What to Expect When Intermittent Fasting

By Edward Dominguez, RN/Licensed School N posted 12-04-2019 19:35

  

If you pay attention to diet trends, chances are high that you have heard of intermittent fasting. There are hundreds of thousands of people who swear by this form of eating and there are many different reasons why a person may choose intermittent fasting as their diet of choice. If you are new to intermittent fasting it is important to understand a few things about this type of dieting. 

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Simply put, intermittent fasting is a restrictive eating pattern. There are several variations of this type of eating pattern. The common theme among intermittent fasting diets is that you will only eat during a specified amount of time. A person who practices intermittent fasting will restrict their food intake or eliminate food intake altogether during specific times of the day, week, or month. Studies have shown that this type of intermittent fasting may help a person lose weight, increase their longevity, and maintain glucose levels. 

The Transition Period

If you are considering an intermittent fasting diet it is important to remember that there are intermittent fasting stages to consider. During this time your body is getting used to your new eating habits. The body will go from being dependent on sugar to burning fat that has been stored. Some people will find that the first week is very hard and others may be okay after just a few days. More often than not it is simply a mindset thing and you simply need to remind yourself that this is a normal thing that you are doing. 

Some of the symptoms that you may experience during this transition phase include lethargy, headaches, a grumbly stomach, and simply feeling hungry. In addition, some people even experience pain during this time. All of these symptoms are normal and the pain that some people experience is simply the body releasing digestive enzymes because it is expecting food to be eaten. This type of pain typically will only last a couple of days. It is important to remember that just because your stomach is empty does not mean that you are actually hungry. In order to succeed at intermittent fasting, it is important to know and understand this. Despite how you may be feeling, you are not starving yourself. 

What to Remember

If you are interested in intermittent fasting it is important to remember that the first few days are going to be the hardest. This is the time when you are retraining your body. Fasting is not starvation and does not have anything to do with restricting calories. In four to six hours after you eat, the body enters a fasted state. This is when your blood sugar levels and insulin levels will start to stabilize. This is a very normal state to be in, but many people are simply afraid of it. If you go in knowing that it is going to be hard, but that the changes that your body will go through are worth it, you are on your way to success.

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