As many of you already know, eating too many calories packs on some extra (sometimes unwanted) pounds. But did you know that it may have an effect on your cognition as well?
Studies suggest that not only can fasting a few days a week aid in preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but may also help improve memory and mood!
How you may ask? To start, carbs turn into something called glucose. Glucose is what gives us the energy to do things! When you eat a cheeseburger, that burger stays in the body to be used for energy, until approximately 10-12 hours have gone by and it’s been depleted. Once those 10 hours are up, your body then begins to look for something else to use for energy. This is when fat comes in to play! Your body begins to use fat for energy when it no longer has “those cheeseburgers”.
When you consistently eat every few hours, you don’t allow your body to use fat as an energy option.
Not only can fasting help lower your glycogen, but exercise can also do the trick!
Try out these two fasting methods to lower your caloric intake:
5:2 Fasting Diet: Reduce your calories for two days per week with an allowance of 500-600 calories. The rest of the 5 days you eat how you normally would (but be mindful of your nutrition.) The two days you fast does not allow you to go overboard for the next five days)
A way in which you might structure this is:
Breakfast: An egg
Lunch or Dinner: Lean protein with some veggies
Time Restricted Fasting: 16 hour fasting period with an eating window of 8 hours. The purpose of this fast is to deplete your glycogen stores during the fast and begin using fat as its primary energy source.
Don’t be surprised if you experience some headaches here and there from the initial shock to your body from fasting. Your body is not used to this type of stress so it will take a week or so to really acclimate. Some side effects you may initially experience are: grogginess, grouchiness, irritability, headaches or lightheadedness.
Fasting can be a great method to drop some weight and reduce your caloric intake. The results from fasting are a heavily studied subject and continue to be with newfound studies constantly emerging.
There are many diets out there, keto, paleo, atkins diet, and many more. The idea behind the majority of them is that your body is placed in a calorie deficit, meaning, you burn more calories than you consume. That is the most important thing to take into account when dieting. Make sure you understand that before getting into a diet!
It’s not necessarily the diet that makes you lose weight, but the calorie deficit!
What are your thoughts on fasting? Have you fasted before? Share your comments below!
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Demetra is not a physician or registered dietitian. The content of this article should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.