Intermittent Fasting 101

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The benefits of intermittent fasting include...

  • Faster weight loss
  • Increased energy & mental clarity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Improved digestion
  • Better sleep

If you’re someone who keeps an eye on dieting, health, and weight loss trends, it's not unlikely that you've noticed the buzz around intermittent fasting (IF). Here's a breakdown of why this weight loss method works and how you can combine it with juicing for even faster results! 

(Get your juice cleanse here!)

New to the concept?

Intermittent fasting, in a nutshell, is a method of restricting the window of time each day in which you consume calories. Why does this promote weight loss? Your body can only store up fat when your insulin levels are elevated (which happens after you eat). When insulin is low, your body starts burning stored fat.

What exactly is insulin and where does it come from?

When you eat, the carbohydrates from your food get converted into glucose. When your blood glucose levels begin to rise, it signals to the pancreas to begin releasing the hormone insulin. Insulin signals to your liver, fat, and muscle cells to absorb this glucose and use it as a cellular fuel source.

What’s the difference between intermittent fasting and... just starving yourself?

Essentially, IF is about giving your body longer to rest between meals, rather than depriving yourself of calories. However, for many people, restricting the time of day in which they eat results in them eating fewer calories. For example, they don't end up excessively snacking late at night.

By condensing your daily caloric intake into a smaller window of time, you not only allow more time for your insulin levels to drop, you give your body more time to recover from the hard work that is digestion. Digestion requires a lot of effort and energy from the body. When your digestion is working overtime, that energy gets taken away from the body’s other healing and detoxification processes.

For this reason, IF can benefit your well-being in many ways beyond weight loss. These benefits include increased energy and mental clarity, decreased inflammation, improved digestion, and better sleep. Intermittent fasting also can also help regulate your blood sugar, blood pressure, hormones, and promotes insulin sensitivity which is a critical component of maintaining a healthy weight.

How long should you fast for?

After you eat a meal, it takes between 8 and 12 hours for your body to enter the fat-burning fasted state that is the ultimate goal of this type of feeding schedule. There are a few popular IF schedules, but so long as you are meeting your daily caloric needs, any restriction in your eating window that allows the fasted state to occur will benefit your weight loss goals.

Here are a few suggestions…

Feed for 8 hours and fast for the remaining 16. One way to make this easier for yourself is to put your feeding window right in the middle of the day. So for example, if you wake up at 7 am, you would have your first meal at 11, your last meal at 7 pm, and fast until bedtime.

Some intermittent fasters are more extreme and take substantially longer breaks between meals. A popular but challenging fasting schedule is to fast for a full 24 hours twice a week, drinking exclusively zero-calorie beverages like water, tea, and coffee (PS: diet soda doesn't count). Another option is to fast all day and have one large meal in which you consume all of your daily calories. Bear in mind, it can be difficult to get in all of your necessary calories and nutrients on a schedule like this.

Intermittent fasting + juicing?

Can you combine intermittent fasting with juicing? Yes, and there are some awesome benefits to utilizing this strategy!

Weight loss is one of the key benefits of a juice cleanse and a juicing habit in general. Add intermittent fasting to the equation and you will supercharge your body’s fat-burning potential, setting yourself up to achieve your weight loss goals even faster!  

Whatever eating schedule you're on, it's essential that you meet your body's nutrient needs during your feeding window. Otherwise, it will result in your body clinging onto fat, totally counteracting your IF weight loss goals. Even if you aren’t doing a full-blown juice cleanse, making raw cold-pressed juice part of your regular intermittent fasting routine is a surefire way to ensure that you pack in your required daily nutrients.

Regardless of what intermittent fasting strategy works best for you, raw juice is the optimal choice to break your fast with each day. It will provide you with energy and essential nutrients while giving your digestive system even more time to rest and your body more time to naturally heal and detoxify!

Want to try?

If you're doing a juice cleanse, try restricting the window of time in which you drink your juices/consume calories so that your body has at least 8-12 hours in between the next window of time in which you drink your juice.

If you tend to get hungry on a juice cleanse, you can snack on fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, but be sure to do this within your allotted calorie-consuming window. 

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Hi there! I'm Nicole, Raw Generation's resident healthy lifestyle blogger, creative content director, and hardcore herbivore. Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my passion for perpetual self-improvement and plant-based living with you! <3

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