All about intermittent fasting - by guest blogger Eva Konings

All about intermittent fasting - by guest blogger Eva Konings

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Everything about intermittent fasting

Being "healthy" is more popular and important today than ever. Everyone tries to make the most of it in their own way. I just want to show that your end goal is also achievable without closing yourself off to the outside world and all the goodies it has to offer. I would like to convey my realistic lifestyle vision to the public and inspire people to actually change their lives, so that they do not give up all their goals after 1 month because achieving them often feels too elusive for them. 


All about intermittent fasting, what is it?

In this article I will tell you everything about intermittent fasting. Since June I have started Intermittent Fasting, aka intermittent fasting. I am pleasantly surprised by the positive effects. What surprised me most is that since I started this, my muscle mass has increased and my fat percentage has decreased. In addition, I have found that training on an empty stomach works surprisingly well and I have a lot of energy all day! In other words, I am stronger, leaner and more energetic, even if I eat just a little less. Now you naturally wonder how this is possible and whether it is healthy at all? Why would anyone fast every day? What are the advantages? Is this scientifically substantiated or is this just another crazy diet hype. Well, I am about to tell you everything you need to know. At least in this first part. 

How does intermittent fasting work?

This eating pattern is also called "periodic fasting", where you have periods when you do not eat and have a "fast" period when you do eat. Very simply put; I eat all my meals between 12:00 and 20:00 and it doesn't change what I eat, only when I eat. Suppose you don't eat anything from 20:00 to 08:00 then you have been fasting for 12 hours. If you continue this until 12:00 it means that you only have to get through 4 hours without consuming calories. This is also called the 16/8 method with an “8 hour eating window” and a “16 hour fasting window” During your 16 hour fasting window you can drink water, black coffee, tea and other “calorie-free” drinks. These do not break your "fasting period".

So no breakfast?

Now you're probably thinking, why starve yourself into the afternoon? Most people I talk to about this subject often say that I am unhealthy and that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Just an (important) disclaimer: IF is not crash diet, no magical and super fast weight loss technique and no unhealthy reason to get too little food. In addition, I am a great lover of cooking and eating out and therefore would never use anything that makes me unhappy.

To come back to "breakfast". You are taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In recent years, many people have also claimed that you should eat several times a day to ensure a better metabolism. In the meantime, quite a few “philosophies” regarding nutrition have become obsolete and we are often taken for a ride by companies that, you guessed it, want to sell breakfast products. Fasting, on the other hand, is something that has been done for centuries, so it is not “marketing talk” either. In principle, as a company you cannot earn anything from IF. Because it's not about purchasing products or supplements, but adjusting your eating pattern.

Are you already thinking of; breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!? I am also someone who loves delicious breakfasts and can enjoy all those fantastic smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes and fried eggs. I just eat these at 12:00!

Calories IN vs Calories OUT

We are presented with countless diets and ways about the best way to lose weight. But actually, from a scientific point of view, it only concerns one aspect: Calories IN vs Calories OUT. If you take in more calories, so an increased energy balance, you will gain weight.

With IF you have the option to skip a meal, which in many cases is breakfast. This can easily contain 400 calories and so you can quickly increase your calorie intake. By skipping this meal you are actually creating a buffer for the day with the amount of calories you have “left”.

I personally prefer to eat a larger meal in the afternoon and evening instead of eating small portions throughout the day, the so-called “grazing”. With that I add my buffer with the large meals and I get the right amount of calories that I need in a day.

In addition, I find it easier to start the day without eating because I have noticed that I am a lot sharper in the period before I eat. Once I have eaten my insulin level is higher and I can suffer from the so-called “after dinner dip”. In the subsequent article about IF I will elaborate further on nutrition.

But why do you actually practice intermittent fasting?

Various scientific studies have shown that periods of fasting help protect our body against all kinds of harmful processes. Subsequently, IF also helps our bodies learn to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. That ensures that it excess fat disappears faster and has less chance to reappear. After doing extensive research on this topic, I became super excited and decided to put it to the test myself.   

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:

  • Increase in growth hormone production. This means more muscle growth and better fat burning!
  • Reduction of stress and inflammation. Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Good for cholesterol. Reduced LDL, the bad cholesterol, and raises the HDL, the good cholesterol.
  • Increased mental focus. You feel sharper and more productive
  • It won't cost you anything extra
  • It makes your life easier
  • It's easier to sustain in the long run

In addition, research has shown the following:

  • It lowers the risk of cancer
  • It extends the lifespan
  • A fitter brain
  • Promotes cell renewal

intermittent fasting

What do I like most about IF and what is my experience?

To be honest, it has taught me that I don't always have to worry about food. Of course I remain a food lover, in fact; I'm a real foodie! I love  cooking and eating out and this will certainly not go away. But these guidelines give a little more peace in my busy life. It makes for simplicity and I like that. When I wake up in the morning I don't have to worry about my breakfast. I drink a cup of coffee and a glass of water and start my day with a sharp look. Then I eat my lunch in the afternoon. Some more in between and finally my dinner. Before going to bed or after my last meal, I often take another casein shake.

Your body will get used to this way of eating. I have also developed an even better relationship with food because I also go all out when I eat! I eat a meal that gives me great satisfaction with a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Of course I also enjoy unhealthy things extra, because no one said that this is not possible. As I mentioned before, you create a buffer by skipping a meal. I like to fill this up with my real guilty pleasure: ice cream!

Why am I taking Casein?

Casein contains proteins that are absorbed slowly, unlike whey. It works effectively while you sleep and ensures a constant flow of protein into the muscles. Due to the slow breakdown, casein also makes you feel full, which comes in handy when you are in your fasting period. You can read more about casein in the article:

What is Casein? 5 benefits.


I feel sharper!

I have learned to see that the body is capable of much more than we actually think. I do sports in the morning on an empty stomach and don't go down. In fact, it has a beneficial effect on my hormone balance, metabolism and fat loss. It helps me to get my fat percentage down without losing muscle mass.  I feel that way much sharper during the time I am fasting and I have more energy. In the period before I have my first meal, I get the best ideas and I am burning in the office. Because I start my day so well, I notice that I make more conscious choices during the rest of the day and can also find much more motivation! 

Finally, I would like to say that there are of course days when I do not follow this fasting schedule, for example if I go out for breakfast with friends or if I feel like some fries at night after going out, I just go for that! I would definitely give IF a chance, especially because of its convenience. It's something that quickly becomes a habit and something you can stick with for longer, unlike all those miracle diets for a few weeks that only provide temporary results.

In the next article about IF I will elaborate on nutrition and exercise.

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