Intermittent Fasting is quickly becoming branded as an easy way to lose weight, but is it all that it is believed to be?
Let’s dive in and discover more about it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is a lifestyle choice consisting of not eating anything for a certain period of time, the most common ratio is 16:8, this means that you fast (don’t eat anything) for 16 hours a day, then allow yourself to eat for 8 hours per day. Other popular methods are fasting for one or two, 24 hour blocks during the week; or the famous 5:2 diet which consists of eating 500-600 calories on two days per week, then eating normally for the other five.
The science of fasting
Humans have been inadvertently fasting since the dawn of time, back when we had to hunt and/or forage for food, it was very frequent that we went hours or days without eating.
It’s difficult to say if it is due to these harsh times, but we now know there are a list of benefits to fasting, this list includes:
– Increased Human Growth Hormone – which is important for fat metabolism (using fat as fuel) and muscle growth.
– Lower levels of insulin in our blood – this improves insulin sensitivity and also helps make stored fat more accessible.
– Stabilised cell function – mainly the breakdown of old or dysfunctional proteins which accumulate in our cells.
Extended fasts have also shown to help us remove unwanted toxins from our bodies.
Intermittent Fasting and weight loss
If you do nothing else, Intermittent Fasting will help with weight loss simply because it cuts your calorie intake by restricting the amount of time that you can eat. For instance – you would eat more if you ate solidly for 12 hours a day, compared to 8 hours a day. But having a healthy diet is an important factor of any weight loss journey.
Is Intermittent Fasting for me?
Most people can benefit from Intermittent Fasting but precautions should be taken by anyone that:
– Is pregnant
– Has a very manual job
– Gets lightheaded or faints easily
– Has low blood pressure
– Is underweight
– Is Diabetic
– Have irregular menstrual cycles
Of course, these precautions don’t rule you out if you are one of these people, it simply means that you should consult a doctor before and during attempting Intermittent Fasting.
Some of my clients have also mentioned that they find that they have a lot more energy while fasting, and that they love not having to worry about breakfast every morning.
The only way to know if intermittent fasting is for you is to try it out!
If you need professional advice about your diet and lifestyle, please fill in the form below to arrange a chat with Dan, our health coach.