Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. It does not state which foods should be eaten but rather when it should be eaten. It is a described eating pattern that has shown numerous benefits including weight loss, improved sugar metabolism and increased mental acuity.
Intermittent fasting (IF) has recently become one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. It is claimed to effectuate weight loss, improve metabolic health, and perhaps even extend lifespan. As a result many people are beginning to use intermittent fasting to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles.
Weight loss is the most common reason for the adoption of intermittent fasting as it can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake by making you eat fewer meals. Weight loss as a result of intermittent fasting is facilitated by changes in hormone levels; it lowers insulin and increases growth hormone and epinephrine levels, these are fat mobilizing/burning hormones.
Intermittent fasting methods
There are several ways of effecting intermittent fasting, all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods. During the course of the fasting periods, it is recommended you eat nothing at all. Water consumption is allowed at all times. Below are the most popular methods:
The 16/8 method: This involves splitting your day into two, an 8 hour period where you eat and a 16 hour period where you fast. For example you can decide to eat twice between 8 and 4pm while fasting the rest of the time.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. For example you can decide to fast every Wednesday and Friday, you will not eat anything between dinner on Tuesday and breakfast on Thursday and also between dinner on Thursday and breakfast on Saturday.
The 5:2 diet: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
As a result of reduced calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the periods you eat.
Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular. However, it is up to you to choose your most preferred method.
Ikpontu Emmanuela Ifunnaya is a animal scientist who completed her degree from University of Benin. She is a writer, designer and a software developer.
She is a versatile writer and she has written article on several subjects such as health, personal finances, personal development etc
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