways to fast making it much more versatile than any other plan.
The basics of intermittent fasting
There are two ways to go about intermittent fasting – shorter fasts or longer fasts. Shorter fasts are less than 24 hours in duration and can be done more frequently.
One of the most popular intermittent fasts, it’s the easiest to follow. You get an 8-hour window where you can eat. You shouldn’t eat more calories than is ideal for your body weight though.
It’s flexible in that you can choose any 8-hour eating period that works for your schedule, like 11am to 7pm for example.
With 20:4, it’s a little more challenging. You only get a 4-hour window for eating while fasting for 20 hours.
Then there are longer fasts that go 24 or more hours. Can you handle it?
It’s not as bad as it sounds! You’d fast from one meal one day to the same meal the next day. So you’re eating once per day.
You should only do a 24-hour fast 2 or 3 times per week to be safe.
By far, the most scientific evidence points to the 5:2 fast as the most effective.
You eat 5 days as normal and fast on 2 days.
On the fasting days, you eat only 500 calories per day. You can eat them all at once or spread them throughout the day. Alternate-day fasting is related to this.
A word of caution about intermittent fasting
Some people are not ideal candidates for any type of intermittent fasting. If you are underweight or have an eating disorder, this is not the way to good health.
Additionally pregnant and breastfeeding women should never fast.
Anyone under the age of 18 should avoid fasting too.
Those with diabetes mellitus, taking prescriptions, or with other health conditions should always ask a doctor first before attempting intermittent fasting.
For everyone else, it will be beneficial to your metabolic rate in the initial stages.
Don’t forget to exercise, stay hydrated, and eat sensibly when you’re intermittent fasting either.
These components will lead you down the path to weight loss in the most successful of ways.