What is Intermittent Fasting and what are its benefits?

Nowadays, Intermittent Fasting has become one of the hot topics in terms of weight loss programs and nutrition information. Contrary to its popularity and while it seems to be a new weight loss regimen, it is not actually new.

The concept has been around for ages particularly in some religions and cultures wherein no drinking / eating for a certain period of time are a norm.

Currently, Intermittent Fasting (or IF as popularly known) is a little bit different in terms on how it can have benefits on weight and the overall health of an individual.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is basically an individual restraining himself from eating on a certain set schedule but with some intervals or variations along the way. Below are some of major types of Intermittent Fasting:

  • Time-restricted fasting – This method requires one to fast for at least 12 hours and up to 16 hours a day. Fasting is usually started during sleep time and ends the next day, requiring one to skip breakfast and resume eating at around lunchtime. This will then give an individual around 7 hours or so to eat until they start to fast again at the end of the day.
  • Modified fasting – Also known as the 5:2 diet, this method allows 25% of the recommended daily calorie requirements on two consecutive days, then followed by five consecutive days of eating normally as per recommended daily calorie intake.
  • Alternate fasting – This method is the more flexible diet as it can be switched from time to time. Some days could be consuming zero-calorie diets at one point and go on eating normally the next days. Some variations include high fat or ketogenic diets while on the days that they are off from fasting. Some could only last for hours before going back to eating normally, while some even lasts for days or weeks.

What are the intermittent fasting benefits?

Since the concept of Intermittent Fasting is “eating less”, it is pretty straightforward that it will avoid those excess calories that could harm the body in one or the other. One of the most significant impacts from this diet is weight loss, in which is directly translated from the lesser calorie intake. It would be easier to lose weight rather than doing straight low-calorie diets. Another benefit would be the improvement of total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

All in all, IF is a viable diet method that one should try out in order lose weight and improve their whole well-being. It can be abused in one or another though, so it is best to have an Intermittent Fasting guide prior to performing.

If you are thinking of starting IF but not sure where to start, I would recommend Eat Stop Eat which can provide step by step approach to successful IF.