Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

April 13, 2021

What is intermittent fasting?

If you’re like me and can’t stand the thought of completely eliminating things from your diet, intermittent fasting may be for you.

Unlike conventional diets, intermittent fasting doesn’t restrict what you eat, but rather when you eat. During intermittent fasting, you only eat in a specific time frame and fast for the rest of that period.

There are typically two approaches:

  • Daily approach: You pick a window of eating. This is often a 6-8 hours window of eating. During the rest of the time (16-18 hours) you fast. Most people tend to align a large part of the fasting hours during sleep hours.
  • 5:2 approach: In this method you eat regularly for five days out of a week. For the other two days, you limit your eating to one 500 calorie meal. For example, you might eat as you normally do Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and fast on Tuesday and Thursday.

Since you restrict the window of time you can eat, intermittent fasting works by reducing your overall caloric intake. But the point is to eat normally during the eating period—it won’t be effective if you compensate for the shorter eating window by eating more food!

Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Intermittent fasting is definitely increasing in popularity these days. And while weight loss is the most common reason people try intermittent fasting, research suggests there are a range of physical benefits associated with this way of eating.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Studies have shown that fasting can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and blood triglycerides, potentially decreasing the risk of coronary artery disease1.

Weight Loss

Short term fasting increases metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories2.

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation is linked to greater risk for chronic diseases, and there is some evidence that fasting leads to reductions in inflammation3.

Improved Brain Health

Animal studies suggest that fasting facilitates the growth of new nerve cells and may protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease4.

Can Help Simplify Your Day

Since intermittent fasting usually means you either skip breakfast or dinner, it equals one less meal prep to worry about. Some find this simplifies their schedule!

When it comes to intermittent fasting, there are quite a few beneficial results reported from animal studies, and some promising results in human studies. More research is definitely needed, but what scientists have found so far looks promising.

Who Shouldn’t Do Intermittent Fasting?

While intermittent fasting can be suitable for many, it’s not recommended for the groups below.

Intermittent fasting is not for you if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are under 18
  • Have diabetes or blood sugar problems
  • Have a history of eating disorders

If you are looking to simplify your eating schedule and want to try a weight-loss regimen, intermittent fasting could be worth trying. Though as always, consult with your primary care physician to see if intermittent fasting is for you.

Mila Meldosian
By Mila Meldosian; All Rights Reserved @2021

Mila MeldosianBy Mila Meldosian; All Rights Reserved @2021

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