Intermittent fasting is a diet plan that has been shown to promote weight loss, and activate the body's hidden cures for disease.
Intermittent fasting is simple: it means eating your calories during a specific window of time each day.
Intermittent fasting can also help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels- which in turn helps keep diabetes at bay!
What is the Intermittent Fasting Diet?
Intermittent fasting is a diet pattern that is based upon the concept of eating and non eating cycles.
It does not say anything about what foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them.
There are several intermittent fasting methods ranging from 2 days a week to 1 day a month, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.
What Medical Benefits Have Been Seen With Intermittent Fasting?
Our bodies are massively efficient. When we deprive our bodies of calories for an extended time, the body moves into a mode of repair over recycle.
To start, cellular splitting, or creating new cells is where cancer has an opportunity to arise in our bodies.
When we don’t eat for a period of time, our bodies initiate adaptive processes in order to deal with the period of famine
In a fasted state, human growth hormone levels also increase and blood sugar and insulin decrease. (1, 2).
Some people use intermittent fasting to lose weight, as it is an easy and effective way to restrict your calorie intake by not eating for certain periods. (3).
In addition to increasing weight loss and improving insulin resistance, intermittent fasting may also increase longevity. A recent study done on rats show that intermittent fasting is as effective in extending lifespan as calorie restriction. (4).
Some research also suggests that intermittent fasting can help protect against diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. (5).
What Are The Variations of Intermittent Fasting?
While the base concept of Intermittent Fasting remains the same (you only consume calories in certain windows of time), there are different variations of intermittent fasting.
1. Alternate day fasting
This variation of intermittent fasting includes fasting every other day with less extreme calorie goals.
For instance, on your fasting day, only consume about 25% of your usual intake (500 calories).
On non-fasting days, simply consume your normal, healthy diet.
2. Time-restricted intermittent fasting (ex: 14/10 or 16/8 methods)
This fasting option involves set windows for not eating and eating.
One example of a time-restricted method is the 16/8 where you fast for 16 hours of the day and are only able to eat within an 8 hour window.
This method is popular because most people already fast during their sleep. You skip breakfast to extend the fast and eat lunch when it's time to break it.
Here's some pointers on some other common ways of doing time restricted intermittent fasting.
- 16/8 method: Limiting food intake to 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. or noon through 8 pm.
- 14/10 method: Eat between 10 in the morning and 8 at night.
You might need to experiment with your eating and fasting windows for a few days before finding what works best for you, especially if you're very active or wake up hungry.
This type of intermittent fasting can be repeated as often as you want. It might also be done once or twice each week for some people.
This is often the easiest form of intermittent fasting that a beginning can pick up because it most closely follows our normal eating patterns.
3. The twice-a-week method – 5:2
For this approach to IF, you will be eating 500 calories two days a week and maintain a healthy diet the remaining five days.
Fasting days typically require just 2 meals: one 200-calorie meal and one 300-calorie meal.
Among the best ways to keep yourself full during intermittent fasting is to eat high-fiber and high-protein foods.
You can choose two fasting days any day of the week, and have a non-fasting day before or after them.
Interested in Incorporating Intermittent Fasting Into Your Nutrition?
With all the health benefits of intermittent fasting, it's no wonder so many people have picked it up as part of their fitness and wellness regimen.
However, we understand it can be confusing and you might need nutritional help, nutritional counseling, or nutritional coaching. You also might be looking for some great healthy recipes that you can quickly and easily prepare to keep your Intermittent Fasting and nutritional journey intact!
Talk or a nutrition coach here at KS Athletic Club today and we can get you on the right track!