A Fast Take on Intermittent Fasting
For many modern individuals, sticking to a healthy diet can be the most challenging part of the total wellness journey. Focusing so much on what and how much to eat, counting calories, tracking macros, and figuring out how you’re supposed to cut up a raw beet are all common obstacles (okay, maybe they’re not all that common) we face in approaching our food in a “healthier” way.
Intermittent Fasting, for some aficionados, offers a new way around the hurdles of healthy eating. Instead of focusing all of your attention on what you’re eating, intermittent fasting puts the emphasis on when you’re eating. By alternating between periods of eating and not eating, we train our metabolisms to act faster, thus leading to weight loss and other health benefits.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When you practice intermittent fasting, you pick an alternation schedule that works for you. Practitioners of “the 16/8 method” choose to restrict their eating to eight hours in the day, capitalizing on the time that we naturally spend fasting every day (when we’re asleep). For example, you might restrict your meals to the hours of noon to 8:00 PM, and only drink plain tea or coffee in the morning and water at night.
Alternative methods include “the 5:2 diet” (in which you eat only 500-600 calories twice a week) and “the eat-stop-eat” method (in which you participate in a 24-hour fast once or twice a week by not eating dinner and eating nothing until dinner the next day). Pick your method based on what best suits your lifestyle and your schedule.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?
Our bodies naturally fast when we’re sleeping, which helps the metabolism kick into action and process the day’s calories overnight. By “hacking” your metabolism, you encourage it to work harder during certain hours of the day, resulting in impressive health benefits — the most popular of which being increased weight loss.
According to Healthline, intermittent fasting can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, reduce inflammation, boost your brain and heart health, and even increase your life span and reduce the risk of cancer! These health benefits are increasingly under careful scrutiny, with new studies and reports hitting health and wellness circles every day.
IS IT SAFE?
Any drastic dietary change should only be approached after consulting with your doctor or nutritionist, and intermittent fasting is not for everyone. Not eating for hours at a time poses some health risks, but these are easily avoided with careful planning and consideration. A critical factor in intermittent fasting is making sure to stay hydrated, especially when you’re first starting out. Drops in your blood sugar can lead to dizziness and, in extreme cases, fainting spells, so be sure to plan out your fasting periods around a schedule that works for your lifestyle, exercise routine, and work schedule.
What’s your fast take on intermittent fasting? Do you have a story to tell about the role it’s played in your wellness journey? Contact the F3 Team today to learn more about our nutrition offerings, and to discuss whether intermittent fasting is right for you.