Intermittent Fasting Guidelines
One of the most prominent health and fitness trends right now is intermittent fasting. Many people are boasting about the benefits they get from using this diet method. From losing weight to improving health and wellness we will help guide you on everything that has made this trend so popular!
First off, intermittent fasting is basically time-restricted eating where you only eat for a certain amount of hours per day. This restriction in which you eat is called a feeding period while the portion where you do not consume food is your fasting period. Intermittent fasting derives itself from the old notion that humans in the past were hunter-gatherers. Our bodies are thus adapted better to eating large portions with large chunks of time where no food is eaten. This makes sense because back when there was no farming, humans had to hunt for food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all concepts developed later on in human history and now are engrained into our minds. So if you are worried that you will not be able to fast or skip a meal or two just remember this concept.
Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are a couple of different methods for how to intermittent fast. The most popular 3 methods are:
- 16:8 Diet: This works by fasting for 16 hours and restricting your eating window to 8 hours. This is the optimal option for those starting off with IF as it is easy as skipping breakfast and the most simple/sustainable.
- The Warrior Diet: In this method, you fast for 20 hours and eat one large meal in your 4-hour eating window. This is a more strict form and you should work your way up to this diet.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This is a 24 hour fast in which you fast for a full 24 hours once or twice a week. An example of this would be eating dinner then not eating until dinner the next day. This is more extreme and again requires you to work up to this method.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Fasting not only saves you time by not having to make as many meals but it also has health benefits you may not know of. Here are the main benefits:
- Insulin Resistance: Fasting can help to reduce your insulin resistance and lower your blood sugar which can help protect you against type 2 diabetes
- Weight Loss: As a result of fasting you can lose weight without having to actively restrict calories. However, you should not binge eat once you break your fast as that can still keep the fat on.
- Inflammation: Some studies suggest a reduction in inflammation which is linked to many chronic diseases.
- Brain Health: Increases the brain hormone BDNF and can help in the growth of new nerve cells.
- Anti-aging: Studies on rats resulted in an extension of lifespan by 36-86%, thus suggesting anti-aging benefits.
How to Get Started
Eating healthy is simple but hard to maintain due to all the meal preparations. Consequently, intermittent fasting has become such a popular diet as you just don’t eat! However, it is important to consult with your doctor before you try this diet especially if you have some health issues such as diabetes or anorexia. During your fasted period you are permitted to have water, tea, black coffee and any other non-caloric beverages. Coffee is especially beneficial as it is known as an appetite suppressant and metabolism booster.
To begin, start off with the 16:8 fasting protocol and then work your way up if you want something stricter. The most crucial giveaway from IF is that it is flexible and you should do what works best for you and your schedule. IF is not a strict diet or anything that is extreme, everybody is different and some diets work better for others and some don’t. If you feel good while fasting and find it sustainable then it can be something you can use to lose and maintain weight whilst improving your overall health. Armed with this information you are ready to give IF a try and see if it works for you, as many have seen the benefits.