What is Intermittent Fasting, and Should I Do It
What is Intermittent Fasting, and Should I Do It?
You’ve heard of fasting and dieting, but have you ever heard of intermittent fasting? It’s a quick and easy way to reap lots of health benefits without changing what you eat. Our ancient ancestors didn’t have supermarkets and restaurants everywhere you turn. They had to hunt and gather what they could to survive. Our bodies are still made for that kind of cyclical eating. We store fats for times when we don’t have food, and we gorge when we have ample food. Use our biology to your advantage to stay thin and healthy.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a new way that nutritionists are treating people who have eating issues. It’s an easy way to help regulate blood sugar and keep your weight down. Instead of eating all throughout the day, you only eat during a few hours of the day. This doesn’t change the amount of calories you consume. You still eat the same amount, but you eat it all within a shorter window.
What are the benefits?
By limiting the number of times you eat, you give your digestive system time to recuperate. Having an extended period of time without eating leaves your body open to focus on repairing and healing. Your intestines don’t have to focus on digesting—they can do the necessary maintenance that it needs. You’ll also have a better digestive life. You’ll be more regular, and not have as much indigestion or acid reflux issues. You’ll might sleep better at night because your body will have had more time to digest the food before you sleep. You’ll also remain fuller longer, and your blood sugar won’t spike or drop as drastically.
What are the hours when you eat?
You want to think about how your typical day is. Do you wake up early and go to bed early? Then your window will look different from someone who has a late start to the day and stays up later. You want to have about 16-18 hours of fasting during the day. Start off with 16 hours, and see if you can whittle it down to 18 over time. For me, I have about a 6 hour window to eat, and I like to eat between the hours of 1-7pm. I have some water or coffee in the morning, and then I have a good lunch, a few snacks, and a good dinner around 7. I still eat slightly over 2,000 calories during that time.
Who is this for?
Many use this technique to help stay trim. While you aren’t eating, your body uses its natural fat stores to pull from energy. It’s a good idea for folks who are looking to lose some stubborn fat, or for people who have digestive issues. There are numerous health benefits that make it ideal for most people. If your doctor has instructed you to eat small meals throughout the day, then intermittent fasting is not for you. There are those who struggle with this style of eating because it takes some planning. If you aren’t able to plan because your schedule constantly fluctuates, then this is not the diet for you.
If nothing else, you can give it a try for a week and see how you feel. To really know if there are any positive benefits for you, it’s best to give it about 18 days. The way we eat and what we eat drastically impacts us. Spend a little extra time figuring out the best nutrition plan for you.