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What Is Intermittent Fasting?

by | Aug 1, 2020 | Blog, Healthy Living

If you are on a journey to lose weight or even to just live a healthier lifestyle, intermittent fasting is something for you to look into. There are many studies that are put together that show the benefits of this style of eating. Intermittent fasting is a great option for a lot of people and at Cool Springs Chiropractic in Franklin, TN, Dr. Peter Hintz can help you figure out the details of how it works.

Intermittent fasting is the process of having a specific eating schedule that you follow, where you have a planned eating window and a planned fasting window. There isn’t a set time to follow, you choose what works best for your lifestyle. By simply cutting out breakfast in the mornings you can be fasting for a typical 16/8 schedule. 

intermittent fasting

How To Intermittent Fast?

There are a few variations of times that are common to do while fasting. You have to decide what is most doable for you. Any of the methods can be successful, it’s just finding one and sticking to it. Following the times is important to see results. Here are some examples of times:

  • 16/8 method- This is where you will have a 16-hour fasting window and an 8-hour eating window. This is probably the simplest one to follow and start out with. 
  • 5/2 method- This one is a little more tricky. You will follow a schedule of normal eating 5 days a week and then fast for 2 days a week. For men they recommend 600 calories that day and women 500 calories that day.
  • Eat Stop Eat- When you do this method you will eat a normal diet for 5 days a week and then fast for 24 hours 2 days a week. The only thing that you are allowed during this time is zero-calorie fluids. This is a method that would not be recommended to go full force into for beginners.  
  • Alternating Fasting Days- 24 hours of fasting or restricted calories followed by 24 hours of normal eating. It is possible to go to bed hungry at times while following this method. That can leave you feeling uncomfortable. This method wouldn’t be something that you want to do as a beginner.
  • The Warrior Diet- This method follows a schedule of one large meal a day usually in the early afternoon. You are allowed to eat a small number of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Keeping that one meal as clean and healthy as you can. 

What Can I Consume During Fasting Hours

Depending on the method that you are following will decide on what you are able to consume. With most methods, they recommend to only have water, tea, and coffee. You are also allowed to have no-calorie drinks. 

There are a select few of the methods that will allow you to have a small amount of food during the fasting windows. For instance, you are allowed to have some fruits and veggies in small amounts in some methods. If you take supplements you are able to take those as long as they are calorie-free. 

Benefits Of Fasting

There are many benefits that you can see from fasting, one study showing it can give you a longer lifespan. Not to mention it can take some stress off of you when meal planning, there are 1-2 fewer meals a day you have to plan for. There have been many studies done that show a list of health benefits that you can have from these methods. Some of the many benefits that you can see for intermittent fasting are

  • Weight loss
  • Increased Metabolism
  • Enhanced Mood and Clarity
  • Reduce Hunger
  • Reduction in Blood Sugar
  • Increases Human Growth Hormone

Is It Better To Skip Breakfast or Dinner?

Choosing which meal is best to skip comes back to what works best for you. Is it hard for you to get in a healthy breakfast, or is it better for you to eat dinner in the evening? Sometimes people prefer to eat dinner because it helps them to not snack in the evenings. 

There are studies showing that it may be beneficial to eat breakfast and lunch, that way you have consumed your calories before 3 in the afternoon. When you eat lunch and dinner, your heaviest meal is most likely going to be dinner. 

Exercise While Fasting

When you are intermittent fasting it is a good idea to plan your workouts to be an hour or two before you have scheduled to break your fasting window. It has been proven that you will burn more fat and calories when you perform a fasten workout. It is okay to do cardio while fasting, just make sure that you are keeping yourself hydrated. 

What Happens To My Body While I Intermittent Fast?

There is a whole list of things that go on within your body when you are intermittent fasting. When you are fasting there is a process going on that is breaking down the carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose is used for energy in your body or it is stored and used for fat later on. When you are not consuming food the body’s cells are not allowed to use insulin to take in the glucose. 

Will I Always Have To Fast?

When you start an intermittent fasting schedule, you may be wondering how long you have to do it. Is it something that you are starting as a new normal or is it that something you are doing for a short period of time to lose weight? It all depends on your reasoning for starting this style of eating.

If you are trying to lose weight, it takes time. The recommended time to stick with the method is 10 weeks to see results. Following the method for health reasons may result in you following it indefinitely. There aren’t any negative side effects from it, so you shouldn’t be concerned about health risks.