Intermittent Fasting - or should we say Intermittent Eating?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Ever wonder how to participate in an effective weight loss technique? Let me tell you more….

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting, is simply a set period of time where no food is eaten, designed to cleanse, purify, and restore you. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it's a pattern of eating. It's a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.

By giving your digestive system a break, your body will receive massive benefits (as described nicely here by James Clear) which include reduced inflammation, better sleep, weight loss, type 2 diabetes, cancer risk, heart disease, liver disease, mental clarity, and general wellbeing.

Many people confuse intermittent fasting with caloric restriction. I still eat about 2000 calories per day, just compressed into a smaller window. (I’m a female, 175cm tall and weigh 64kg).

We don't enter a fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, so it's rare that our bodies ever enter this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Isn’t that fantastic?

Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely reach during a normal eating schedule.

If you follow daily intermittent fasting it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. Right now, you're probably eating around the same time every day without thinking about it. Well, with daily intermittent fasting it's the same thing, you just learn to not eat at certain times.

A good STARTING POINT is to try intermittent fasting one day a month, then move to one day a week extending this to 2 or 3 days per week.

What happens in our body?

Dr Eric Berg sets this out clearly in this short video which I highly recommend you watch.

When Carbohydrates enter the body, they are broken down by the liver into sugars which are used for energy. If you eat a lot of carbohydrates, a lot of insulin is produced to remove the sugar and store it as fat in your cells. When insulin levels in the body remain high, fat stays locked in the body. By restricting the window of time in which you eat with Intermittent Fasting, your body will drop its insulin levels and begin to burn off the excess fat that is stored and use it as energy.

Intermittent Fasting

How to Fast

Think of it as ‘Time Restricted Eating’.  We’ve all evolved to be in sync with daytime/nighttime, and our metabolism has adapted to processing food in the day, and sleep in the night; (the circadian rhythm).

Allowing an 8 hour eating window has proven to lower insulin levels, improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and decrease appetite. With this method your body is given a 16 hour break to fast e.g. start your meals at 12 noon and finish your last meal by 8pm. Going 16 hours without food allows insulin to get low enough so the body burns fat for fuel, which doesn't happen in people who snack all day and keep their insulin turned on all the time. See Dr Eric Berg’s highly entertaining explanation.

A second popular method of Intermittent Fasting is Whole Day Fasting.

This involves one period of whole day 24 hour fasting during the week, e.g. Eat dinner at 8pm one night, and don’t eat until 8pm the next night. Fasting for as little as 24 hours has been shown to drastically reduce your insulin levels while also increasing your Growth Hormone levels, which keeps you young and active.

A third popular method of Intermittent Fasting includes Alternate Day Fasting.

This involves eating regularly one day and eating very little the next, either by not eating anything at all, or only consuming a few hundred calories; 500 for women, 600 for men.

Reminder:

One of the biggest mistakes people make when their fast is over is eating a high carb, unhealthy meal eg pizza or a bowl of pasta. Keep in mind that during your fast the body is becoming more sensitive to insulin uptake, so eating a meal high in carbohydrates when you’re done is going to send the fat you burned straight back to where it came from so stay focused on your goal, and only drink permitted liquids.  

FACT: Fat has very little - if any - impact on insulin levels.

Permitted Liquids during Intermittent Fasting:


Intermittent Fasting

Tea - Yes

Opt for lower caffeine options. A small amount of caffeine is fine, however if you have too much, it will stimulate insulin and knock you out of your fat burning state. Try these:

Teaonic range - various flavours and all zero sugar and carb.

Four Sigmatic - various flavours. (The coffee version has a little caffeine). Avoid the cacao mix as it has too many carbs!

Coffee - Yes (1 cup in the morning)

One cup in the morning is OK, not drinking it all day long. Too much can again increase insulin production. Adding small amounts of cream, grass fed butter or MCT oil are all OK. If you need a sweetener then DO NOT add sugar, but you can add erythritol, xylitol or stevia.

Water - Yes

Yes guzzle it down, but NOT TAP WATER!! Either install a water filter (your cheapest option in the longer run), buy filtered bottled water or one of these options:

DASH water

No. 1 Rosemary Water

Carbonated is also OK and doesn’t interfere with Intermittent Fasting. I like to add electrolytes to keep my potassium, sodium and magnesium levels up. Plus I add mega-hydrates to help with absorption. Stay well hydrated!! This will keep you perky and prevent ‘Keto flu’.

Steer clear of Vitamin water as its packed with sugar!

Almond Milk - Yes

Yes provided its the unsweetened variety.

Coconut Water - No

NO! Too many hidden sugars. Don’t be fooled by the marketing stating the high level of electrolytes. It has far too much sugar.

Coconut Cream - Yes

Good quality fat and no sugar

Milk - A little

Milk has sugar, however if you opt for a full fat version and have a little in your tea/coffee will be ok.

Alcohol - No

Not during your intermittent fasting window. You can have in moderation within your eating window. See our ‘tipple’ guide.

Apple Cider Vinegar - BIG Yes

Will regulate blood sugar, help with digestion and will help you if you have a fatty liver. Pick one with The Mother. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon and mix with filtered water or of course take it neat!

Bone Broth - Yes

Great at all times of the day. Full of electrolytes and nutrients with very few calories. Will help prevent ‘Keto flu’. You might like these.

Diet Soda - No

Typically full of aspartame (an artificial sweetener) which will increase insulin. If you can find diet soda with Stevia, Xylitol or Erythritol then they’re OK options.

Fruit Juice - No

These all have too high a sugar content to consume during your Intermittent Fasting window.

The MKb Experience

By integrating Intermittent Fasting into your Low Carb/Ketogenic lifestyle, combined with HIIT workouts and Yoga are effective ways of lowering insulin levels, burning fat and creating a lean Keto body.

Start out following the 8-16 rule, eat for 8 hours and fast for 16.  Then try the 6-18 rule, eat for 6 hours and fast for 18.

  • Keep it healthy and low carb. When eating low carb foods, your energy levels don’t spike and crash with every meal, so you shouldn’t experience mental fogginess or feel overly exhausted during a fast. Instead, meals will give a satisfying energy boost.
  • Drink Exogenous Ketones to further enhance the fat burning effect. Keep it caffeine free in the evening if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
  • Working out before you eat further enhances the fat burning effect
  • Your body will get used to this eating routine and if you follow a low carb lifestyle you won’t have the same cravings that sugary carbs give you plus you’re more satisfied from quality low carb foods with nutritious fats and healthy veggies.
  • I usually follow this for 3-4 days per wk.
  • Make it work for you and make it a habit. If you have dinner plans or an event, manage the time of your first meal so you still manage your 6 or 8 hour window.

I find the most difficult time is in the evening when I’m often tempted to have a little something but I soldier on as I know I’ll see good results. You can have EXOGENOUS KETONES in the evening which staves off any potential cravings and will enhance the fat burning.

8 benefits of intermittent fasting

It’s astounding how much benefit you can get just from skipping a couple of meals. Intermittent fasting does all kinds of good for your body.

Boosts fat burning

While intermittent fasting causes weight loss no matter what people eat, research shows that people who do it in a healthy manner lose twice as much weight (7% vs. 3% of their body weight) as those who fast while still eating junk.

Increases muscle gain

Worried about losing muscle if you fast? A single 24-hour fast increased human growth hormone (HGH) by 2000% in men and 1300% in women.  HGH plays an integral role in building muscle. Boosting your levels this high will have huge effects on your physique. Research shows that higher levels of HGH leads to lower levels of body fat, higher lean body mass and improved bone mass.

Makes skin supple & speeds up recovery

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) lowers naturally as you age. But when subjects were given HGH supplements, not only did they lose fat and build muscle, their skin thickness improved — making it stronger and more resilient to sagging and wrinkles. HGH also drives muscle protein synthesis, which speeds up repair and helps you recover faster from a hard workout or an injury. These effects are also (partially) achieved with Intermittent Fasting. All tactics welcome!!

Slows down ageing

Fasting ramps up your stem cell production. Stem cells are like biological play dough — your body turns them into any kind of cell it needs and uses them to replace old or damaged cells, keeping you younger on a cellular level. Stem cells are great for your skin, joints, old injuries, chronic pain, and more.

Stimulates autophagy

Autophagy is spring cleaning for your cells. It’s Latin for “self-eating,” how appropriate!! When autophagy turns on, your cells sift through their internal parts, get rid of anything that’s damaged or old, and installs shiny new versions. It reduces inflammation and even boosts longevity. Intermittent fasting triggers, to quote researchers, “profound” autophagy, especially in your brain.

Lowers inflammation

Intermittent fasting decreases oxidative stress and body-wide inflammation markers. Inflammation is one of the biggest drivers of poor performance, ageing and disease. Keeping inflammation low will increase your longevity and help your body run better.

Further Reading on Intermittent Fasting:

Need some help sticking to your diet?

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Dislcaimer: We’re not doctors. We have summarised key messages for an easy read and are firm believers ketones are the only fuel we need for our bodies to glow and excel inflammation free!

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