Intermittent Fasting Beginner Guide
Intermittent fasting is not a diet. There are no specific foods you need to eat or restrict. There is no rigid calorie counting. As the name implies, it’s a simple cycle of fasting and eating that has been shown to be highly beneficial to overall health.
Intermittent fasting new research has found that it has powerful benefits for the body as well as the brain, in addition to promoting weight loss. Some of these studies also suggest that intermittent faster can improve longevity and guard against aging-related diseases.
If you are new to intermittent fasting and need a few tips to help you get started, look no further. This article contains the bare basics any beginner needs to know.
The 3 most popular intermittent fasting methods:
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting but the 3 most popular are:
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This method involves fasting for a full 24 hours once or twice a week. Typically, people following this method will fast from dinner on one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 method: This is where you consume 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days weekly. You can divide the calories over two or three meals. You eat normally on other days.
- The 16/8 method: With this method, you skip breakfast then restrict yourself to 8 hours of eating for the rest of the day. For example, from 12 noon to 8 pm or 1 pm to 9 pm. In this method the total fasting time is 16 hours.
It’s important to experiment and find a method that works for you.
Is Intermittent Fasting Good For Health?
Studies have shown that fasting can guard against Type2 diabetes by raising insulin resistance in the body. It also promotes cardiovascular health and lowers cholesterol levels.
Other studies have shown that intermittent fasting promotes the production of brain hormones, promotes nerve growth and can protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
One of the most important studies done on animals suggests that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer. The final results have not yet been published.
Does Intermittent Fasting Speed Up Weight Loss?
Intermittent fasting does not slow down metabolism as some people may tend to think. When done over short periods of time, it actually boosts metabolism, promoting significant weight loss and especially belly fat.
Intermittent Fasting Not Suitable For Everyone
Unfortunately, not everyone can practice intermittent fasting. People who have diabetes, low blood pressure or are taking medication should not try intermittent fasting.
People who are underweight or have a history of eating disorders should fast under the supervision of a health professional.
Pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive should not do intermittent fasting.
If you suffer from any other condition, you also need to check with your doctor before fasting intermittently on your own.
Can Fasting Have Negative Effects?
Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has an excellent track record with regard to safety. If you are healthy, there’s no risk involved at all.
The only side effects are hunger, irritability and some lethargy but this will be temporary until your body adjusts to the new routine.
Some liquids are allowed – even recommended during fasts.
Drinking plenty of water is a must during fasts to keep you hydrated and dull hunger.
Other beverages like unsweetened coffee or tea are allowed, but no milk or cream.
Benefits To Intermittent Fasting
As you can see, intermittent fasting is a perfectly safe way for most people to lose weight and improve physical and mental health. There’s no cost or special preparation involved, and no risks or serious side effects if you’re healthy.
All it involves is not eating for a while. If you think you’re up to it, give it a try!