Intermittent fasting is a popular health trend which I often get asked about. I have put together some information that can answer some of the common questions.
The main health benefits of intermittent fasting are;
Weight loss – intermittent fasting can help you lose weight
Insulin resistance – helps protect against type 2 diabetes
Inflammation – reduced inflammation can prevent many chronic diseases
Heart Health – may reduce LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides
Cancer – studies suggest IF may reduce risk of some cancers
Brain Health – may aid grown of new nerve cells and prevent against degenerative disease
Anti-Aging – studies show IF could increase lifespan.
Intermittent fasting is a term for eating patterns that revolve around periods of fasting and eating.
Three popular methods of Intermittent Fasting are:
1. The 16/8 Method – also known as the Leangains protocol. This regime involves fasting for (14 hours women) and (16 hours men) and then “feeding” for the remaining 8 to 10 hours. You would restrict your daily eating period to 8 hours. You would feed your body from 1pm through till 9pm at night. For example you would skip breakfast then have lunch at around 1pm and dinner at the usual time. This routine is performed daily.
2. Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
3. The 5:2 Diet: This involves consuming 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week.
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone and not all methods are suitable for each individual. If you are interested in trying IF I would start with the method that most appeals to your lifestyle.
If you are underweight, or have a history of eating disorders then you should not try intermittent fasting.
Some women do not respond well to intermittent fasting due to their hormonal makeup. Bottom line is going without food for short periods of time will not do you any harm but if you have any underlying health issues you should consult your health professional before beginning.