In the world of fitness and dieting, there are topics that could be discussed for days on end. Different workout techniques, a plethora of diets that are “guaranteed” to work, and what supplements and powdered drinks you should be utilizing.
Everyone is different, and finds their perfect fitness solution on their own time (usually by trial and error). One of the more interesting topics within the fitness world right now, intermittent fasting, is a technique that has been used for years, but comes with some controversy. But what exactly is intermittent fasting? Is it an effective weight-loss solution, or just another popular fitness trend?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, in simple terms, is the process of fasting for a given period of time. As simple as it sounds, there are multiple methods that one can take when practicing intermittent fasting. For example, a common method practiced is utilizing the fact that at night, we are most likely sleeping, thus, not eating and technically in a fasted period. Individuals that take part in this type of fasting will usually just extend the fasted period during sleep, by a few extra hours. This could be done by eating a final meal shortly before bed, and not eating again until close to noon the next day. For many, this is the easiest fasting method to conquer.
Additionally, other popular fasting methods consist of alternating your eating and fasting days; meaning on at least two days during the week, you complete a 24 hour fast. Those that don’t want to complete a 24 hour fast, can limit their caloric intake on two days a week, to about 500-600 calories. The idea behind all of the listed methods, is to limit your caloric intake during a specific period of time.
If you are fasting, it is wise to adopt healthy eating habits. Foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients can provide you with natural energy, and assist you in the process of fasting. Overall, it is important to remember that each body is different. Fasting may significantly benefit one person, but not be a favorite method for another; in lieu of this, always make sure to conduct the appropriate research on any dieting technique before diving in.
Scientifically, intermittent fasting has been proven to contribute to weight loss, and doesn’t prove to be dangerous when done correctly. However, you should consult your doctor before making such a major change to your diet.