Intermittent fasting has presently become one of the most popular health trends. It can be easily explained as a pattern between fasting and eating. Unlike a usual diet, intermittent fasting doesn’t necessarily tell you the types of food you should eat, but when you should eat them. For many, intermittent fasting isn’t even perceived as a diet but a lifestyle.
For different reasons, people have decided to get onto this journey of fitness and health and some even do it every couple of months depending on how their bodies reacted to this form of diet. Intermittent fasting, however, is generally done for extreme weight loss purposes as you burn more calories and eating less.
For the diet to actually work, you must eat healthy meals including vegetables and fruits. Eating junk food after fasting just won’t do the trick. The big question most people have is what they can do when they feel hungry during a fast. The answer to that is, you can drink water, coffee and zero-calorie beverages as you fast to reduce the feeling of hunger.
The three popular ways of leading intermittent fasting:
- The first is called the 16 to 8 method. This is when you skip breakfast in the morning and limiting your daily eating habits to 8 hours. For example, from 1 – 9pm then you continue fasting for the next 16 hours. This method is most popular as people find it easier to tackle.
- The second is called the Eat–Stop-Eat method where you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. This method is strict on not eating for the full 24 hours and most people prefer not to eat from dinner one day to dinner the next day.
- Lastly, the 5:2 method where you can consume only 500 to 600 calories on 2 non-consecutive days of the week but eat normally on the rest of the 5 days of the week.
Intermittent fasting is quite a challenge, and for it, you have to be mentally and physically prepared. It’s always best to experiment with the different methods to see which one works best for you and your body. Once you figure out a method you enjoy and fits your schedule, stick with it for a while before you try another.
Sometimes we don’t realize we’re fasting. We wake up in the morning and just don’t feel like eating and so we wait till lunch time. And so, this can be looked at as another approach of intermittent fasting by simply taking on a method when it’s suitable for you. All you have to do is skip meals if you’re not hungry.
Studies show that this type of diet has a positive impact on weight control and also the health of your brain. Some even say that it may help you live longer. Who wouldn’t want that? A few examples of the health benefits of this type of diet include:
- Weight loss, especially around the belly.
- Lowering blood sugar and reducing insulin resistance.
- Reducing cholesterol levels to ensure a healthy heart.
- Increasing brain hormones to keep your mind sharp.
Intermittent fasting is of course not for everyone. Those with the following circumstances should consult a medical practitioner before doing this type of diet:
- Having diabetes
- Being underweight
- Having a problem with blood sugar regulation
- Having low blood pressure
- Taking medication
- Being pregnant or breastfeeding
It is important to be safe at all times before taking on this diet. There is absolutely nothing dangerous with fasting for some time as long as you are well nourished and healthy. Before you do decide to begin though, seeking medical advice from your doctor would be ideal.