The Definitive Guide to Intermittent Fasting: Unveiling the Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle

Intermittent fasting has emerged as a leading strategy in the realm of weight loss and overall health improvement. As an esteemed diet expert, I must emphasize that it’s not merely a diet; rather, it is an eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. The underlying concept is to restrict the time-frame within which you consume calories, allowing your body ample time to burn stored fat and enhance metabolic health. For those new to this concept, embarking on the journey can be overwhelming. Fear not, for this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to embrace intermittent fasting successfully. From the benefits it offers to the various fasting approaches, as well as essential tips for getting started and making it a sustainable lifestyle change, we will delve deep into the captivating world of intermittent fasting in the Guide to Intermittent Fasting.

Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Understanding the Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting revolves around an eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. The most prevalent methods of intermittent fasting include daily fasts of 16 hours or more. During the fasting period, your intake is limited to water, coffee, and other non-caloric beverages, while calories are completely avoided.

Fasting initiates several transformative processes within your body. Notably, insulin levels drop, enabling your body to utilize stored fat for energy instead of glucose. This metabolic state is known as ketosis and forms the basis of many popular low-carbohydrate diets.

Beyond weight loss, intermittent fasting has demonstrated a plethora of health benefits. Scientific research has linked it to improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cognitive function. Furthermore, it may decrease the risk of chronic ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Exploring Different Approaches to Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting encompasses several distinct methods, each characterized by its unique approach. Let’s explore the most popular methods:

16/8 Method: This approach involves fasting for 16 hours each day and confining eating to an 8-hour window.
5:2 Diet: With this method, you eat normally for five days of the week while restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories on the remaining two days.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This method requires fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week.
Alternate-Day Fasting: Here, you alternate between a 24-hour fast and a regular eating day.

Each method possesses its own advantages and potential drawbacks. The 16/8 method stands out as the most manageable, effortlessly fitting into various lifestyles. The 5:2 diet appeals to those who seek to limit calorie intake while maintaining a relatively normal eating routine. Although challenging for beginners, the eat-stop-eat method exhibits great effectiveness for weight loss. Lastly, alternate-day fasting yields rapid results, yet its strict nature may not be suitable for everyone.

Unveiling the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting bestows an array of health benefits, including:

Weight loss: By creating a calorie deficit and improving metabolic health, intermittent fasting facilitates weight loss.
Enhanced insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting promotes improved insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Reduced inflammation: Studies have indicated that intermittent fasting can lower inflammation levels, consequently decreasing the risk of chronic ailments like heart disease and cancer.
Improved cognitive function: Intermittent fasting exhibits the potential to enhance cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Engaging in intermittent fasting may diminish the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

While intermittent fasting offers many potential benefits, it is crucial to recognize that it is not a cure-all solution. Optimal health can only be achieved by combining intermittent fasting with a healthy, balanced diet, as well as regular exercise.

Understanding the Risks and Considerations of Intermittent Fasting

Although intermittent fasting is generally safe for most individuals, certain risks and considerations warrant attention. These include:

Hunger and cravings: Fasting can be challenging, particularly in the initial stages. You may experience hunger and cravings, which can make adhering to your fasting schedule difficult.
Dehydration: Fasting can lead to dehydration, especially if you neglect proper hydration by not drinking enough water.
Low blood sugar: Fasting can cause low blood sugar levels, especially for individuals with diabetes or those taking medications that lower blood sugar.
Increased stress: Fasting can elevate stress levels, exerting negative effects on mental and physical well-being. It is crucial to be mindful of these effects and cease fasting if any adverse symptoms arise.

Initiating Intermittent Fasting: Where to Begin

For individuals new to intermittent fasting, embarking on the journey should involve a gradual progression from shorter to longer fasting periods. Follow these tips to start your intermittent fasting journey successfully:

Select a fasting method: Choose a fasting method that aligns with your lifestyle and schedule.
Commence with shorter fasts: Begin with shorter fasting periods, such as 12-14 hours, and gradually extend the duration as you become accustomed to the routine.
Prioritize hydration: Stay well-hydrated by consuming ample water and other non-caloric beverages during your fasting periods.
Adopt a wholesome diet: Ensure your eating periods consist of a balanced, nutritious diet to meet your body’s nutritional needs.
Listen to your body: Should any adverse effects, such as dizziness or nausea, emerge, immediately halt your fasting practice and pay heed to your body’s signals.

Essential Tips for Achieving Success with Intermittent Fasting

Embarking on an intermittent fasting journey can be arduous, particularly in the initial stages. Incorporate these tips into your routine to ensure a sustainable and successful experience:

Stay occupied: Keep yourself engaged in activities during fasting periods to divert your attention from hunger and cravings.
Hydrate abundantly: Maintain proper hydration by consuming plenty of water and other non-caloric beverages.
Opt for a nutritious diet: During your eating periods, prioritize a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition to meet your body’s requirements.
Exercise patience: Intermittent fasting represents a lifestyle change, and achieving desired results may take time. Cultivate patience and remain committed to the practice.
Accountability is key: Find a friend or family member who can support and hold you accountable on your intermittent fasting journey.

Common Mistakes to Avoid during Intermittent Fasting

While engaging in intermittent fasting, it’s important to be mindful of common mistakes that can hinder progress. Stay vigilant and avoid the following pitfalls:

Overeating during eating periods: Although it is crucial to consume a balanced diet during eating periods, be cautious not to overindulge and undo the progress made during fasting.
Inadequate water intake: Fasting periods may result in dehydration, so prioritize drinking enough water and other non-caloric beverages.
Insufficient nutrient intake: To maintain optimal health, consume a wholesome, balanced diet during eating periods to ensure adequate nutrient intake.
Premature abandonment: Remember that intermittent fasting is a long-term lifestyle change. It may take time to observe tangible results, so refrain from prematurely abandoning the practice.

Navigating Food and Drink Choices during Intermittent Fasting

During fasting periods, calorie consumption should be avoided, limiting intake to water, coffee, and other non-caloric beverages. During eating periods, it is essential to prioritize a balanced and nutritious diet. Consider incorporating the following food options:

Fruits and vegetables: These low-calorie, fiber-rich choices are ideal for weight loss.
Lean protein sources: Opt for chicken, fish, and tofu as sources of lean protein.
Healthy fats: Include avocado, nuts, and olive oil to incorporate healthy fats into your meals.

Conversely, it is important to avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-calorie snacks during eating periods.

Frequently Asked Questions about Intermittent Fasting
Q: Can I consume coffee during fasting periods?

A: Yes, coffee is permitted during fasting periods, as long as you refrain from adding sugar or creamer.
Q: Will intermittent fasting slow down my metabolism?

A: No, intermittent fasting does not have a negative impact on your metabolism. In fact, it may improve your metabolic health.
Q: Will intermittent fasting cause muscle loss?

A: No, as long as you consume a balanced, nutritious diet during your eating periods, intermittent fasting should not result in muscle loss.
Q: Is intermittent fasting safe for everyone?

A: While intermittent fasting is generally safe for most individuals, it may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with certain medical conditions, or those taking specific medications.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting represents a trendy and effective approach to weight loss and overall health improvement. As opposed to a diet, it functions as an eating pattern that involves alternating between fasting and eating periods. Common methods of intermittent fasting include daily fasts lasting 16 hours or longer. Intermittent fasting has been linked to numerous health benefits, such as weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, enhanced cognitive function, and a decreased risk of chronic diseases. Despite being generally safe for most individuals, it is important to pay attention to your body’s signals and cease fasting if any adverse effects arise. By following the tips and guidance provided in this guide, you can successfully integrate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, working toward achieving your health and wellness goals.

H&R Block Losses Widen As Customers Delay Filing

As consumers wait longer to file their taxes, H&R Block is feeling the pinch. It was revealed on Thursday that the long-established tax services company had posted greater-than-expected losses for the last quarter due to consumer delays.  The company is also facing currency headwinds impacting business from overseas.

H&R Block Losses
Photo by pasa47

Typically, H&R Block has posted losses for quarters outside the normal tax season; however, these recent losses revealed a deeper downturn for the same period last year, missing expectations from Wall Street. As a result, shares slipped 5.1% in after-hours trading, leaving the stock at $31.22, which is down 2.5% for the year so far. The company also reported that total U.S. tax returns had slipped more than 6% for the first three quarters of the year.

H&R Block’s chief executive, Bill Cobb, stated that this tax season was being impacted by continual instances of fraud as well as the ongoing trend of returns being filed later in the season by taxpayers. This also causes tax refunds to take longer to process. Cobb also noted that there were significant measured being taken by both the federal and state governments to fight tax fraud, which would create some material changes in the industry.

H&R Block reported a total loss of $81.7 million for the quarter, or 35 cents per share. This is compared to a loss of $36.9 million a year earlier. After adjustments, H&R Block earnings was down 34 cents a share as sales increased by 6.8% to $475 million.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) From The IRS

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are a part of the IRS that assist individuals in calculating their tax returns. One can volunteer in any of the programs helping your community in preparing 2015 taxes.

As a serious tax volunteer, you will undergo some training that is provided online or in a classroom before the actual volunteering begins. The tax sites are opened at nights and during the weekend where anyone can choose a volunteer location close to them.

Why become a volunteer?
No past experience needed as volunteers receives exclusive training and can serve any role, example, helping those who do not understand English.

Free tax law training is offered by IRS. They provide the required materials to volunteers for the preparation of income tax returns to individuals.

Flexibility of working hours. Per week, volunteers only serve 3-5 hours

Widely distributed volunteer sites. The volunteer locations are everywhere including libraries, malls and even schools. In addition, a free electronic filing, TurboTax 2014, is available in both VITA and TCE sites for federal and state tax returns.

Duration. A volunteer will be part of the VITA and TCE programs for more than 40 years assisting people filing their tax returns free of charge.

As a volunteer, you will assist low income individuals. Many people volunteered in 2013 to make a difference and you should too. Help your community by emailing your Form 14310,TCE/VITA Volunteer Sign Up, to [email protected].

Tax Deductions Most People Miss On TurboTax

Discover the Most Overlooked Tax Benefits

Reduce your taxes by claiming tax deductions. The following is a list of tax deductions most people miss on Intuit’s Turbotax.

  1. State Sales Tax
    When doing business, payment of sales tax to the state is often necessary. For individual taxpayers, moneys paid towards sales tax can be claimed as tax deduction. For instance, if you purchased a car, you can claim a deduction equivalent to the sales tax rate for your state on the value of that vehicle.

  2. Reinvested Dividends
    This is not really a tax deduction but it can save you a significant amount of money. If you reinvest mutual fund dividends in additional shares, you can increase you tax saving-loss, or reduce the taxable capital gain, when you dispose of your shares.

  3. Personal Charitable Contributions
    The little costs you incur when supporting a charitable cause matter a lot. For instance, if you bought postal stamps to send invitations to potential contributors for a fundraiser, or bought ingredients to make soup for the guests, you can claim the deduction.

  4. Interest Paid on Student Loans by Parents
    If you are not listed as a dependent by your parents, you can claim a deduction equivalent to interest payments made by your parents, up to a maximum of $2,500. The IRS assumes that your parents gave you the money and you made the payments, so you qualify for the deduction.

  5. Moving Expense Related to your First Job
    If you land your first job, which requires you to move from where you currently live, you can take comfort in the fact that you can claim a tax deduction on the moving expense. The best thing about it is that you can still get the deduction even if you do not itemize. The standard rate is 23 cents for every mile, provided you moved more than fifty miles.

  6. Child Care Tax Credit
    This is a credit, not a deduction. It applies to expenses incurred while raising a child. Parents and guardians can claim this deduction if they spent up to $6,000 on child care-related expenses. This tax credit can reduce your tax bill by over $200.

Slimming Pills Are Flying Off The Shelves This Summer

Ball-and-stick model of the chlorogenic acid m...
Ball-and-stick model of the chlorogenic acid molecule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The quest for a bikini body is an elusive one. Majority of people have a difficult time finding the right combination of diet and exercise to achieve their goal. Life also has a way of derailing workout plans and sabotaging nutrition targets. What are beach-goers to do given these challenges? Purchase slimming pills, apparently.

For many, these tiny pills are their salvation in a bottle. Supplements of this nature have soared in popularity in the UK according to a Kantar study. The numbers don’t lie: products sales shot up 74% from 2 years ago to the tune of 19 million British pounds. Vitamin Planet, one of the largest retailers of supplements, says that Metaburn saw an incredible 3700% rise in sales in just one month. Metaburn is slimming product that combines a trifecta of ingredients for blockbuster appeal: green tea extract, green coffee bean, and raspberry ketones.

Green tea extract’s claim to fame is its abundance of polyphenols. These work towards increasing metabolism so people can burn more calories during the day. They make fat breakdown much easier as well.

Green coffee beans, meanwhile, contain a substance called chlorogenic acid. This has been shown to prevent sugar from entering the bloodstream. Thanks to this low absorption, blood sugar levels can remain stable despite the intake of sweet food. Another bonus is that it can delay aging at a cellular level.

Finally, raspberry ketone has established itself as a prime ingredient for those who wish to enhance their fat-burning capacity. It does this without adversely affecting energy levels so productivity is not impaired unlike resorting to crash diets.

These three make a potent combination but they still need to be used in conjunction with the right type of exercises to bring about the desired effects. Be cautious when choosing slimming pills and make sure that you are getting a good product with proven results.

Oz Is Passionate About Raspberry Ketone

Cinnamon Ice Cream & Raspberry Sorbet
Cinnamon Ice Cream & Raspberry Sorbet (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)

Renowned talk show host speaks out on behalf of raspberry ketone, garcinia cambogia and raspberry ketone.

The “Dr Oz Show” is currently into it’s fifth season and Dr Mehmet Oz, the cardiac surgeon, come chat show host has been awarded three Daytime Emmy awards for his efforts. He frequently talks about his weight loss supplements and he often refers to them as miraculous products. However, Senator Claire McCaskill challenged Dr Oz about raspberry ketone and other popular weight loss products.

Senator McCaskill felt that he dramatized the benefits of the dietary supplements like raspberry ketone. The senator added that the talk show appeared to peddle dietary products in a bid to boost sales. Raspberry ketone and numerous other dietary aids featured on the show encouraged scam artists to use deceptive advertising to sell questionable goods. The Senator expressed her fear that the mixture of entertainment, news and medical advice on the show could prove harmful to consumers.

Dr Oz stepped in to defend himself. He said he believed in the products and he felt the raspberry ketone and green coffee extract helped many to lose weight. Dr Oz felt the raspberry ketones were a miracle in a bottle and the miraculous weight loss product had helped thousands to burn unwanted fat.

The Senator asked the doctor to ensure the scam merchants were unable to profiteer from his claims, however, he stated, that many people had benefited from his ground-breaking weight loss plans. Dr Oz feels raspberry ketone is a miraculous product that can help to bust body fat forever. His famous dietary products like raspberry ketone were extravagantly labelled as safe and effective weight loss supplements and the doctor felt this was justifiable. Dr Oz is passionate about raspberry ketone and numerous other fat burning supplements, and he wanted his fans to remain passionate too.

The Best Gadget Of Our Generation

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ipod shuffle loja online leilao
ipod shuffle loja online leilao (Photo credit: sucelloleiloes)

Technology is developing every second all across the globe, but there is always that one item that stands out from the crowd, gets the people talking and in its path has thousands of replica’s. For my life scoop and people of my generation it appears that the iPod is the gadget of the century. Beginning with the original and small device, it became a way to store a substantial amount of quality music in the one place. The walk-man and disc-man became figures of the past. Plus they where to heavy to especially when it came to working out or doing some power walking with music in your ears.

The iPod then increased to the iPod classic, yet again simple but amazing with even more storage space for music. The improvements here got me very excited with the ability to store movies, clips and even photographs. Despite it being a bit heavier and wider though it was far from a downfall to the original smaller device. It simply got better with the ability to do more and be worthy of your hard earned cash.

Finally, we have the very best that our generation has to offer that came in the form of the iPod touch. This beauty was all about the touch screen, applications, social media, pictures, facetime and even video’s. It is basically a very small, delicate computer that fits right in the palm of your hand. It is down to the beauty and intelligence of this device that so many cell phones have followed suit offering similar applications and touch screen formats. For me the iPod touch remains the very best and has very little to complain about, accept it needs a good clean after heavy use and a nice sturdy screen to avoid damage. Thus concludes my life scoop on the best gadget of our generation.

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How To Buy Raspberry Ketone Supplements

The raspberry ketone diet is one of the latest weight loss trends. Ketones are substances that are found naturally in raspberries, like in many other berries and fruits. However, if you wanted to get enough ketones from raspberries to actually have any weight loss benefits, you would have to eat large amounts of the berries every day. A much easier way to use raspberries for weight loss is to buy raspberry ketone in supplement form.

Ketones are found in many plants, vegetables and fruits. They are aromatic compounds that can also be created in a laboratory synthetically, but natural ketones are believed to be better for diet purposes. Ketones are thought to regulate the amount of a protein called adiponectin in the body. This can make the body burn off calories extra fast and to speed up the metabolism, helping you to get rid of excess fat. A typical dose of raspberry ketone is 100 mg daily and the easiest way to get the correct dose is to take a standardized supplement.

When you buy raspberry ketone products, always check how much of the active ingredient the supplement contains. There are supplements on the market with varying amounts of ketones and it is important to get an accurate daily dose. Some supplements should be taken twice a day and some should be taken just once a day. To make sure you get a quality product, it is best to buy raspberry ketone supplements that are reputable and have received good consumer reviews.

5 Overlooked Tax Deductions From Turbo Tax

Taxes
Taxes (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

According to the website Turbo Tax, there were over 51 million current tax payers who listed tax deductions over the year 2007. They claimed more than 1.33 trillion dollars in tax deductions. At the same time, more than 91 million people claimed the regular standard deduction. They managed to reduce their tax by 654 trillion dollars. These numbers look good for tax players who are doing standard deductions. However, you need to look at both methods of tax deduction when you are preparing to do you taxes. If you don’t, you may miss out on some great deductions.

The following are five tax deductions that are often overlooked. They are reinvestment dividends, state sales paid tax, charitable contributions, moving expenses and student load tax deductions.

State Sales Tax

This deduction is for people who live in those states without any state income tax. If you live in one of these states, you can deduct this tax. Most of the time, when people file for this kind of deduction, they overlook several things. These include taxes on automobiles, boats, airplanes, any any sale tax they may have spent on building supplies for the home.

Reinvested Dividends

If you have sole any mutual funds during the previous tax year, and have good capital gains, then you should calculate your reinvested dividends correctly and thoroughly. Because the amount that was paid for your investment increases each time that the dividends get reinvested, your capita gain may not be as big as you thought.

Charitable Contributions

Any small items which you may have purchased while volunteering for charities are tax deductible. It is not only the larger contributions that you can receive deductions for, but these smaller ones as well. Keep track of what contributions you have made, such as driving mileage, or any small purchases.

Student Loan Interest

Any interest paid on students loans are able to be deducted. Whether the payment was made by a student or a parent they qualify for this deduction. This is because the IRS counts the interest payment as a gift. This is a good little deduction that students can capitilize on to reduce their tax liabilities.

Moving Expenses

One last good deduction is the moving expense tax. If you just started your very first job any time throughout the previous tax year and have been required to travel over 50 miles for work, this can be be deducted. This tax deduction can be claimed as part of the cost of any driving and the costs of any moving. However, it is only the moving and driving expenses which qualify. Costs of securing the employment are not included in these deductions.