Intermittent fasting is one of the most googled phrases relating to weight loss in 2019. It became so popular it was even the topic of a review article in The New England Journal of Medicine. You might think it was one of those crazy fad diets that run rampant through Hollywood and appears in a myriad of influencer Instagram posts. But no, in fact, intermittent fasting is something that might even be considered an ancient secret to health and longevity.
How It Works – Understanding The Benefits
There are two main ways to practice intermittent fasting: the 16:8 method which allows you eight hours per day to eat and sixteen where you only take in water, and the 5:2 method where you choose two days during which you only eat one moderate-sized meal. The most widely recommended is the 16:8 method and here’s why. The liver has energy stores that last up to ten or twelve hours before metabolic switching takes place and you start burning fat. Allowing for this metabolic switch to take place requires limiting the hours during which you consume food. In the studies done, it was shown that it can have a few possible outcomes that are positive. It can help stabilize blood sugar levels, decrease blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels, suppress inflammation, improve the health of one’s brain and even improve memory!
Who Loves It
While any diet should be considered with caution and one should always consult health practitioners when considering such a drastic change, intermittent fasting is something widely considered an option by dieticians. The reason for this is that the diet does not demand strange eating patterns or the exclusion of any food groups. Instead, it simply limits the time in which you consume the foods of your choosing. Researches suggest that anyone trying to adopt this diet should start slowly – give yourself time to adapt. Start with 14-hour fasts five days a week and slowly introduce the other two hours after the first month. Just like with exercise, your body needs to grow accustomed to this new lifestyle change. At first, you may find yourself grumpy but after a while, that goes away. You have to stick with it! While you aren’t eating you must be very conscious of the fact that you need to take in fluids. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Coffee and tea are also acceptable and, if you are doing an extra-long fast, broth can also help carry you through.
So there is a method to the madness after all! Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Kourtney Kardashian all have super toned bods thanks to how they incorporate intermittent fasting into their lifestyles. It is also a common practice in numerous religions. A good example of this is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. It has a proven scientific explanation behind it and it is fairly simple to use, just exercise caution if you have any conditions such as hypoglycemia, and above all do it for your health!