What is Intermittent Fasting?

intermittent fastingIntermittent fasting has become a go-to for losing weight, breaking through weight loss plateaus and boosting overall health. It’s different than a diet—it’s a pattern of eating. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat; it changes how and when you eat. This makes it an excellent complement to actual diets like keto and other low-carb diets.

Intermittent fasting offers many benefits. It helps banish belly fat, improves body composition and promotes cellular repair, while reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. Intermittent fasting can also reduce insulin resistance, which decreases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Some early research in rats even shows that intermittent fasting, through caloric restriction, may even extend lifespan.

Intermittent fasting is basically an extension of the “fasting” period that takes place when we sleep. It’s easy to implement and modify for almost any lifestyle. Its popularity has prompted the development of several different protocols. They are all effective methods— it’s up to you to find the one that best fits your lifestyle.

If you’re ready to get started, here are a few ways you can try intermittent fasting.

The 16/8 Method

The most well-known method of intermittent fasting involves eating all your meals in an eight-hour window and fasting for 16 hours. During the eating window, you can easily fit in two to three meals so you don’t feel deprived. Also known as the Leangains protocol, this method is ideal for people who work during the day since it can be as simple as eating an early dinner and skipping breakfast. You can drink non-caloric beverages like water, tea and coffee during the fast, which helps stave off hunger. NOTE: Women have been shown to do better with shorter fasts of 14 to 15 hours.

WHAT ABOUT BREAKFAST? I’m sure you, like everyone, has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that it’s unhealthy to skip breakfast. No one seems to know where it came from, but strong suspicion lies at the doorstep of the cereal companies. No rigorous or reliable studies have shown that skipping breakfast is detrimental. Eating less frequently is more likely to fit with our developmental profile. As hunters and gatherers, it was highly unlikely that we were eating three meals per day.

The 5:2 Method

This form of intermittent fasting is simple: eat normal five days out of the week and restrict calories for two days. On fast days, it is recommended that women eat 500 calories and men eat 600 calories. The fast days do not need to be consecutive.

Alternate Days Fasting

The basis of this method is to eat normally one day and semi-fast the next. On the fast days, you would consume 500 calories. This can be a little more difficult than other methods, but it definitely helps achieve weight loss results.

Eat-Stop-Eat

This straightforward method involves simply fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. It doesn’t matter if you do breakfast through breakfast or dinner through dinner, as long as you hit the 24 hour mark. You are encouraged to drink water, tea, coffee and other non-calorie beverages during the fasting period. This is one of the more difficult methods to execute and requires serious discipline.

The Warrior Diet

This protocol is based on the diet of ancient warriors who hunted and gathered during the day and feasted at night. It involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and veggies during the day and one large meal at night. You’re essentially fasting for about 20 hours during the day and eating at night, within a four-hour window. Developed by fitness expert and renowned author, Ori Hofmekler, this method focuses on unprocessed foods, similar to the paleo diet.
With each of these methods, it’s essential to consume mostly healthy foods during your eating window. These methods won’t help you lose weight if you’re eating excessive calories, carbs, sugars and junk food when you’re not fasting. Visit this link to learn about our weight loss clinic and how we can assist you with reaching your weight loss goals.

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