Intermittent fasting is the newest dieting trend that has emerged everywhere we look. When people hear the word “fasting,” they often think of deprivation and unhealthy practices. But research has shown that intermittent fasting may actually be good for your health and help you lose weight as well! Intermittent fasting is not the full lengthy deprivation that many people imagine. Rather it is a more measured and easy approach to fasting that can give you the benefits of this practice but without the risks and with much less difficulty. So, see below to discover more about this practice, its benefits, and how you can get started with intermittent fasting today!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a specially designed pattern of eating in which you fast for short periods of time between meals. Fasting has been practiced for a long time throughout the world and has been a significant component of human culture. In fact, some people say that intermittent fasting is more in line with how animals and early humans ate.
The underlying theory behind intermittent fasting is that after you eat, your body takes a few hours, and a lot of energy to process this food. So, by fasting at particular times of the day, you can use the energy in your body that would usually be used for breaking down food to start breaking down your stored fat instead! Intermittent fasting is also believed to help regulate your insulin levels, assisting you greatly with weight loss and muscle building.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Given the long-held practice of fasting, it is likely that it has minimal risks to the body. Research has shown that it is highly beneficial for your physical health! See below for the top 5 benefits of intermittent fasting:
Reduces the risk of heart disease
Lowers blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
Decreases inflammation and improves immunity
Lengthens the lifespan
Reduces the risk of cancer
How to Practice Intermittent Fasting
There are many ways to practice intermittent fasting, depending on your ability and goals. For beginners, it is better to start with shorter fasting periods and then gradually work your way up to the longer length fasts.
See below for the top 3 intermittent fasting methods:
The 16/8 Method: In this fasting method, you eat for 8 hours during the day and then fast for the other 16 hours. While you are fasting, you can only consume beverages such as water, tea, or coffee. A common way to perform this fast is by fasting until noon and then having your last meal at 8pm. In that style, you will only eat between the hours of noon and 8pm. But you can choose any exact timing that works best for you.
The 5/2 Method: In this fasting method, you eat normally for 5 days of the week, and then on the other 2 days, you consume around 25% of your regular intake. You can achieve this by doing the 16/8 method on those days or any other plan that suits your needs.
The 24-hour Fast: In this fasting method, you eat normally for 6 days of the week and then one day of the week you have a full fast for 24 hours. A 24 hour fast typically starts after dinner one day and ends after dinner the next day. But you can also do breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch fast instead.
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