What is Intermittent Fasting and Should You Try It?

Whether you’ve heard of it or not, intermittent fasting is one of the most popular diets being practiced around the world today. A lot of people who do intermittent fasting and aim to lose weight usually find success since it is an effective way to burn fat and reduce overall calorie intake.

How does it work?

Think about it this way, when we sleep for 8 hours at night, we’re actually already fasting. Intermittent fasting evolves from that. The idea behind intermittent fasting basically comes from the fact that different changes occur inside the body when we are not able to eat for a long period of time. This and other processes that occur in the body, then, can contribute to weight loss. When we fast, our blood sugar and insulin levels drop. A decrease in insulin means that the body will have to use fat as its energy source instead of glycogen, meaning you’ll burn fat faster.

How is it done?

What makes intermittent fasting different is that it doesn’t necessarily dictate the type of food you should eat, but rather when you should be eating. You can drink water, tea, or coffee during the fasting period though. Over time, a lot of methods have been developed in regards to intermittent fasting. One of the most popular and probably the easiest to follow is the 16/8 method.

The 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours and having 8 hours to consume food daily. For example, you can have your first meal at 2 in the afternoon and have your last one at 10 in the evening (8-hour eating period) then you fast up to 2 PM the next day (16-hour fast). When you get to your eating period, don’t be afraid to eat a lot. Just make sure that what you’re eating is still healthy.

Is it hard?

Contrary to what people initially believe, intermittent fasting really isn’t that hard. We actually fast without even knowing, like for example if you skip breakfast after sleeping for 8 hours and start eating during lunchtime. What’s hard, though, is fighting the hunger. It is obviously normal to feel hunger especially when you’re just starting out. That’s why it is important to know that you can still drink water, coffee, and tea. You’ll also most likely experience minor headaches in the first 2 or 3 days of intermittent fasting. This is because it takes time for the body to switch its main source of energy from glycogen to fat.

Those who should not intermittent fast…

Those who are underweight or have eating disorders like anorexia are actually not allowed to fast. Pregnant and breastfeeding women who need to provide more nutrients for the baby are also not advised to do intermittent fasting.

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