Intermittent fasting is not a starvation diet. It is not actually a diet at all. There are special approaches you can take to eating that can improve your health and even help you lose weight.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
There is more than one type of intermittent fasting. You have a number of options. You can choose the option that meets your needs and your personal preferences.
One option is a 12-hour fast. This option may appeal to you because it is simple to put into practice. All you need to do is make 7 a.m. your breakfast time, and make 7 p.m. your dinnertime. Do not eat anything between dinnertime and breakfast the next morning.
A second option is a 16-hour fast. Eat dinner at 8 p.m., and do not eat again until your noontime lunch the next day.
A third option is alternate-day fasting. For this option, you will have a fast day followed by a feed day. During the period of time you are on this fast, you can eat normally on feed days but consume only 25 percent of your usual amount of calories on fast days. Your diet on fast days should consist of vegetables, proteins, and a moderate amount of healthy fats.
A fourth option is the 5:2 fasting plan. You can consume a normal, healthy diet 5 days each week, but limit your caloric intake to 500-600 calories during the 2 fasting days each week.
With these four options to choose from, you can choose the intermittent fasting plan that is right for you.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
There are many health benefits to intermittent fasting. As you will consume fewer calories, you can lose weight. It increases your metabolism, and breaks down body fat. Body fat will be converted into energy. Another reason to choose intermittent fasting for weight loss is it does not result in the muscle loss that can occur with many low-calorie diets.
Intermittent fasting can help control your blood sugar levels, reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, and reduce your risk of kidney damage. It can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in your body. It can help with cell repair, increase your heart health, and may reduce your risk of cancer.
Intermittent fasting helps your brain stay healthy, and may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
With all of these health benefits, it may also extend your lifespan. You may live a healthier, longer life when you practice intermittent fasting.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe?
For most healthy adults, intermittent fasting is a safe practice with many benefits. However, there are some people that need to take special precautions.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should never make any radical changes to their diets or eating habits without approval from their doctors. Individuals who have serious medical conditions or take prescription medications should talk to their doctors before changing their eating habits. Children should not practice intermittent fasting without advice from their physicians.
If you are not in any of these categories, or if your doctor has advised intermittent fasting, it can change your life for the better. You can be much healthier, reach your ideal weight, and increase your chance of living longer.
You may experience a little discomfort or hunger when you begin intermittent fasting, but you will appreciate the effort when you keep the benefits in mind.