Intermittent fasting has been such a popular weight loss method that its own popularity somehow backfired and delivered it straight into the sweet embrace of oblivion. Diet fads continue to plague the Internet while we’re sitting here and wondering, “But what about IF?” In other words, we’re not surprised if this is your first time hearing about it. Thus, if this is the case, we’re going to provide the basics of what makes this method so popular and why it might be for you too.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Rather than a diet per se, you could more appropriately say that intermittent fasting (shortened as IF) is a diet pattern.
Its premise gravitates around a cycle of eating and fasting, which is meant to keep your calorie-intake under control. As a result, this warrants weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. Unlike your typical diet, it doesn’t present to you a list of foods which you should eat. In fact, it doesn’t even bring in discussion a number of calories. This falls in your hands. All you need to do is to be extra mindful of when you eat and how you do it.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
Methods are many, which allows you to pick whichever variant benefits you the most. What they all have in common is their structure: splitting days or weeks into fasting periods and eating periods. We’ll provide examples of the most popular methods, which will surely help clear some confusing aspects.
- Leangains: Also known as “the 16/8” method, it’s one of the lightest options, which also makes it one of the most popular. It might be a bit of an odd protocol since it involves breakfast, a typical nutritional taboo. After that, you limit your eating period to 8 hours a day and then fast for 16 hours (sleep included) in-between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice every week, fast for 24 hours. This 24-hour period can be something similar to eating scarcely or nothing at all since right after dinner until dinnertime next day.
- 5:2 Diet: Choose two non-consecutive days of the week and eat no more than 500-600 calories.
In all of these cases, the key is to not binge or overindulge the days you are eating normally. Keep your calorie intake under control and abide by the rules of classic diets, avoiding foods on the blacklist of any weight loss diet.
How Intermittent Fasting Helps Weight Loss
This method does two major things: it increases your metabolism and, hence, makes you burn calories better and it reduces calorie intake since you eat fewer meals. These two factors combined greatly benefit weight loss, especially when paired with an efficient exercise routine.
It’s actually as easy as it gets, but only as long as you follow basic rules. Don’t overindulge and avoid bad foods.
Intermittent fasting has a premise which has its roots in ancient times, when humans couldn’t afford the organized 5-course diets we turn to today. Although beneficial to your figure, due to its nature, you should absolutely consult a doctor regarding whether it’s the approach for you.