Intermittent fasting requires fasting for twelve to eighteen hours between meals daily. I fast daily for at least sixteen hours. I just finished 87 hours of prolonged fasting. I drank only water, unsweetened iced tea, and a glass a day with a lime and/or lemon.
Some purists believe that even one gram of carbohydrates stops the fasting process. However, one gram of carbs from a squeezed lime in water over an hour has minimal to no effect of your metabolic response to the sugar contained in a lime.
Why Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent fasting works because it causes insulin levels to decrease, human growth hormone levels to increase, allows cellular repair, facilitates proper gene expression, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, reduces the risk factors of heart disease, reduces the risk of obesity, and reduces the risk of hypertension.
There are other health and wellness benefits from intermittent fasting. The list above has been researched and published thoroughly.
Intermittent fasting is not starvation. However, it might seem that way if you have been eating a high carbohydrate lifestyle for years. Starvation doesn’t occur until your body is under four percent body fat. Yes, you may have severe cravings, but you are not in a true starvation mode.
What happens during a fast?
Our bodies typically work on glucose as a power source. Insulin converts carbohydrates into blood glucose and then delivers the glucose to the cells for energy. When we fast, our glucose supplies are used up, and our bodies convert from glucose to ketones. Dietary and body fat provide the energy for our bodies to operate. It is not unusual to lose inches of fat while fasting or on a ketogenic diet.
The reason I like intermittent fasting is to increase my body’s daily supply of human growth hormone. The reason I occasionally do an extended fast is to reset my immune system. Regardless of the duration of the fast, I always rely on balanced nutrition for the foods that I choose to eat.