With all the diet trends today, choosing the best one for you may be quite tricky. For some people, cutting certain types of food can be challenging and could also have adverse effects on the body. If you’re looking for an eating habit that would improve your overall health and help you reach your body goals, consider intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has evolved throughout the years, but its main goal never changes — it aims to improve your health and maintain the lifestyle that you want. In this article, The Skinny will give you a deep dive into intermittent fasting — what it is, how to do it, and its benefits. Let’s get to it!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF is an eating pattern that cycles between fasting and eating. This eating pattern doesn’t specify what foods you can eat; it tells you instead when to eat them. So strictly speaking, IF isn’t necessarily a diet, but in a more conventional sense is a more controlled eating pattern.
How Can I Incorporate Intermittent Fasting In My Life?
There are two ways to incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle. You can have daily time-restricted feeding or follow the 5:2 approach.
With time-restricted feeding, you narrow your window during which you can eat, and it usually happens six to eight hours a day. As for the 5:2 intermittent fasting approach, you can only eat one moderately sized meal on two days each week.
Either approach is good, depending on your lifestyle, because either way, when you’re in the fasting period, your body slowly burns the glucose stored in your liver.
Generally, it takes 10 to 12 hours to use the fats your liver stored for energy; this process is called a metabolic switch. And you don’t let this happen when you follow the three-meals-a-day eating pattern because it doesn’t allow your body to run through the energy stored in your liver.
What Are The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
There are several benefits you get from following IF. Here are some things intermittent fasting can do:
- Promotes healthy eating and nutrition;
- Stabilizes your body’s blood sugar level;
- Increases resistance to stress;
- Suppresses inflammation;
- Decreases blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
- Improve resting heart rate;
- Improve your brain’s health and memory;
- Manages weight loss;
- Promotes physical activity and endurance;
- Lowers your risk of obesity-related diseases;
- Reduces overall calories;
Are There Side Effects I Need To Know?
Because intermittent fasting could be a sudden change from your lifestyle, it’s important to know that you may experience a few side effects while your body adjusts to this change. Here are some side effects you may experience when you do IF:
Though this may sometimes get in the way of your daily activities, know that these effects will usually go away within a month. Even with these side effects, IF is still safe for many people; however, it may not be a great option for everyone.
For example, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, skipping meals and fasting may not be a good option. Additionally, if you have pre-existing conditions like kidney stones, gastroesophageal reflux, diabetes, or other medical issues, speak to your doctor before you try IF.
The Bottom Line: Intermittent Fasting is a Great Way to Manage and Control What You Eat
If you’re thinking of a sustainable way to control your body’s intake of food and drinks, intermittent fasting is a great option. Besides giving you a plethora of body benefits, it also promotes healthy eating and nutrition, giving you loads of long-term gains.
Of course, you need to speak to your doctor regarding your concerns and if your body is equipped for long-term fasting.
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