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You’ve heard about intermittent fasting. It’s been talked about in the health and fitness community and know there’s something behind it. But you have no clue what it is or how it works. You may also know what matcha is too and interested in seeing how it works well with fasting.

Firstly, I would like to start off this post by letting you know this is not a lose fat quickly scheme.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is effective for weight loss but requires planning and discipline. Matcha also has properties which are complementary to IF and help with its success.

What is intermittent fasting?

An eating behaviour that teaches your body to use food more efficiently and burn fat when you starve it of food. It’s a technique that can help promote weight loss and muscle gain.

It follows a simple premise for losing weight and is easy to follow. It involves having a specific window each day for eating (typically 8 hours). Fasting has been practiced (forced) by humans ever since existence when we were hunters and gatherers. Meals were not as frequent and guaranteed.

It’s important to reiterate that this is not a diet and rather a new way of eating.

Here’s a video of Terry Crews explaining it too!

What are the health benefits of intermittent fasting?

  1. Live longer, studies have shown that calorie restricted diets have prolonged the life of many species (1, 2)
  2. Simplifies your life, spend less time eating and cooking, and allocate a specific time range each day to eat
  3. More enjoyable than dieting, you are not changing what you are eating but rather the time of day you eat
  4. Reduces your risk of diseases, has shown to lessen risk of cancer, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular related diseases (3)
  5. Lowers bad cholesterol, studies show intermittent fasting may lead to a reduction of total cholesterol by about 20% (4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  6. Improved cognitive ability, when you are in a fasted state you may notice that you do not feel as sluggish, are more alert and have a heightened sense of awareness

How does it work?

Fasting transitions your body into being in a fasted state. In this state, it signals your body to transition from burning glucose to fat.

When you eat, the food is converted to glucose and insulin is produced. This signals your body to use the glucose from food for energy and store any excess energy as fat. If there is no glucose, then your body will produce the opposite hormones (glucagon and growth hormone) and burn fat for energy instead.

A simple equation:
Fed State = Fat Storage, Fasted State = Fat Burning

Several studies have shown fasting reduces insulin levels and also increases sensitivity, leading to weight loss (9, 10).

It takes approximately 12 hours for your body to go into a fasted state and start burning fat. The mechanics behind intermittent fasting are similar exercise and the ketosis diet.

There are many schedules you can follow for intermittent fasting and you can learn more about them here. The most common one is fast for 16 hours and eat for 8.

Insulin Diagram

Source: http://burnfatnotsugar.com/

Intermittent Fasting & Matcha, the perfect duo

Matcha is a nearly zero calorie drink which will not break your fast. Unlike coffee, it does not increase your appetite but helps to suppress it.

We have found that people use matcha with IF to help them curb hunger and sustain their energy levels. Matcha does this because of its natural health properties (L-Theanine, caffeine, and antioxidants).

Matcha Powder and Matcha Brownie

Matcha Powder and Matcha Brownie

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What are the hard parts?

Increased “hunger” from going without food for a long time. American culture has conditioned us to eat many meals or snacks throughout the day. This stops with intermittent fasting but your body, on a physiological level, will crave carbohydrates. This is to replenish the glucose your body is used to burning for energy.

An overall bigger appetite when you break your fast. Some people have found that their appetite increases significantly, especially when breaking the fast. Have to be careful with this if your goal is weight loss because you can get out of a calorie deficit easily.

Cautionary Notes

  • It can be difficult in the beginning and so start off slowly by allocating a day of the week to fast
  • Not for everyone, only meant for those looking to lose weight or tone down
  • Monitor your body and see if it works for you
  • Consider talking to a nutritionist to make sure you are getting all of the macronutrients you need

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting is a simple method for weight loss. It has a lot of documented health benefits and alongside matcha can help accelerate the weight loss and help with its success. Matcha also provides a lot of health benefits which are overall preventative to diseases.

We have presented a high level overview of what it is and why you might want to do IF. In order to take action, we’ve included a number of resources below for you to continue exploring further.

Additional Resources

References

  1. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/31/3/363.full.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16529878
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15741046
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17291990
  5. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/5/1138
  6. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-12-146
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22889512
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24739093
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26374764
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16545079