Intermittent fasting – not eating for a short period of time every now and again – is growing in popularity.
There are many well-conducted studies, going back many decades, that prove that short-term fasting does NOT have the health risks of long-term fasting. As the information becomes mainstream (sadly that may take a while), people will start to take intermittent fasting seriously, realising that it can help them to lose fat more effectively, quickly and safely than other ‘diet’ systems.
A short-term fast means exactly that: not long in duration. An ideal time frame that is both achievable and easy to adapt to is 24 hours.
Why 24 Hours is a Good Time Frame for a Fast
1. Easy to Fit Into Your Lifestyle
It’s simple: you start your fast after a meal or snack and then you don’t eat or drink anything with calories until the next day or night at the same time. This means that you never have to go a day without food.
For example, if you’re someone who can’t function well unless you have breakfast, start your fast after breakfast and break your fast the next morning at breakfast. If a fast after lunch or dinner seems more suitable and acheivable, start your fast after lunch or dinner and break it the next day at that time.
Advice: Keep your eating habits the same when you aren’t fasting and do NOT eat more after breaking a fast than you normally would to ‘compensate’ for the fast. You may find this challenging at times, but as you adapt you’ll be more in tune with your body and what real hunger is and it will rarely be a problem.
2. Growth Hormone Release Is At It’s Peak By 24 Hrs, Then It Tapers Off.
A benefit of short-term fasting is that it increases human growth hormone levels in the body quite dramatically. Growth hormone is also known as the ‘youth hormone’. It steadily declines as we age.
Growth hormone levels peak at close to the 24 hour mark during a fast, then gradually wane.
Growth hormone is, among other things, helpful for energy, body composition (giving you a good lean to fat ratio), and collagen levels in skin (as collagen levels decline, skin becomes more wrinkled).
Growth hormone injections are big in anti-aging medicine because, unlike growth hormone supplements, they can be effective. However, injections are costly and have side effects. So why not try short-term fasting for 24 hours to boost your levels intead?
Intense exercise also boosts growth hormone levels, but a 24 hour fast can accomplish the same thing with far less effort. Better yet, you can do *both* for maximum effect.
3. It’s Over Before You Know It
Occupy your mind and/or body with things that don’t relate to food and your fast will be over before you know it! Another advantage is that a certain number of hours in a 24 hour cycle will be spent sleeping.
24 hours is a very short period of time to go without eating. Your first few fasts might be challenging because your body needs to adapt, but after the adaptation period you’ll rarely be genuinely troubled by hunger.
Yes, intermittent fasting *reduces* appetite – so much that many people have to remind themselves to break the fast because they have no desire for food.
There are numerous benefits to intermittent fasting. A 24 hour fast, done once or twice a week, is an easy, achievable way to discover what short-term fasting can do for your personal health and wellness goals.