Whilst many people are intimidated by the thought of fasting, associating it with long periods of feeling starving and restricting yourself, this doesn’t have to be the case.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
To put it simply, intermittent fasting is a popular health and fitness trend, or rather practise, that involves alternating between periods of fasting, and periods of eating. Despite common misinterpretations, periods of fasting don’t need to be hugely extensive, in fact, the most popular form of fasting is known as the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8–hour window. The good news is, the fasting period includes the time that you spend sleeping, so you can spend time reaping the benefits without having to put in any effort!
Another misconception is that intermittent fasting involves eating next to nothing. Whilst some people choose to skip meals (most commonly breakfast), many other people continue to eat their usual 3 meals a day, but during a smaller time frame.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has number of benefits, from the way your thinking adjusts to the way your body behaves. Fasting for a certain number of hours during the day is a good way to practice self-control and the ability to resist temptation, skills which are transferrable to many other aspects of life. It is also known to be incredibly good for your digestion, proving to be beneficial to people who suffer with issues including regular bloating and IBS.
Additionally, if you want to lose weight, intermittent fasting may be able to offer a helping hand. As there are certain hours during the day that you won’t be eating, there is less scope for constant picking and snacking throughout the day. Fasting allows for the body to undergo a cleanse and burn fat whilst doing so, with studies showing that amongst weight loss, other benefits include the improvement of metabolic health and even protection against diseases.
Fasting may be difficult at first as you get used to not eating whenever you fancy it, but many report feeling better after giving it a go and even say that they have more energy. After all, it’s not like our bodies aren’t capable of fasting, we are naturally prone to do so when ill, would historically only eat when food was available and many religions fast periodically.
Intermittent fasting may actually be easier than you first thought, as although you won’t be able to eat during fasting periods, you can still consume non-caloric drinks including water and black coffee/tea. In addition, there are also apps that can help including ‘Zero’, which can track fasting periods as well as your weight and how you are feeling, allowing you to gradually reduce your eating window with ease.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? If so we’d love to hear about your experience!