Why Everyone Is Intermittent Fasting

Not only is intermittent fasting good for weight control but also for overall physical health, brain health and sleep.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you refrain from eating for a period of time and limit food consumption to a few hours a day or a few hours a week.

Instead of focusing on what to eat, intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat

At first, like with any new change in life, it is a bit of a struggle to get used to fasting. However, within a few days your body adapts to this style of eating and your hunger decreases.

During fasting hours, you can only have unsweetened drinks such as water, black coffee and tea.

How does intermittent fasting work?

0–4 hours after eating our body goes into what is called an anabolic phase, where the body uses up the food we just ate to build and repair muscle tissue.

4–16 hours after eating our body then goes into a catabolic state, where the body turns to stored glycogen, fat and muscle. It is important for the maintenance and growth of cells.

If we’re constantly eating our bodies won’t get the chance to be in catabolic states.

Types of intermittent fasting

There are different ways to approach intermittent fasting depending on your goal but only the healthier versions are listed here.

Other versions include fasting for 24, 48 and 72 hours per week which can have extreme side effects.

Time-restricted method

16:8 approach

This first method involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during a window of 8 hours. For example, 11 am — 6 pm or 12 pm — 8 pm.

It is the best method for beginners and the easiest to commit to in the long run. This is an ideal approach for anyone looking to lose weight.

This can be done every day or a few times a week and you can decide on the eating window depending on your lifestyle. If you’re an early riser you may want to start eating earlier.

Twice a week method

5:2 approach

For 5 days of the week you can eat normally but on the 2 fasting days you limit your calorie intake to 500–600, focusing on high-fiber and high-protein meals.

Make sure to keep a non-fasting day in between whichever 2 fasting days you choose. For example, you can choose your fasting days to be Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Benefits of intermittent fasting

  • Reduces insulin levels and insulin sensitivity, helps control type 2 diabetes
  • Better physical performance and endurance
  • Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Issues
  • Boosts working and verbal memory
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Enhances brain function
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Increases cell turnover
  • Improves heart health
  • Prevents obesity
  • Better sleep
  • Weight loss

Who shouldn’t intermittent fast?

  • Those who are underweight and have problems gaining weight
  • Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women
  • Anyone with an eating disorder
  • Children under the age of 18
  • People with type 1 diabetes

In conclusion

Intermittent fasting is a realistic eating pattern that you can incorporate in your everyday life for a long period of time.

I’ve been intermittent fasting (16:8 method) for the majority of the last 2 years. Which method would you try?

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Sharing my thoughts and findings as I embark on a journey to find inner peace using positive psychology.

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Aliya Salim

Sharing my thoughts and findings as I embark on a journey to find inner peace using positive psychology.