What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a meal timing strategy in which you alternate between periods of fasting and periods of non-fasting throughout the day. You are essentially consuming calories during a specific window and choosing to fast outside of that window.
What fasting method is best for you?
The 16/8 method
This is the most common fasting method used by those practicing intermittent fasting. This method means that you are fasting for 16 hours in the day thus leaving yourself with an 8-hour eating window. For example; between 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm you will be able to eat and anytime out of this window you will be fasting. This window can be alternated depending on personal preference and lifestyle!
This method does not require you to fast every day but instead, just a few days spaced out per week. For example; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday your eating window would 8-12 hours and your fasting window would be 12-16. This method is similar to the 16/8 method but you are only following it every other day. This is a good starting method for someone who does not want to jump into fasting every day.
24 Hour Protocol (Eat-Stop-Eat)
This requires you to do a 24 hour fast 1-2 times per week. This is a fasting window of 24 hours and an eating window of 0. For example; fasting from 7 pm to 7 pm the next night. I would not do this more than 2 times per week.
Pros of Intermittent fasting and weight loss
Consuming fewer calories
This pro can be quite unintentional but when practising intermittent fasting you are often cutting out one meal per day; this results in fewer calories consumed which will aid in overall weight loss.
Burning stored fat for energy
During the bodies “fasted state” your body doesn’t have a recently consumed meal to use as energy (all of those carbohydrates and sugars are no longer there) thus forcing your body to use the fat your body as stored as the only energy source readily available
Using digestive energy to cleanse the body
A large amount of our daily energy goes towards digesting food. When your body is in a “fasted state” it is able to use this digestive energy to work on things that it usually doesn’t have time for! This can help to reduce inflammation and clean out toxins and harmful bacteria.
When to avoid intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting should not be practiced if you are:
Have a history with disordered eating
Under any chronic stress