Intermittent fasting is the practice of not eating for a set period of time, which can vary based on which method of intermittent fasting you are using. Intermittent fasting has proven to help people lose weight and the most recent studies are showing that there are many other health benefits to intermittent fasting as well.
So, what are the benefits of intermittent fasting to your health? Intermittent fasting can lower insulin resistance, reduce incidence of breast cancer and other types of cancer, can improve brain health, and may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It has also shown to be beneficial to heart health and cellular repair which can reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis and other diseases. There is also evidence that it reduces blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol levels, and may increase life expectancy.
There are so many potential health benefits that there seems to be no reason not to give it a try. So, how do you start intermittent fasting? First, you have to decide how you want to do it because there are several different methods.
Fast for 12 hours
This type of fasting is pretty easy – you simply fast for 12 hours each day. For example, you would eat dinner before 7:00PM in the evening and then not eat anything for 12 hours until breakfast at 7:00AM. This method has been shown to be helpful for weight loss.
Fast for 16 hours
This type of intermittent fasting has been shown to be especially helpful for those who did not lose the weight they wanted with a 12 hour fast. Some people’s bodies need the extra four hours to show significant results. This is commonly referred to as the 16:8 diet, and it has been shown to be highly effective in reducing weight and blood sugar no matter what foods are eaten as long as the fast lasts for 16 hours. This type of fast is perfect for someone who might not normally eat breakfast anyway. An example of how this plan would work is to have dinner by 8:00PM and then no food until noon the next day.
Alternate day fasting
This method of fasting involves eating every other day. Some people who use this method only have liquids on fasting days, and other people allow themselves 500-600 calories from food per day on fasting days. This type of fasting has been shown as an effective tool for losing weight and heart health, but it may be a bit extreme for fasting beginners.
This form of fasting is considered an excellent first step and an introduction to intermittent fasting as a lifestyle. Basically, with this type of fasting, you eat when you are hungry but skip meals when you are not. When you use this method it is important that all of the foods that you eat at each meal be healthy if you want to lose weight and see other health benefits.
These are just a few of the intermittent fasting methods. If you would like to use this method of dieting to lose weight, control blood sugar, or for the other health benefits, do a little research and see what method would work best for you. As intermittent fasting gains in popularity, there are many resources available to help you along the way.