Intermittent fasting, which is sometimes also referred to as intermittent energy restriction, is defined as, “an umbrella term for various meal timing schedules that cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period”. This is a type of health trend that has become very popular in recent years. Many people use intermittent fasting as a form of weight loss, which it can be very effective for, but there is much more to intermittent fasting than just losing extra weight. Intermittent fasting has some real interesting nuances that you may not have ever considered before, as well as many benefits and some cautions, too.
Did you know that there are several varying methods of intermittent fasting? Perhaps the most popular method is one that is referred to as “The 16/8 Method”. People who engage in this fasting method tend to miss the breakfast meal of the day, and eat only during the afternoon and evening hours. Basically, no eating, or very little eating, for a 16-hour period, and then normal eating during an 8-hour period. During the 8-hour period, experts recommend eating the same amount of food that you would normally eat, prior to beginning this fasting method, and not gorging yourself on extra foods that you feel were missed during the 16-hour absence of food.
Another popular fasting method is referred to as “The 5:2 Diet”. This fasting method involves eating as you normally would for 5 days of the week, while the other 2 days of the week, you limit your caloric intake to approximately 500-600 calories, for the entire day. An important note is that the 2 lighter days of this plan should not be consecutive days of the week.
One other fasting method is called “The Eat-Stop-Eat Method”. With this type of method, a person can fast for a 24-hour period, typically once or twice a week, but not on consecutive days. An example of this method is when someone eats a nice, fulfilling breakfast, and then does not eat again until the next days’ breakfast meal.
Intermittent fasting can be very useful for losing weight, as the main goal with all of the fasting methods, involves a person lowering their caloric intake, thus shedding pounds that they no longer wish to carry. There are other benefits from intermittent fasting, too, including; reducing inflammation in the body, reducing blood sugar levels, and reducing cholesterol levels, as well.
Although there are many benefits that are associated with this type of eating, and living, method, it is not a style that is appropriate for everyone. People who should not consider intermittent fasting include children, teenagers, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and people who are malnourished or are deficient of certain nutrients.
There is a vast array of diet plans and eating habits that people can benefit from, and perhaps even lose weight from, but each individual must find the eating plan that will work for him/her as an individual person. The best plan is to find something that is suitable for your body type, and that you can stick with for a certain amount of time. Whether your goal is to shed a few pounds, or to change your lifestyle entirely, it is important for you to consider all of your options, before making a solid commitment.
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