Category: Fasting

Fasting and Ketosis

There’s a reason why fasting is such a great way to lose weight and burn body fat quickly. It’s because of a process called ketosis.

Ketosis is the biochemical process that allows us to burn fat – including body fat – for energy instead of sugar and carbs. That’s important when you’re trying to lose weight. Unfortunately our body can only do one. It can either burn sugars (including carbs and protein which is converted into sugars) or it can burn fat. As long as there’s a source of sugar to burn for energy, your body won’t and actually can’t touch its fat reserves.

The process is controlled by a hormone – insulin. As long as insulin is present, your body can turn the food you eat into body fat, but it can’t pull any out to burn it for energy. Insulin goes up for a few hours after we eat. Here’s how the process works in a healthy person that eats three meals a day.

You have breakfast. Insulin goes up and any food that’s not needed for energy is converted to body fat. A few hours after the meal, your insulin goes down and you start to burn the fat before it’s time for lunch. Rinse and repeat for lunch and dinner and since we don’t eat for at least 8 or 9 hours at night, we burn through the extra body fat at night.

Now what happens when you’re eating 6 smaller meals or snack throughout the day? Or what if your body has become insulin resistant, meaning you have to produce more and more insulin to get the job done and said insulin takes longer to clear out of your system? You rarely get insulin low enough to allow your body to burn body fat.

The solution is to stop eating carbs and limit proteins for long enough stretches of time to allow insulin to deplete. That’s when your body goes into ketosis and starts to burn body fat. It’s why low carb diets work and it’s also why intermittent fasting is one of the easiest and quickest ways to shed the pounds.

Fasting and Ketosis

We all go into ketosis at night when we sleep. We burn fat during that time before we sit down to eat breakfast. And guess what happens if you extend that fasting window by a few more hours and don’t eat until noon, or even 2pm. Your body stays in fat burning mode.

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What is Intermittent Fasting?

As you start to read up on and learn more about intermittent fasting, you will hear all sorts of terms thrown around. Let’s take a look at a few of them and what they mean. They will help you make better sense of what you’re reading but also give you a pretty good overview of the different ways you can practice intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a way of eating where you don’t eat for stretches of time longer than 12 hours followed by stretches of time when you do it. There are various different ways to accomplish this. The main idea is to give your body a break from digesting food and insulin levels a chance to drop down so your body can burn body fat for energy instead of glucose.

Fat Intermittent Fasting

A fat fast is a type of fasting that allows you to consume pure body fat and little to no other calories during your fasting hours. Since fat has almost no impact on insulin levels, you can still get all the major benefits of the usual intermittent fast, but will get to consume something.

People will usually add coconut oil and/or butter to their coffee or drink bone broth during their fasts.

16/8 Intermittent Fasting

This is the most popular way to practice intermittent fasting and a great starting point for most of us. The idea is to fast for 16 hours per day and eat during the remaining 8 hours.

This sounds a lot harder than it is since you’ll be sleeping during a big chunk of your fasting time. In essence you’re delaying or skipping breakfast.

5:2 Intermittent Fasting

Another common approach is too fast for 2 days per week. You fast two days and you eat regularly the remaining five days. Some people will only consume water, tea and black coffee on fasting days while others allow themselves up to 500 calories on those days.

Give both methods a try and see how they work for you. What works best depends on your body, your personality, and the goals you’re trying to reach with intermittent fasting.

I hope you’re finding these definitions helpful and also learned a little more about intermittent fasting.

At its core it is really pretty simple. Just don’t eat for a while. The only difference with most of these various takes on intermittent fasting is how long you fast and how strictly you do it.

Give intermittent fasting a try. Start with the method that appeals to you most and take it from there. It won’t take you long to find the perfect intermittent fasting method for you. But you have to take that first step – Just try it!