Intermittent Fasting, What Is It?

Published on October 11, 2020
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You have probably heard about the new trend for losing weight. Many celebrities and people that want to lose weight, gain muscle, or just stay fit employ this method. But before getting into the why, let’s start by explaining what. What is intermittent fasting? is it starving yourself? is it an incentive to develop an eating disorder? The answers are NO! Intermittent fasting consists of switching between periods of eating and fasting. It can bring many benefits if done right such as reversal of type II diabetes. But how is it done?

Intermittent Fasting, What Is It?

Voluntarily

Those who engage in this method, do it voluntarily for health purposes mainly. Those who do it are not underweight and have enough stored body fat to fast and still be healthy. If it is done correctly, it should not be hard and let alone contribute to health problems. You are the one that chooses not to eat even if you do have food. This can range from a few hours to even a day, however, it should never be done without supervision.

When?

Whenever we are not eating, we are intermittently fasting. For instance, when we go to sleep after having diner and not eat until the morning after. We are all familiar with this method and use it every day. This method to lose weight or just have a healthy lifestyle is not new. It is probably one of the oldest methods to do so and even one of the most efficient. For instance, let’s take the word “breakfast”, it is comprised of two words: break and fast, which means that it is the first meal of the day that breaks the fast which most people do every single day.

Types

The first step to follow this method the most efficient way is to consult your doctor. Once you have the green light, the process is very simple. There are different intermittent fasting intervals. For example, let’s take the daily approach, which consists of restricting eating to one six- to eight-hour period each day. You can also choose the 16/8 method which consists of eating for 8 hours and fasting for the remaining 16. There is another technique known as the 5:2 approach: you eat normally without skipping any meals for 5 days and the remaining 2 days of the week, you consume one meal of 500-600 calories. You can break the days as you prefer, it doesn’t have to be 5 days on a row rating and the other two fastings. But be careful, fasting for more even a full day or more can be dangerous and not necessarily healthy. It may have the contrary effect because when we go without eating for a long time, our body stores fat (a natural response to starvation). Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at John Hopkins, has been studying this dietary method for 25 years, and he has shown that it can take two to four weeks for our bodies to become used to this type of intervention. Even if at first you may feel hungry, he says that once your body gets adjusted, they follow the plan because they feel better.

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