Intermittent fasting has become a popular method for managing weight and creating healthy eating habits. If you struggle with following strict diets or counting calories, intermittent fasting could be the perfect lifestyle change to help you break unhealthy habits. In this article, we’ll be answering some frequently asked questions regarding intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or “IF” can’t be described as a diet since it does not focus on what you do or not eat. Instead, IF focuses on when you eat. Participating in IF involves scheduling “eating windows,” during which you consume all your necessary calories for the day. Once the eating window is over, you then refrain from eating until the next scheduled window arrives.
How long is a typical fast?
Intermittent fasting can follow a variety of patterns. Some of the most popular are eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 or fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. Intermittent fasting patterns can be adjusted to suit almost any schedule. For example, if you work from 8:00-5:00, you can break your fast during your lunch break and eat your final meal of the day when you arrive at home. If you work the night shift, you might eat a meal at 6:00 pm and another at midnight. Consistency is often the key to success, so forming a regular routine can help you unlock the full potential of intermittent fasting.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
Before you commit to intermittent fasting, it’s important to understand exactly what you stand to gain from the experience. Fasting on a regular basis changes how your body and mind process and react to food. When you eat, your body goes through a cycle. First, it digests all the food in your stomach. Then, your body uses the energy gained from that food to begin repairing your cells. During a fasting window, your body is forced to draw from stores of body fat. When you fast for an extended time, your insulin levels also drop which prompts your body to use the fat already at its disposal.
Because intermittent fasting can change how your body processes the food you eat, it can be an effective method for achieving weight loss. As your body uses up its stores of fat, your body mass index (BMI) will go down which can provide numerous health benefits, including increasing your stamina, lowering cholesterol, and improving heart health.
Is intermittent fasting right for you?
Intermittent fasting can be a solution for those who need to add some structure to their eating patterns or who are experimenting with different ways to lose weight. If you are being mindful and deliberate about when you eat, you are likely to make better choices when it comes to eating well and not overeating. Limiting yourself to a specific eating window might also help you to avoid eating when you are bored or stress-eating. However, intermittent fasting isn’t always a quick and easy solution. According to registered dietician Shanna Hutcheson, “there are many other factors that go into weight management and overall well-being, including the quality of your diet (not just the window in which you are taking in calories).” If you think intermittent fasting might be beneficial for you, discuss your options with a physician, dietician, or another healthcare professional that you trust today.
Dietician - https://www.hellospoonful.com/blog/intermittent-fasting/