If you’ve heard of intermittent fasting as a weight-loss strategy and brushed it off as just another passing fad, hear us out. After all, fasting is nothing new. Humans have been doing it for centuries, either out of necessity when food wasn’t always readily available in 3 squares a day or for religious or spiritual reasons.
Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity because it can be an effective method to shed pounds and reduce inflammation, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and even some symptoms of asthma.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
The basic premise behind intermittent fasting is to restrict calories some of the time and resume your normal eating habits the rest of the time. So, there are no restrictions on what you eat, rather, when you eat. While some fasting methods allow for some calorie consumption during the fasting times, all intermittent fasting methods allow for unlimited coffee, tea, and water intake to keep you hydrated and energized.
Three popular fasting methods
This method allows you to eat normally five days per week and restricts your calories the other two days. On fasting days, men can consume 600 calories, women are allowed 500 calories.
Alternate day fasting involves fasting one day and eating normally the next, and so on. While some versions are restricted to only calorie-free beverages on fasting days, modified versions allow 500 calories on fasting days.
Time-Restricted or 16/8
The 16/8 method restricts your eating period to an 8-hour window during the day, leaving the remaining 16 hours for fasting. Let’s say you wrap up dinnertime at 7 p.m. each night, your next meal will be at 11 a.m. the next day. So, you’re essentially skipping breakfast. Many find this is the easiest fasting method to adopt, but if you are accustomed to eating breakfast first thing in the morning, it may take some getting used to.
Some people have found fasting to be more effective than other calorie-cutting measures. The hard boundaries around when to eat made it easier to stick to the plan. By exercising self-control during fasting times, they found that they made better food choices during eating times.
Since all of these methods reduce overall calorie intake, all of them should result in weight loss, increased metabolism, and a host of other health benefits.
To learn all about the benefits of intermittent fasting, if it is right for you, and how to begin, contact our team at Apex Personal Training.