Intermittent Fasting – The Easiest Method For Maximum Health Benefits

April 2017, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

Studies have shown that restricting foods and consuming only liquids for occasional short periods, may help you live longer and keep disease at bay. Here’s everything you need to know about intermittent fasting and why its methods are here to stay.

Intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way you could manage weight, promote health, feel more energized and naturally detox the body of harmful chemicals and toxins accumulated every day.

Studies have shown that restricting foods and consuming only liquids for occasional short periods, may help you live longer and keep disease at bay. Here’s everything you need to know about intermittent fasting and why its methods are here to stay.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting refers to a dietary pattern of abstaining from food for a short period, to then resume a regular eating pattern immediately after finishing the fast. The most popular and easiest type of intermittent fasting involves fasting for 16 hour periods, twice a week, and is known as the ‘16/8’ method. Some people go one step further and do two sets of 24-hour period fasting, but this should only be trialed once you are comfortable with the 16/8 method.

Although intermittent fasting may sound like a hard thing to do, it’s actually very easy as it requires no calorie counting and I bet you didn’t realize that you were already practicing fasting whilst sleeping every night? The body does a lot of its repair work at night, as instead of focusing on digestion, the body can spend its energy on other areas of the body that need attention. Intermittent fasting therefore allows more energy to be freed up, allowing the body to once again rejuvenate other areas of the body.

Intermittent Fasting In History

The history of intermittent fasting goes back thousands of years when our ancestors had to go without food often when it wasn’t readily available. Although it may seem unnatural to forego eating whenever the clock tells us its mealtime, our bodies are well equipped to go long periods of time without food. You may even notice loss of appetite when you are ill, which is a form of fasting and is how the body helps itself once again get well, by diverting energy to the parts that need it over the energy intensive digestive system.

The Scientific Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

 

Modern research has shown many health factors associated with intermittent fasting. By restricting your current calorie intake by 30 to 40 percent twice a week, results have shown an increase in life span, reduction of illness, and improvement of overall health conditions.

1. Increase Lifespan

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Biochemistry, intermittent fasting may increase lifespan and reduce age-related diseases in humans. Intermittent fasting was shown to enhance cardiovascular and brain functions and decrease the risk factor for stroke and coronary artery disease by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing blood pressure. Intermittent fasting was also shown to protect brain and heart cells from injury.

2. Reduce Diabetes and Increase Weight Loss

A 2014 study showed that intermittent fasting may help with weight loss, which may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. This study also showed that periods of fasting improved health, increased longevity and reduced diseases such as neurological disorders. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to reduce inflammation, blood pressure and lipid levels.

3. Delayed Aging and Decreased Risk of Disease

According to a 2014 study, intermittent or periodic fasting improved heart disease, neurodegeneration, diabetes and cancer in rodents. In humans, it improved hypertension, obesity, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It also was noted to delay aging and prevent diseases that are associated with growing age. 

4. Improves Memory and Brain Structure

According to a study published in 2013, mice that practiced intermittent fasting had significant memory and learning improvements. Results also showed that brain structure in the mice was improved by their fasting diets.

How To Incorporate The 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Method

Fasting does not have to be as hard as it sounds. Those that have done it often state it has helped them to sleep better, and also has helped to improve digestive system function. Our digestive systems are so overworked by the unnatural chemicals and additives found in our modern food supply, that many people find benefit to this area of health by taking a break from food in this way, from time to time.

The most popular and perhaps easiest way to fast is to try the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting. This involves skipping breakfast and only eating from midday, to then finish eating again by 8pm. So for 16 hours you are sleeping and ‘fasting’. Then from noon, you are free to eat and carry on your regular diet in your usual preferred way until you stop eating that night.

Healthy Breakfast Options

Of course, when it comes to eating in your regular way, this hopefully means you are going to choose super nutritious meals all day long, to maximize your detox! When it comes to breaking the fast at noon, this is where extra attention should be spent to ensure your choice here is well-balanced. As by practicing this one small act, you will be helping to kick start your metabolism, which will promote your body to work in the right way, ensuring you are not storing excess weight and harmful chemicals and toxins known to destroy health.

A few healthy breakfast options include;

  • Chia pots
  • A fruit and veg smoothie with an easy to digest vegan protein powder
  • Buckwheat oat porridge (using a dairy free alternative milk)
  • Chickpea flour pancakes

How To Cope With The Fasting Part of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting for 16 hours will undoubtedly come easier to some than others. It should also be emphasized that during the 16-hour period, even though no food will be eaten, plenty of clean purified water should be consumed. This will help to flush toxins out of your body and will of course keep your brain functioning and the rest of your body more able to cope.

There are certain other liquids you can consume over and above water to help give you an energy boost during the fasting phase without breaking your fast, like the Xtend-Life Zupafood range and our Natural Energy Supplement. These SUPER “Superfood” powders are easy to mix with water, and may even help to enhance the benefits to health fasting can bring.

At Xtend-Life, we have created a new category of ‘Superfoods’, which are a quantum leap above traditional ‘Superfoods’ to complement our range of supplements that have a worldwide cutting edge reputation.

There are 3 specialised Zupafood formulas depending on your specific health needs, Zupafood ELITE, Zupafood for SKIN, and Zupafood GREENZ. All of the Xtend-Life Zupafood formulas are 100% natural, with no added sugar and are completely free of anything artificial. They each contain a specially developed natural flavoring, derived from REAL New Zealand fruit. (We can see Mother Nature smiling from here.)

13 Comments

  • “Dr Michael Mosley a BBC medical journalist promoted the 5:2 Fast diet, whereby calories are restricted 2 days a week and eating normally the other 5 days of the week. The Facebook pages are motivational and inspirational.”

    Frances - April 29 2017

  • “Can I drink black coffee with honey?”

    Lanie - April 14 2017

  • “Terry Crews is what put me on to IF and I’ve been practicing it for over a month now. I feel very focused in the mornings and alert. I’ve really enjoyed the positive effects it’s had on my body and mind.”

    Xtend-Life Expert - April 14 2017

  • “I have the same wuestion as above, i assume no coffee during the fasting period?! Also, does fasting apply to children too? If not what age?”

    Ramona - June 04 2017

  • “can you drink coffee with cream in the morning during the fast?”

    Patrick Nolan - April 13 2017

  • “Fi have been doing the 5/2 diet for two years it has become so easy and I originally lost 12 kg and have kept it off. It is a great way of life and I feel my body craves for that diet day.”

    Teena - April 27 2017

  • “I just started IF at the suggestion of my doctor to lose weight and therefore help my diabetic numbers. I have to usually eat every 4 hrs and be careful my blood sugar doesn’t drop, but so far since I started 10 days ago I haven’t had that problem. In the 12-14 hr fast I have worked up tok I feel better and have lost 3 lbs.”

    JR - April 15 2017

  • “Hello Lanie. The way in which each person undertakes a fast will differ and it is important to fast in a way that feels comfortable and achievable for you. In the purest sense a fast includes pure water only, but this is simply not realistic or enjoyable for many people. If you wish to include other fluids in your fast you may do so, but we would advise herbal teas and fresh vegetable and fruit juices as the most health giving options. Coffee is more taxing on the liver and is best avoided on a strict fast, as it allows the liver to focus solely on removing toxins from the body. To help boost your energy levels during a fast energy you may wish to try green tea, an antioxidant rich natural option. If you are severely lacking in energy your body may be telling you that it is ready for food. You know your body best and it is important to listen to its messages. I wish you well Lanie.”

    Customer Relations - April 21 2017

  • “Hello Ramona. In the purest sense a fast includes water only, but this is simply not realistic or enjoyable for most people. We would advise herbal teas and fresh vegetable and fruit juices as the most health giving options to include in a fast. Coffee is more taxing on the liver and is best avoided, as it allows the liver to focus solely on removing toxins from the body. To help boost your energy levels you may wish to try green tea, an antioxidant-rich natural option. If you are severely lacking in energy your body may be telling you that it is ready for food. You know your body best and it is important to listen to its messages. Fasting is not advised for children, and this should not actually be necessary. It is important for a growing child to receive a steady supply of vitamins and minerals to support the growth of the internal organs, skeleton and brain. The same applies to teenagers, as they are still developing and should not have any reason to limit nutrient intake. Fasting is best undertaken when aged over eighteen only. I hope this information has been helpful and we wish you well with your endeavors.”

    Customer Relations - June 07 2017

  • “Hello all. It is wonderful to read the positive experiences you have had with intermittent fasting and it is great that you are able to share your thoughts to help support one another. This practice is not for everyone, but performed correctly and tailored to meet your individual needs it can be a very rewarding and health giving exercise. The benefits can be wide and varied, including some of those that you have mentioned such as enhanced energy, mental clarity, balanced blood sugar levels and improved digestive function. It is important to undertake a fast in a way that suits your lifestyle and current health status, there is no right way to fast as each person will cope with this differently. Fasting should not be a tortuous undertaking and ideally you will feel rejuvenated and positive after each episode. Ensuring to drink ample water will help to flush any accumulated toxins from the body and support you to feel your best. If you do not feel well during a fast, or are noticeably lacking in energy to carry out your everyday tasks your may be best to lessen the intensity of the fast. Aspiring to live a healthy and happy life is a wonderful goal and if fasting helps you to do so, great! But remember not to be too strict on yourself either, as life is simply no fun that way! In good health to you all.”

    Customer Relations - April 21 2017

  • “I practice IF around 5 days a week. I have a lot more mental clarity and sleep better. I even noticed a slower heart rate when exercising. Sometimes it’s hard because I like good food. I drink black coffee. No cream b/c technically cream is calories. However some keto people say that having fat instead could also work in terms of teaching your body to burn fat.”

    Oli - April 14 2017

  • “Hi, I am just curious about the Zupafood range. I was given samples of it before and I have tried it…just taste great! Although it contains no added sugar, how come it still tastes sweet? Is the natural sugar coming from the fruits? If so, what is the glycaemic index of these products? I am a bit concerned about the GI of foods as I believe a high GI is bad for our body system.”

    Jeffrey - October 24 2017

  • “Patrick, I’ve been reading up and practicing IF. The general consensus is that most people drink black coffee, but it ain’t a deal breaker if you do cream. If it helps you cope with the fasting! Fun fact, Terry Crews takes a tablespoon of coconut oil during fasting if he’s hungry. His video was the one that intrigued me to start IF.”

    Melissa Tan - April 14 2017

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