Get to your ideal weight with Intermittent Fasting and Paleo Lifestyle
The Internet is full of diet programs and tips for losing weight. Meanwhile, in the many windows of drugstores you can find all kinds of supplements, teas and capsules to lose weight, get a more beautiful body and build muscle. But what works best?
In this blog I dive into one of the most popular and successful methods to get a healthy body. An ancient principle that has always been practiced by humans: fasting. It is often combined with a "primal diet" such as the Paleo Lifestyle.
Fasting is simply a period of time during which you do not eat or drink anything, or partially. The reason for fasting can vary. For example, fasting is done within religious settings (think Ramadan, or the Catholic fasting period currently underway), because there is simply nothing to eat or drink, but also as a way to strengthen the body and mind.
Fasting with Carnival and Easter
I can clearly remember as a child participating in the Lenten period that begins after Carnival and ends with Easter. A Catholic tradition that is skipped by most Carnival enthusiasts these days. It is pretty tough: a time of 40 days of fasting to come to contemplation. For example, they do not drink alcohol, eat little or no meat and do not eat sweets. The word Carnival comes from the Latin 'carne vale', which means 'farewell meat'. This is a different way of fasting than Intermittent Fasting, where the focus is more on health, burning fat, and better mental focus.
I remember as a child finding it an exciting challenge: no sweets until Easter! No chocolate, no cookies, candy or soda. If I did get a candy bar or lollipop I was allowed to put it in a special box and keep it until "it was allowed again”. To be honest, I had a tummy ache at Easter, because of course I found it hard not to eat all the candy at once.
All in all, I look back on it as my first experiences having to do with challenging myself, a challenge in which I either leave something out or do more, to learn from it and break certain habits. For example, Lent can be a great time to challenge your alcohol intake. Or how about no social media like Facebook or Instagram for 40 days?
Since I started the Wim Hof challenge and take an ice cold shower every morning, I realize how healthy and fun it actually is to challenge yourself. It makes life exciting and makes you feel good! I can recommend everyone to try it, in a way that suits you best.
My next 'challenge' is Intermittent Fasting. It came my way quite by accident and as I did more research on it I realized that this is something I want to give a shot.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting means that you interrupt periods of fasting with periods where you can eat, according to a certain schedule that you follow. For example, you have the 16/8 schedule, where you don't eat anything for 16 hours in a 24-hour period, followed by an 8-hour period where you do eat. This is the schedule I'm following right now. Simply put, it means that every day I start my fast at 8 pm until 12 noon the next day. From then on, I can just have lunch and dinner in the evening and then start my fast again. There are also numerous other forms you can follow, such as the so-called Warrior Diet, where you eat only one large meal a day.
Why would you do this, you may ask. Well, there are now more and more scientific studies that show that relatively short periods of fasting are actually very healthy for you!
By the way, a "fast" starts after 12 hours of not eating anything. Many people never reach this point in their daily routine, because they snack until late at night and eat a sandwich first thing in the morning. Breakfast is seen by many as the most important meal of the day. I too saw my sandwich or bowl of oatmeal as a kick starter, in which my metabolism would get going and I would have energy to start the day.
Looking back to our ancestors
Yet this appears to be outdated. Our ancestors didn't eat breakfast either. In the time of hunter-gatherers, we had to spend half a day looking for food before we could eat anything. Research shows that our bodies can handle times of no food very well and that our metabolism can even get a boost from fasting. And that it is actually overloaded by our current habits of constant eating. Fasting gives your body time to recover and use stored energy (fat reserves).
Paleo Primal Diet
Intermittent Fasting is more about when you eat, rather than what you eat. Still, it is of course recommended to eat healthy and eat as few 'empty calories' as possible, such as refined sugar or most factory foods. Choose 'real food', products that come straight from nature. Again, it is good to look to the primal man. Using Paleo, you can mimic the primal diet as much as possible by eating lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat and fish. In this lifestyle, sugar is left out as much as possible.
As a child, I already got a taste of eating less sugar by leaving out all the candy for 40 days. And last year, when I participated in an Ayahuasca ceremony, I followed a (refined) sugar-free diet in preparation. When my taste buds first came into contact with a sugary snack again, it was way too intense!
Sugar is therefore in many cases something you prefer to avoid as much as possible. Although I will admit straight away that I love sweet things and I also love to bake. And my love for delicious cakes and pies (such as space cake) will always exist. However, it's all about moderation. I choose, for example, to eat only a small piece of chocolate and to eat fruit more often. Also sweet, but the fiber and vitamins make it a much healthier alternative than a pastry.
Protect yourself against diabetes
Intermittent Fasting is an effective way to break with your "sugar addiction," or the need to snack constantly. By exposing your body to periods of fasting on a regular basis, it gets a chance to bring sugar levels down to normal.
Eating sugary foods causes our insulin levels to spike, which then crashes, causing another craving for sugar. This is a reason for many people to overeat (resulting in obesity). In addition, it encourages diseases such as diabetes. This is not only the case with sugar, but also with carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread and pasta.
What can you combine with Intermittent Fasting?
Throughout the period of fasting, you may drink water and drinks without calories such as green tea, coffee or herbal tea. It is also fine to take nutritional supplements. Keep in mind that certain dietary supplements are better absorbed with food.
You can also exercise during the fasting period. As mentioned earlier, your body will then tap into your fat reserves and this is the most effective way to lose weight. In addition, your body will produce more Human Growth Hormone, a hormone that helps to build stronger muscles. Contrary to popular belief, your body does not break down muscle with Intermittent Fasting. It is therefore a popular lifestyle among many athletes, who would like to have a lower fat content and healthy muscles. Of course, it is important to eat well, with plenty of protein and healthy fats, as recommended in the Paleo lifestyle.
Planet Paleo collagen powder
To provide your body with animal protein, you can take a collagen supplement. Planet Paleo has several powders on the market, all of which consist of collagen.
Our bodies, mainly our bones, muscles and skin, are largely made up of collagen. This protein ensures healthy muscles and supple joints. As you age, your body makes less collagen.
Planet Paleo collagen powder consists of animal collagen that can serve as a supplement within the Paleo diet. The principle of a collagen supplement is the same as a strong meat broth, allowing the body to replenish with additional protein and fat.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- May help you lose weight
- May lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease
- Contributes to better mental focus
- Gives your digestive system a break
- Gives your body a chance to repair itself
Intermittent Fasting is a popular and effective way to lose weight and possibly prevent certain diseases, such as diabetes. It is not suitable for everyone. Always consult with a physician first if you are struggling with a particular disease or condition or taking medication. Intermittent Fasting is not suitable for people under 18 years of age, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or have menstrual problems.
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