What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
But why is it worthwhile to change when you’re eating?
Well, most importantly, it’s a great way to lose weight without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to almost nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start fasting. (Most people eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame.) Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while still losing body fat.
The Intermittent Fasting Methods
There are many different ways of fasting, all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods. During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.
These are the most popular methods:
- The 16/8 method: This involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1-9 p.m or 12-8 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting can help you lose weight
Many who try intermittent fasting are doing it in order to lose weight. The bottom line is, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals. Unless if you compensate by eating much more during the other meals, you will end up taking in fewer calories.
In my opinion, one of the main benefits of fasting is the simplicity of it. I personally do the 16/8 method, where I only eat during a certain “feeding window” each day. The single best “diet” for you is the one you can stick to in the long run. If intermittent fasting makes it easier for you to stick to a healthy diet, then this has obvious benefits for long-term health and weight maintenance.
Intermittent Fasting can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has become incredibly common in recent years. Its main feature is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance. Anything that reduces insulin resistance should help lower blood sugar levels and protect against type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.
Intermittent Fasting can lower oxidative stress and inflammation
Oxidative stress is one of the steps towards aging and many chronic diseases. It involves molecules called free radicals, which react with other important molecules (like protein and DNA) and damage them. Several studies show that intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s resistance to oxidative stress. There has also been evidence that intermittent fasting can help fight inflammation, another contributing factor to all sorts of common diseases.
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Annie is our Business Development Manager here at GourmetFuel. Annie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Innovation at the Technology University of Dublin. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked for a successful start-up company based in New York City where she gained valuable experience in product development, food safety, and allergen management and control. Her areas of interest are food business sustainability, health promotion, and nutrition research.
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