If you have been paying attention to diet trends within the last few years, you may have already heard of, or even tried, Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent Fasting is a relatively new concept that took on some popularity back in 2012. Some health professionals say that Intermittent Fasting can help you in a multitude of ways if you are able to keep up with the strict eating windows that some plans follow. This article will explain what Intermittent Fasting is and how some evidence suggests that it could be healthy for some individuals.
Intermittent Fasting is a diet where individuals will restrict their calorie intake to a certain window of time. One of the most popular forms of Intermittent Fasting is 16/8. Sixteen hours of fasting and an eight-hour window of eating. Another more recent form or Intermittent Fasting is the 5/2 window. The 5/2 method of Intermittent Fasting isn’t so much about the hours of your eating window but rather the days in which you decrease your calories anywhere from 500 – 600 calories. That decrease in calories would happen two days out of the week, leaving you five days to eat your normal range of daily calories. This form of dieting has raised a lot of questions in the medical community about its legitimate health benefits or lack thereof.
A study in 2018 has shown that when people participate in Intermittent Fasting, they have an increase in insulin sensitivity, a lowering in blood pressure, and a lowering in hunger during the evening hours of the day. This study was conducted with two control groups, one fasting for twelve hours a day and the other for sixteen. Each group showed progress in the areas listed above, but the second control group showed more progress in terms of insulin sensitivity and blood pressure levels because of the longer time fasting. The study has people either fast from 8 pm – 8 am or 2 pm – 8 am. Early morning eating as opposed to starting your fast later in the evening has shown signs of pairing up with our circadian rhythm and our ‘natural’ eating hours.
Whether you decide to undertake Intermittent Fasting or any other form of diets, it is important to remember a few key rules for any diet. Try to stay away from refined sugars and grains and replace them with any kinds of fruits or vegetables. Aim for lean proteins, and healthy fats, and try not to snack between meals. Eat full, and whole meals and your meals should be able to fill you up until your next one.