What's the deal with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is one of those buzz-worthy health trends everyone’s talking about. People are turning to intermittent fasting for a number of reasons. From weight loss support to reduced inflammation, intermittent fasting is thought to be the new 'it' way to start your day and boost overall health.
But, what’s really the deal with intermittent fasting? Is it all that it’s cracked up to be? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, aka IF simply means cycling between periods of eating and periods of fasting. And, it seems like everyone and their mother is talking about trying it or making it a regular part of their healthy lifestyle.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
The research is out-intermittent fasting does hold quite a few health benefits.
- May Boost Fat Burning: One of the biggest reasons people do intermittent fasting is to help support fat burning, and there’s actually some research to back this up. Intermittent fasting has been found to help lower insulin levels, and lower insulin levels equals improved fat burning. Plus, short term fasting, like IF has also been found to boost your metabolic rate, which means you may actually help your body burn more calories. Win, win.
- Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and with more than 100 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes, it’s super important to take the necessary preventative steps. In addition to a clean and well-balanced diet, intermittent fasting may also be able to help slash your risk of type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar
- Lower Inflammation: With inflammation at the root of nearly all disease seen today, an anti-inflammatory diet is a must for overall health, but intermittent fasting may be a great complement to a healthy diet as well. Studies have found that intermittent fasting can help fight off inflammation and even reduce oxidative stress, two key parts of protecting your body from chronic disease.
Boost Brain Health: In need of a brain health tune-up? Intermittent fasting may be able to help. It’s thought to help boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). We need enough of this brain hormone for memory and learning, so you may be able to give yourself a little boost by implementing some intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.
How to Intermittent Fast
Ok, so we get that intermittent fasting can hold some pretty awesome health benefits, but how do you actually do it?
There are a few different methods, but if you are new to fasting, you probably want to start with the easiest way which involves extending your natural fasting state (aka the time you are sleeping.) So, instead of waking up and eating your breakfast, you would hydrate and fast until lunch. Spreading your fasting state out over the hours of 8 PM and 12 PM gives you 16 hours of fasting time without having to try too hard.
Feel like you can’t quite get to that 16-hour mark? Don’t sweat it, aim for a 14-hour total fast to start out with, and work your way to 16.
Once you have this method down, and you’re ready to up your game a bit, here are some of the other methods of intermittent fasting.
- 5:2: This approach allows you to eat normally five days per week, and then restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 for two days of the week.
- Alternate-Day Fasting: With this approach to intermittent fasting, you would fast every other day.
Eat-Stop-Eat: With this method, you would do a 24-hour fast twice per week.
Drink Your Water!
It’s important to remember that you can still drink water, black coffee, or tea while intermittent fasting. Not only can you, but it’s essential as staying hydrated is a key part of intermittent fasting success.
Be sure to fill up that water bottle a few times during your morning fast. Not only will you feel better during your fasting time, but you will be supporting your body with the much-needed hydration it needs, especially while fasting.
Read more about How Much Water You should Really Drink.
The Bottom Line
So many people are raving about intermittent fasting and how much success they are having. If you are looking for something to supercharge your diet a little bit further, consider giving it a try! Just as long as you are optimizing your meals with nutrient-dense foods while you are not fasting, it may hold some really impressive health benefits.
And while you are not fasting, try our delicious plant-based Veestro meals.