Author Kali Segieda / Category Health & Nutrition / Published: June 18, 2020
Most likely you’ve already heard the buzz around intermittent fasting. And now you may be wondering, what are the health benefits? How can it work for me? In this post, we will be going over how to utilize intermittent fasting to achieve your health and weight-loss goals!
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Unlike other diet plans, intermittent fasting does not tell you exactly what to eat. Rather, it tells you when to eat. When you are fasting, you only eat during a specific time frame and abstain from food for the rest of the day. Think of it more as an eating pattern rather than a diet.
The most common “pattern” is the 16/8 method. This means that you are fasting for sixteen hours, and then eating within the remaining eight-hour window. Typically with this method, people skip breakfast and choose to eat from 12-8 p.m. However, this is completely dependent on you and what your schedule is like. For example, if you are getting up at 5 a.m. you might not want to wait until 12 p.m. to eat. Instead, you could alter your eating schedule to 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Most people find the 16/8 method is the easiest way to remain consistent over time.
And of course, when you do eat, eat smart! After a day of fasting, it is natural to want to go crazy when you are finally able to sink your teeth into something. But be strong, sis! Make sure you are controlling your portions, making healthy food choices and avoiding stuff with little to no nutritional value.
PRO TIP: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to curb those hunger pangs! It will also start flushing out your system and removing toxins.
Fasting has been used since ancient times when people would go hours, or even days, without food. They believed fasting not only helped them physically, but increased their spiritual and mental health, as well.
So What Are the Health Benefits?
Some of the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting include:
- Weight Loss: Eating late at night can cause unnecessary weight gain because your metabolism naturally slows while you sleep. So simply sleeping on an empty stomach can be great for maintaining or losing weight!
- Heart Health: Fasting lowers “bad” cholesterol, which in turn can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke. Start incorporating preventative measures into your life, especially if you are still young, so you won’t be at risk for heart diseases later on in life.
- Insulin Control: Fasting can lower blood sugar and can protect against Type-2 diabetes.
- Mood Control: Fasting has been shown to significantly improve sleep quality. Consistently getting good sleep can reduce feelings of depression, lethargy and anxiety.
Intermittent Fasting Is NOT for People Who:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Are already diagnosed with diabetes
- Have low blood pressure
- Are underweight
- Have an eating disorder
To Fast or Not to Fast?
Overall, before you start, you should identify your personal goals and determine why you are thinking about trying intermittent fasting. If you are trying to lose weight or improve your health, then this might be for you. However, if you are looking to gain muscle and bulk, you might need the extra calories at different times during the day so a meal plan may work better for you. Listen to your body and, of course, always ask your physician before you start any fasting regimen or diet plan!