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Intermittent Fasting 101 — The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

What Are Some Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?

You’ll Lose Weight Fast!

While some people say that IF isn’t effective at losing weight because you need to consume enough calories to maintain your current weight, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Studies have shown that IF does work and will lead to significant weight loss.

You’ll Improve Your Health!

Research shows that IF improves your immune system, lowers blood pressure and helps you burn fat while increasing energy levels.

You Can Live Longer!

There is evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting can increase your lifespan by up to 60% (4).

You’ll Feel More Energetic! Most people find that they have more energy during their fasts. It also helps to keep you focused and motivated while providing long-lasting energy during your feeding window.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

Before we get into the types of IF, let’s go over the basics. Intermittent fasting works on a cycle:

  • Eat your meals (or not) within a specific time period
  • Refrain from eating food for a period of time

Repeat As you can see, this is very simple and can be integrated into your lifestyle relatively easily.

Now let’s look at some of the different types of IF and how to do them.

Types Of Intermittent Fasting

There are many different types of intermittent fasting, each with their own pros and cons.

We’ll look at each one in a little more detail below: 1. The 16/8 Method The 16/8 method requires you to fast for 16 hours and only consume calories during an 8-hour window. In practice, this looks something like: Breakfast: 8am

  • Begin Fasting: 8am
  • Breakfast Ends: 4pm
  • Begin Eating: 4pm
  • End Eating: midnight

This type of IF is very easy to implement as it fits into most people’s schedules and requires minimal preparation or planning.

There are several different variations of the 16/8 method, but the main rule is to fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window. 2. The Eat-Stop-Eat Method The eat-stop-eat method requires you to fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week.

For example, you might eat dinner on Monday night and not eat again until dinner on Tuesday night. During this 24-hour period you should only drink water and no other drinks or food. Like the 16/8 method, there are several different variations of the eat-stop-eat method, but all of them require you to go 24 hours without eating. 3. The 5:2 Diet The 5:2 diet, as the name implies, requires you to eat 5 days a week and fast for the other 2 days. On your “eating days” you can eat what you want, but on your fasting days you must restrict your calories to around 25% of your normal intake.

As an example, if you usually consume 2,000 calories per day, you’ll only be allowed 500 calories per day for your fasting days. You can spread these calories out throughout the day or eat all of them at once, but you cannot exceed this 500-calorie limit.

This type of fasting has been shown to have several benefits for your health and is generally easier to implement than other types of IF. 4. The Eat-Stop-Eat Method for Women The eat-stop-eat method is exactly the same as the regular eat-stop-eat method, except that women have a 12-hour window in which to fast and men have a 16-hour window. There is some evidence to suggest that women may benefit from a shorter fasting window.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

As we’ve seen, there are many different types of IF. Each one is slightly different and some are more effective than others. But how do they all work? Well, each type of IF works on a cycle: Fasting Window: You fast for a set amount of time

You fast for a set amount of time Eating Window: You eat any calories your body needs to recover and thrive During your eating window, it’s recommended that you only eat nutritious foods and supplements. However, it is fine to indulge in “treats” during this window. Many people also like to fast through the night and only eat during the day, which can help with weight loss and making fasting a little easier.

 

Sources:

Metabolic effects of intermittent fasting (RE Patterson, DD Sears – Annual review of nutrition, 2017 – annualreviews.org)
https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634

Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes (MP Mattson, VD Longo, M Harvie – Ageing research reviews, 2017 – Elsevier)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163716302513

Effects of intermittent fasting on health, aging, and disease (R de Cabo, MP Mattson – New England Journal of Medicine, 2019 – Mass Medical Soc)
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmra1905136

Cardioprotection by intermittent fasting in rats (I Ahmet, R Wan, MP Mattson, EG Lakatta, M Talan – Circulation, 2005 – Citeseer)
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.320.1078&rep=rep1&type=pdf

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