Intermittent Fasting is not a diet, but it’s actually a pattern of eating. The neat thing is it doesn’t change what you eat, but more when you eat!
It goes through several cycles of fasting and eating periods throughout the week.
Where did they come up with this new trend?
Well everyone has a circadian rhythm, which needs food at certain times of the day and no food at other times of the day.
If someone were to just continue to eat without fasting, or go times without food it actually disrupts your rhythm and leads to lower energy levels!
Intermittent fasting is actually used primarily for fat loss!
It helps keep muscle mass while still getting lean.
History Behind Fasting
According to Dr. Fung a Toronto kidney specialist who has written “The Complete Guide to Fasting,” fasting is actually an ancient practice.
The Ancient Greeks believed that fasting could actually improve cognitive abilities. Philip Paracelsus the founder of toxicology said,
“ Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.”
Fasting is even popular in many religions, from Muslim to Greek Orthodox. Fasting has been a part of our history for a very long time, and continues to be prevalent.
Whole Day Fasting or 5:2 Diet
The Whole Day Fasting, just like its name, consists of one-day fasts, which usually involves a 24-hour fasting day, followed by a 24-hour non-fasting day.
The 5:2 diet is another form of whole day fasting with five consecutive days of eating, and two days of only eating 25% of your energy needs.
Consists of only eating during certain hours of the day, which doesn’t sound too hard and much easier than restricting calories!
For example, fasting for 16 hours, and only eating during an 8-hour period. The amazing thing about this fasting technique is it doesn’t matter when you start it!
Benefits of Time-Restricted Fasting
There are many benefits to time-restricted fasting from simplifying your day to even living longer.
And you don’t even have to limit your calories!! Yes that’s right, you’re supposed to maintain the same amount of calories you are eating before you start fasting! That alone is a benefit that no other diet plan really has!
It’s hard to count calories and even measure out your food, but fasting actually simplifies your day. There’s no worry to limit calories but all you have to follow is that 8-hour eating period.
It’s also super easy to follow because you do it everyday, so you get used to the schedule and it becomes a part of your life!
It even helps you live longer! The good news is time-restricted fasting helps extend your life just like calorie restriction without having to limit yourself!
Reduce Cancer Risk
Something as simple as time-restricted fasting may even reduce risk of cancer and even cardiovascular disease! A few studies done by several researchers at UCLA and USC showed that the side effects of chemotherapy actually may be lessened or diminished by fasting before a treatment.
Another study done by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, showed a reduction in the risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease and the possibility of reduced risk for diabetes!
The biggest disadvantage to time-restricted fasting is the TEMPTATION to eat outside the restricted hours. But with any diet plan that temptation is always there!
Cut out meals
Depending on the time of the day you start and end the fast, you may have to cut out a meal or even two!
How to Implement Intermittent Fasting
Now comes the most important part:
How to implement intermittent fasting into your schedule?
It’s easier to start with once a week or even a month fasting schedule.
Let’s say you start to fast at lunch on Wednesday and continue to fast until the next day at lunch.
This is an easy way to start because it only requires one day of fasting for that week, and only cutting out two meals that week!
The biggest advantage of that first 24-hour fast is breaking that mental hurdle that many struggle with fasting.
It shows that our bodies are able to survive during a fast.
What about Skipping Breakfast?
One other thing many people get worried about is breakfast! I don’t know about you, but I know I love breakfast, and couldn’t imagine not having it everyday.
The neat thing is you actually don’t have to skip breakfast!
Breakfast is still a part of the fasting period it is just pushed back to another time of the day.
For example, if the 8-hour period starts at 1PM, then breakfast can start then too!
What about eating six meals per day?
Many people stick to the six meals per day rule which in theory works, but has some drawbacks too.
Our bodies burn calories when processing the food we’ve eaten, so if you eat more throughout the day than you would also burn more right??
Here’s the issue
The amount of calories your body burns is proportional to how much you’ve eaten.
If you eat six small meals that are 3,000 calories, it would take the same amount of energy to burn three larger meals each 1,000 calories.
So it doesn’t really matter whether you spread those calories into six meals or three, either way you end up with 3,000 calories.
There are both positives and negatives to this type of eating pattern! It’s definitely not perfect, but if you’re looking for a way to lose weight and maintain a similar caloric intake, FASTING is a great way!
The ability to maintain a schedule especially with time-restricted fasting really helps those who are really busy, and even reduces your risk of certain diseases.
If you’re looking to try a new way to lose weight, intermittent fasting is definitely the way to go! It’s an easy way to change your eating schedule and not have to think about your diet.
Things to Remember Before Starting
Try only fasting for one day at first, and slowly adding more of a schedule to your fasting. Even if it’s only one day a week or one day a month it’s an easy transition to add fasting into your life.
Remember you still can eat breakfast and other meals just make sure to stick to the periods of fasting and eating.
An easy way to not have to think about fasting is time-restricted fasting.
Only eating from 1PM to 9PM.
And last but definitely not least there are so many benefits to fasting!!
It simplifies your diet and eating schedule, and takes minimum time to think and plan for each day.
It helps with weight loss while still maintaining muscle mass. This is great because you can be lean but still maintain muscle!
And it even reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even diabetes!!
So why not try intermittent fasting?
Even if it’s one day of fasting or trying a week of time-restricted fasting, it will definitely help!