What actually is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting, like the Keto diet, is a diet that has become vastly popular in recent years. And whilst there have been celebrities who have come out to vouch for the lifestyle choice, many people don’t actually understand the pros and cons of it or the basics of how it works. So here we will look to break this down easily so you can understand and form your own opinion on the matter.

So what is it?

By technicality there are lots of different versions of intermittent fasting, such as alternate day fasting and the 5:2 diet (which is also widely popular). However probably the most notable version is the 16/8 method. As well as this, it is technically not a diet at all and more just a pattern of eating that you choose to follow. This is as intermittent fasting doesn’t really dictate what you can and can’t eat.

The 16/8 method

So what does this actually entail? In very basic terms it means you can eat for 8 hours a day. So the 16 is referring to the amount of hours that you can’t eat for. Or to put it fancily, you fast for this many hours. In terms of its overall structure it can be a great way to prevent yourself from overeating and needlessly snacking throughout the day. On the flip side it could make you vastly overeat in the 8 hour window that you have. So, swings and roundabouts.

(Potential) Pros

  • Help to improve insulin sensitivity
  • Metabolism boost
  • Decrease risk of cancer
  • Help prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Better weight loss than other diets/eating patterns
  • Increase life expectancy
  • Gain super powers

Now whilst we joke and jest we have put the title as Potential Pros as like with all diets there are some claims that are rather outlandish and not very well supported. It is hard to give a definitive amount of research on diets as they effect everyone differently and what works for one person will be useless for the next. So as we have said before, take the benefits of a diet with a pinch of salt as it won’t always be the identical outcome for you.

Cons

As already mentioned this could cause you to overeat due to massive amount of hunger caused by fasting for such long periods that your body isn’t conditioned to deal with. This also doesn’t give you much skill in the way of managing your own intake and making choices based off of how you feel. As with the varying ways we can wake up feeling from day to day, it isn’t always beneficial to us to not eat. Especially if we wake up feeling rough and not alert! Alongside this it could begin to make you wake up later as you are then closer to your eating window. Now not all of us have this luxury but it could definitely influence some of us.

What’s our opinion?

We don’t think restrictive eating is that great. We are more believers in being able to control your own intake and treating ourselves where we choose to. We believe this promotes a more healthy relationship with food. Like with most adaptive ways of eating this diet is working of the basis of cutting calories to lose fat. It’s nothing revolutionary. And as with the supposed benefits, the research is not definitive so we cannot fully comment. It is likely that dieting research will never be fully conformational due to the differing effects it can have on the population.

Although to be sure on whether this could work for you as you feel this regimented access to food would be beneficial to yourself then we recommend to speak to the appropriate health professional first to get conclusive advice.

What’s your opinion on intermittent fasting? Have you tried it?

Share your experiences with us below!

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