Intermittent fasting has gained traction over the last few years but fasting in intervals was discovered back in 1945 when scientist discovered intermittent fasting extended life expectancy in mice. Since this discovery many have become conscious of the health benefits of intermittent fasting and started trying to incorporate it in their daily lives. Is intermittent fasting for everyone though? It sounds like stuffing and starving. Could that really be beneficial to my health? Let’s go over the most frequently asked questions about intermittent fasting and answer any concerns you may have.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating regime done in cycles, rotating between eating and fasting. Many refer to this trend as a diet, but realistically it is a fasting pattern.
IF commonly is executed using these methods:
- The 16/8– The most common method used for IF. This method involves skipping breakfast and eating all your calories during an 8-hour period, then fasting for 16.
- The 5:2– Method involves eating 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days out of the week and eating normally for the other 5 days.
- The Eat-Fast-Eat– Involves fasting for 24 hours a couple times a week and on non-consecutive days. For example, fasting from breakfast one day to breakfast the next day.
Weight loss is the number one reason people start practicing intermittent fasting but there have been studies that prove IF can have even more health benefits. Eating less calories than you burn is the primary focus of IF. However, when you fast, your body also goes through chemical changes within your cells and hormones. Your HGH hormone, connected with strength and muscle growth skyrockets. Your insulin levels drop dramatically, and studies have also found it could boost your life expectancy. IF has also been linked with a reduction in cancer, improved brain health, reduction in inflammation, and improved heart health.
Eating healthy can be easy for a short period of time but as time goes it can get harder and harder. That’s why setting yourself up for success is the number one thing you can do before deciding to embark on your IF journey. At first studies showed that IF and eating less every day had similar results when it came to weight loss. However, people had real trouble with the fasting.
New studies have found that not all IF methods are the same and some methods are considerably more reasonable and sustainable then previously thought. A University of Alabama study found that simply eating earlier in the day and less at night had dramatic health benefits, especially in diabetics.
In conclusion, IF can be a reasonable way to lose weight. However, you should always consult your doctor before you start any new diet regime. This is what Monique Tello, MD, MPH and Contributing Editor of Harvard Health concludes about here research surrounding IF
“So, here’s the deal. There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting (IF), when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes. (However, people with advanced diabetes or who are on medications for diabetes, people with a history of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not attempt intermittent fasting unless under the close supervision of a physician who can monitor them.)”
4 Ways to Use This Informatin for Better Health
- Avoid sugars and refined grains. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (a sensible, plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet).
- Let your body burn fat between meals. Don’t snack. Be active throughout your day. Build muscle tone.
- Consider a simple form of intermittent fasting. Limit the hours of the day when you eat, and for best effect, make it earlier in the day (between 7 am to 3 pm, or even 10 am to 6 pm, but definitely not in the evening before bed).
- Avoid snacking or eating at nighttime, all the time.
Many of us have trouble making smart nutrition decisions. If you are having trouble meal prepping or setting up meal plans, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer. You might think you only need a personal trainer to gain muscle. Wrong! 80 percent of living a healthy lifestyle is diet!
Come into Iron Orr Fitness today to receive your FREE consultation! We will give you a medical grade body composition test, 20 min workout, and develop a nutrition plan.
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