Intermittent fasting gives you a short window of time, usually about eight hours a day, to eat. You can also eat normally for an entire day and fast the next day. Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight, but most people go on fasts to improve their health and detox their bodies.
In this article we’ll focus on how intermittent fasting helps:
- Weight loss
- General health
- Athletic performance
- Energy and focus
Before you begin intermittent fasting, be clear about why you’re doing it. Do you want to lose weight, get healthier or develop more energy for sports or exercise? You’ll need to have a reason for fasting to choose the best option and calculate the calories and nutrients necessary for your goals.
Four Types of Intermittent Fasting
Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week, on non-consecutive days. Drink healthy liquids (water, juice, milk, herbal tea) and take supplements, but don’t eat anything until the next day. This method may not work for people who’ve never fasted before.
The alternate day fasting 5:2 approach is used to lower cholesterol, lose weight and improve blood sugar. You’ll eat between 500 and 600 calories on two non-consecutive days. Some people add a third 500-600 calorie day to this method. The other days of the week, you only eat the number of calories you burn through exercise and daily activities.
The Leangains fasting method allows eating for about a quarter of each day. Men can eat for eight hours and fast for 16 hours. Women fast for 14 hours and eat for ten hours one or more days a week. The Leangains diet was originally created for weightlifters.
The most extreme fasting method, the Warrior Diet, has people eating most of their food in four hours, and consuming a small amount of food for the other 20 hours. This diet and the Leangains diet can cause serious hunger pangs for some people, and result in fatigue or dizziness.
Try to practice intermittent fasting on housebound or low-activity days. Fasting may also interfere with your social life, as a lot of socializing takes place around the dinner table or in restaurants.
You don’t need to eat a certain type of food when you do eat, but it’s best to stick to whole, healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, yogurt, nuts, seeds and whole grains. If you eat meat, choose organically raised beef. Fresh-caught fish is better than factory-farmed fish, which have poor nutritional value.
You’ll still need to avoid binging on the days you do eat and consume fewer calories than they use to lose weight. Talk to your doctor about your daily calorie needs or use online tools to determine the right amount for you on non-fasting days.
Space protein-heavy snacks and meals throughout the day. Avoid eating protein-rich foods, such as eggs, chicken and Greek yogurt at one meal or within a few hours.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Studies have shown that intermittent fasting reduces your chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s also excellent at preventing obesity, diabetes and other chronic problems. Fasting can also strengthen your immune system and reduce allergies, as long as you avoid eating unhealthy foods or bingeing when you break your fast.
Fasting also saves you time and money. You’ll shop for less food, and spend less time, planning, preparing and cleaning up after meals. The time you free up can be spent studying, with friends or family, exercising or playing sports.
When you start fasting, it may be hard for you to keep up with your usual exercise routine, but as you continue to practice intermittent fasting, your body will get used to it and you’ll be able to exercise normally.
It may take a few weeks for your body to get used to an intermittent fasting, and you’ll also need to refrain from overeating when you break your fast. (If you have a problem with binge eating, intermittent fasting probably isn’t for you.)
On non-fasting days, drink water before meals to fill up, and eat slowly.
Intermittent Fasting and Athletes
Research shows that occasional periods of low energy (like an intermittent fast) may aid mitochondrial biogenesis, or the development of new mitochondria.
However, athletes should avoid training or competing during fasts, as they will be energy-depleted. Amateur athletes involved in recreational sports can benefit from regular intermittent fasting, which will help them lose weight.
Wheatgrass as a Supplement during Intermittent Fasting
Taking a wheatgrass supplement during an intermittent fast can potentially help you create more Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) for energy. It supplies your muscle and tissues with energy for daily activities, and can be transferred between cells.
Wheatgrass has chlorophyll, which can supply you with hundreds of nutrients as well as more ATP. ATP helps you with activities, like sprinting, interval training or physical endurance for long hikes.
The nutrients in wheatgrass give you lots more energy and muscle power than a multivitamin. They include magnesium, potassium, Vitamins A,C, E and K, B complex vitamins, zinc, selenium, sodium, iron and manganese. The amino acids in wheatgrass include valine, tryptophane, glycine, lysine and leucine.
Chlorophyll does a lot more than give you energy. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass has been shown to reduce the inflammation and toxicity that may cause cancer and it detoxifies the blood and lymph cells.
REVV Natural Energy Wafer from Wheatgrass Love packs all the power of wheatgrass into a chocolate mint flavored wafer. REVV has hundreds of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. You can take REVV for energy anytime, whether you are fasting or not.
You can bring REVV with you to work, school, the gym or anywhere. You don’t have to worry about REVV going “bad” unlike wheatgrass juice. (Wheatgrass juice from retail chains may develop harmful bacteria if not prepared or stored properly.)
REVV also contains Choline Bitartrate, which helps produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. An optimum level of acetylcholine prevents memory loss and increases focus. It may even guard against Alzheimer’s and dementia.