What if I told you that there was a diet revolving around skipping meals? Sounds crazy right? Well, there is a diet based around that very idea. It is called Intermittent Fasting and it has become one of the most popular diet trends around today. While it may sound crazy at first, intermittent Fasting can be effective if you know how it works. Let’s dive into Intermittent Fasting and how you can utilize this unconventional diet to your advantage.
Intermittent Fasting is a diet based around cycles of eating and fasting. Rather than worrying about what you are eating, an Intermittent Fasting diet is more focused on when you eat and how much you eat. This gives you the flexibility to incorporate other diets (keto, paleo, vegetarian) into your fasting schedule. When you fast, your body goes through several changes. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels tend to increase which can help you lose fat and gain muscle. Insulin levels also decrease helping to burn more fat. Fasting can also help increase cell repair mechanisms for improved cellular health.
Intermittent Fasting has many benefits. It can help you lose weight without necessarily being on a calorie-restricted diet. Intermittent Fasting can also help reduce LDL cholesterol to prevent heart disease.
The tricky part of the diet is the fasting part. This can be done in a variety of ways but there are 3 main fasting routines that people typically practice. The most popular way is the 16/8 method. This involves not eating for an uninterrupted 16 hours followed by an 8-hour period where you can eat. Most people skip breakfast on this plan and typically eat from 12 pm-8 pm. If you can stomach the wait, the eat-stop-eat method may just be the plan for you. It involves not eating for two different 24-hour windows while eating on a normal schedule through the rest of the week. This usually means eating dinner one day and not eating until dinner the very next day. The 3rd most popular way to fast is the 5:2 method. With this method, you limit yourself to eating just up to 500 calories two different days a week while eating normally the other five days. All three methods provide different rules and illustrate the flexibility of Intermittent Fasting.
Fasting isn’t for everyone. When you start fasting, you will have to get used to the hunger and the new eating schedule. This will take time if you are transitioning from other diets. If you have a history of eating disorders, you should speak to your doctor or nutritionist before beginning any of these fasts. Overall, however, fasting is a safe diet alternative that provides a number of benefits. So, if you are looking for a new diet that allows flexibility in what you eat, Intermittent Fasting is the way to go!