Intermittent Fasting A Religious Experience?

How Does Fasting Work?

Most people are familiar with fasting in one specific way: religiously. In just about every culture, there is a religion or a religious subset that believes in fasting as a way of connecting and being closer with the deity they believe in. But there are doctors and scientists that believe in intermittent fasting as a way of obtaining a healthier lifestyle and losing weight. How, you ask? Well, the broad idea behind it is that the fasting time allows the body to burn off excess fat, so that the food you take in and the fasting that you do inevitably balance each other out. The weight loss aspect behind it is adding exercise and maybe a weight loss supplement, like Phen375, to the mix.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

With the fact being that body fat is merely stored energy, the science behind fasting is that your body feeds off of that stored energy on your fasting days.

What Fasting Does

Let’s take a look at the process that takes place within our bodies when we eat. Ingesting food immediately increases your insulin production, and that, in turn, helps our bodies store the energy in one of two ways: the excess sugars can be stored in the liver, and once you top that excess, your liver begins to store it as fat.

The glycogen storage in your liver is limited, so when it reaches capacity, your liver begins to create fat in order to store it, which has an unlimited capacity to be created. This process goes in reverse when we fast: our insulin levels fall, which signals the body to begin using the energy our bodies have stored in order to continue running.

The weight gain comes into play when we spend the bulk of our time in our insulin high modes (fed) instead of our insulin low modes (fasting) and, therefore, put on weight. To lose weight or restore some sort of balance, all you have to do is increase the amount of time you spend burning all of that food energy, your body will eventually reach a balancing point.

Intermittent fasting is all about balance and providing metabolic regularity and settlement while attempting to help you understand how your body got into this condition, and how to get you out. This type of dieting lifestyle has even been proven to help with some mood and mental disorders!

Whether you adhere to a lower carb diet while you are eating, or whether you take the high road with a high fat diet, the concept is no different: balance and regulation are needed in order to lose weight with this type of thing.

The Ways You Can Fast

Now, there are many ways in which you can fast, and the type of fasting you choose should ultimately fit your comfort level and the type of diet that you already have. While this idea urges you towards a more healthy style of eating, you can most certainly fast without making that change upfront. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can fast, and see if any of them are right for you!

The first one is called leangains, and it is specifically targeted for those that dedicated to the gym and want to lose that little bit of body fat to build muscle. This schedule works around your gym days. In general, you fast 14-16 hours a day and then you feed the remaining 8-10 hours. On the days that you are in the gym, carbs should be taken in, and on the days that you rest, fats should be taken in. However, no matter what, your protein intake should always be on the up and up.

Eat Stop Eat is another one. This one is geared towards people who eat healthy and are looking for an extra boost to their regimen, possibly to jump start or help with a state-mate in their plan. It’s pretty simple: fast for an entire 24 hours twice a week.

During the times you choose (though not back-to-back, that is important) you can drink non-calorie drinks (but not diet sodas) and then, once the period of time is over, you can resume eating as if you had never fasted. This idea states that, either way, without restricting your diet even more you are still taking in fewer calories a week, which contributes to your overall calorie intake at the end of the month.

The Warrior Diet is the next one to address. This is where you fast for 20 hours, and then eat a massively large meal at night. This one is for those who are devoted, dedicated, and can stick to a schedule consistently every single day.

And another thing: that 4-hour eating phase has to be at night. This way of fasting is under the assumption that we, as a species, are programmed to be “nocturnal feeders,” or people who do best and process food better at night. This is not for the faint of heart, and if you are just beginning, this one is not recommended.

Then there’s Fat Loss Forever. This is for people who live in the gym and absolutely adore their cheat days with their diet. This one is the most complex, and actually combines attributes of the intermittent fasting plans that we have already mentioned. You get one cheat day. Not cheat meal. Cheat day. But this day is followed promptly by a 36-hour fasting window before diving into a seven-day cycle that has it’s own fasting protocols.

A forewarning on this one? Make your fasting period one of your busier days. Don’t make the day you can’t eat the day you sit on the couch. All you will think about is how hungry you are, and that is never good for a program like this.

Then finally, there’s Alternate-Day Fasting. This is for someone who is ready to discipline themselves in their dieting and have a specific goal weight in mind. This one is simple: you eat normally one day, and then the next you eat very little.

Very little, in this case, means about 1/5th of your natural calorie intake. So, if you take in 2000 calories a day, then your “fasting” day should only have about 400 calories in it. It’s not quite fasting, but what it does is seriously drop the calorie intake you have during the week without having to calorie count yourself into oblivion.

Give It A Go!

Intermittent fasting isn’t just a time-honored tradition in multiple religions and religious sects across the world, it is also a way that people are tapping into the energy their body stores while restoring their metabolic health and allowing them to lead fuller, happier lives. Did any of the fasting plans up there strike your fancy? Give it a shot. I think you will be surprised how you feel, in the end.

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Article Author Details

Shalini Das

Myself Shalini, certified Dietition and Nutritionist from New Delhi , India. Working as a Freelance Lifestyle Nutrition Advisor since 2014 .As a nutritionist, I have vast experience in handling cases such as obesity, hypo-thyroid, diabetes, hyper-tension, anaemia for women and children. I offer free customized diet plans based on the person’s life-style issues. You can message me if you are having any questions on Diet and supplements.

  • Sumaya Kazi

    Thanks for writing about this, Shalini! I’m a huge fan of intermittent fasting. I’ve been doing it for over a year with a style called 4:3 and have lost over 55lbs. I consider it a lifestyle now. I wrote a quick start guide on how I do it in case anyone is interested in learning more: https://medium.com/personal-growth/myifguide-38037b3b1ec4