This article explains what intermittent fasting is, and why you should care.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods. Most people already “fast” every day, while they sleep. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast a little longer. You can do this by skipping breakfast, eating your first meal at noon and your last meal at 8 pm. Then you’re technically fasting for 16 hours every day, and restricting your eating to an 8-hour eating window. This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, known as the 16/8 method.
Despite what you may think, intermittent fasting is actually fairly easy to do. Many people report feeling better and having more energy during a fast. Hunger is usually not that big of an issue, although it can be a problem in the beginning, while your body is getting used to not eating for extended periods of time.
No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages.
Taking supplements is generally allowed while fasting, as long as there are no calories in them.
Bottom Line: Intermittent fasting (or “IF”) is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It is a very popular health and fitness trend, with research to back it up.
Humans have actually been fasting for thousands of years. Sometimes it was done out of necessity, when there simply wasn’t any food available. In other instances, it was done for religious reasons. Various religions, including Christianity and Buddhism, mandate some form of fasting. Humans and other animals also often instinctively fast when sick. Clearly, there is nothing “unnatural” about fasting, and our bodies are very well equipped to handle extended periods of not eating.
Types of Intermittent Fasting:
Intermittent fasting has become very trendy in the past few years, and several different types/methods have emerged.
Here are some of the most popular ones:
Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, don’t eat anything from dinner one day, until dinner the next day (a 24 hour fast).
The 5:2 Diet: During 2 days of the week, eat only about 500-600 calories.
Then there are many other variations.
Bottom Line: There are many different intermittent fasting methods. The most popular ones are the 16/8 method, Eat-Stop-Eat and the 5:2 diet.
As long as you stick to healthy foods, restricting your eating window and fasting from time to time can have some very impressive health benefits. It is an effective way to lose fat and improve metabolic health, while simplifying your life at the same time.
This article is part of a series on intermittent fasting. Keep posted for more."
He has also just published another article '6 Popular Ways to do Intermittent Fasting' which you can read here
For women reading this and interested in 'IF' Mark at Marks Daily Apple Blog posted an article back in 2012 that you may also wish to read, use this link here