What Is Intermittent Fasting?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a blanket term used to describe eating habits that involve a strictly timed period of eating, and a period of fasting.

One of the most common forms of intermittent fasting involves an 8 hour eating period and a 16 hour fasting period. Some individuals will choose to do a 24-hour fasts, either with 5 normal eating days and 2 fasting days, or alternative fasting and eating days. These longer fasts are believed to be more beneficial for boosting metabolic rate and fat loss, however, this can be more difficult to adhere to and less maintainable alongside your regular active lifestyle.

During the eating period, individuals may choose to eat unrestricted or follow some form of macro tracking or calorie restriction. During the fasting period individuals will consume no calories, however, are still allowed to consume water, black tea and coffee, or other zero calorie beverages.

What is the Science Behind It?

There are a lot of fad diets out there, but that doesn’t always mean they have any scientific evidence backing their effectiveness. Often the popularity of a diet fad distorts the facts of how and if they work.

The science behind weight loss or gain are relatively simple – calories in versus calories out. If you consume more calories than you burn, you are likely to gain weight. The opposite is also true, where if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you are likely to lose weight. Intermittent fasting is a way that individuals may be able to reduce their overall caloric intake while still feeling satisfied at the meals they consume.

One issue which has been noted by researchers is that sometimes fasting can be coupled with compensatory overeating. This means that even though the individual adheres to the time limits for fasting, when they do eat they tend to overeat, leading them to not lose any weight.

Why Do People Do It?

Intermittent fasting is a simple way for individuals to change their eating habits and lose weight without any complex calculations. Intermittent fasting generally, unless coupled with macro counting or some form of diet, only changes how you eat and now what you eat. This means that intermittent fasting is a simple and easy method to follow which can still hold meaningful results.

There are also other benefits which have been linked to intermittent fasting, such as improving the effectiveness of chemotherapy, and extending life. However wonderful these benefits may seem, the studies supporting these links are few and far between. Thus the extensive benefits of intermittent fasting are still tenuous.

Should I Try Intermittent Fasting?

There’s more than one way to peel an orange, and in the same vein, there are many ways individuals can reduce their calorie consumption in order to lose weight. Intermittent fasting is just one of the methods people employ to lose weight which is both simple and effective. Depending on the individual and their lifestyle, it can be a highly effective weight loss method.