What is intermittent fasting?
Cycling in and out of periods of eating and not eating is called intermittent fasting. It is crucial to keep in mind that intermittent fasting is not a diet plan, but more of a lifestyle choice.
There are main intermittent fasting methods. These are:
- 5:2: This intermittent fasting method allows you to eat for five days a week, as you would usually. The other two days are called "fasting days." On these days, you would eat between 500 and 600 calories.
- Eat-stop-eat: With this type of intermittent fasting method, you restrict all food for 24 hours, up to twice a week.
- 16/8: If you apply this method of intermittent fasting, you should consume all of your daily calories in a small time window (it is usually 6 to 8 hours), and you would fast for the remaining 14 to 16 hours. This can be done every day of the week or just a few times a week.
But what are the benefits of this lifestyle? Let's look into it.
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and keep it off for good.
We are all familiar with the yo-yo effect. Following the rigorous diets can be hard because you would have to deal with constant calorie counting and feeling of food deprivation. While you are following the stringent diet plan, everything is going right, and the weight is coming off, but this cannot be followed forever. Eventually, we tend to get tired of the diet plan, and they start eating poorly again. That is when the weight comes back.
But that is not the case with intermittent fasting, because it is not a diet but a lifestyle. If you love to follow the rules and eat right but just less, intermittent fasting is perfect for you.
Intermittent fasting may help those at risk of developing diabetes.
According to the CDC, 84.1 million people in the United States have pre-diabetes. This condition, if not treated, often leads to type 2 diabetes within just five years.
And intermittent fasting can help with that! Moving more, losing weight, and eating a healthy diet can help fight off developing type two diabetes. If you are pre-diabetic or have a history of diabetes in the family, intermittent fasting can be helpful. It requires the body to produce insulin less often since you are eating less frequently.
Intermittent fasting can help synchronize your circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is also known as your internal body clock. It is a natural system that regulates feelings of wakefulness and sleepiness over a 24-hour period. Several studies have proven that intermittent fasting can help a person stick with their body's circadian rhythm, helping with their metabolism. Eating certain types of foods before bed has also been linked to sleep disturbances and "confusing" weight gain, mainly when they cause acid reflux. In order to honor your circadian rhythm, you need to go to bed earlier and avoid eating right before sleeping. This will allow your body to sleep peacefully and repair itself.