You’ve heard about intermittent fasting and if you’re an old and loyal reader on the blog then you’ve also heard that I’m stepping into the world of intermittent fasting. I keep using this term but you keep asking yourself, ‘What exactly does intermittent fasting mean?’
Intermittent fasting is subsequently alternating between periods of eating and periods of fasting. Rather than minding what foods you it is entirely focused on when you eat these certain foods. We all fast in some way or another every time we sleep, intermittent fasting in theory is simply prolonging this fast. The most common fast which you will come across is the 16:8. This basically represents 16 hours of fasting with an 8 hour slot for eating. Over time,this fast has proven to be the most common due to the scientific research behind it (on the next blog). Studies show that the most EFFECTIVE fasts are ones which are held for a period of 16 – 18 hours. However, you will find that most or nearly everyone that intermittently fasts have always increased fasting periods gradually over time rather than throwing themselves straight into it. The smallest fasting period which can also be stated as ‘effective’ is 12 hours. Therefore a cycle of 12:12 would be the best to start on if you are a beginner.
During fasts, no food is allowed to be consumed (obviously), water, tea, coffee and any other non-alcoholic beverages are allowed. Although intermittent fasting seems like a long time without any food, our bodies adapt very quickly and if you are including your sleep time at night as your fast (which is generally the thing to do otherwise you’d be fasting twice in a 24 hour period and that would NOT be okay) – it makes it all the easier.
Alongside the most obvious benefit of intermittent fasting weight loss, other benefits are present such as fat loss, increased metabolic health, increased energy levels during the time of fasting, increased protection against disease, and the most recent studies (although not yet official) show that intermittent fasting may even help you live a little longer!
So there’s my introductory run down on the intermittent fasting definition and what it actually means, on the next blog post I’ll be writing all about the specific science behind the practise. I mean, at the end of the day, that’s basically what you guys really wanna know, right?
Are any of you intermittent fasters? Have you seen any other benefits other than those I’ve stated? Comment them to me, I’d love to know!