Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For You?
Intermittent Fasting in the simplest definition is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. This simple hack keeps you in a fasted state while still allowing for the nourishment of your body.
When you’re intermittent fasting (IF), you eat all the food your body needs, but during a shorter period of time.
The 3 Most Popular Methods for Intermittent Fasting
There are several methods to go about IF. Here, we cover the 3 most popular methods:
16:8 INTERMITTENT FASTING
This method involves fasting for 16 hours of the day and having an open eating period of 8 hours. It is most commonly executed by not eating anything after dinner and waiting for lunch the next day before eating again.
16:8 usually follows the following pattern: i) having a first meal at noon, ii) eating a typical dinner at an appropriate time; and iii) not eating anything past 8pm. After 8pm, your next meal would be taken the following day at noon. The resulting pattern yields a 16 hour daily fasting period.
Drinking water can help reduce hunger levels. It is crucial to eat well, and provide your body with sufficient nutrients during your 8-hour eating window. This won’t work if you eat junk food or excessive amounts of calories.
5:2 INTERMITTENT FASTING
The 5:2 method involves eating normally five days of the week, and restricting calories to 500-600 on the other two days.
This method works best for individuals who have a predictable weekly schedule.
EAT-STOP-EAT INTERMITTENT FASTING
Eat-Stop-Eat involves a 24-hour fast, either once or twice a week. For example, if you finish dinner on Monday at 7 pm, and don’t eat until dinner the next day at 7 pm, then you’ve just done a full 24-hour fast!
Your fasting period can commence at the conclusion of any one of your regular three meals. Liquids such as water, coffee, and other non-caloric beverages are allowed during fasting, but no solid foods. TIP: non-caloric beverages containing artificial sweeteners may still produce an insulin response, and may therefore negate any positive results.
This method tends to be the most difficult type of fasting
What are the Risks and Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting?
The IF eating pattern isn’t risk-free, and since this is a relatively new trend, the long-term effects are still unknown.
Some of the side effects you may experience when you’re getting started are:
– Feeling hungry
– You may overeat during your eating periods
– Feeling tired and lethargic
– Feeling irritable
It is also cautioned to be careful about your alcohol intake.
Intermittent fasting may not be safe for all individuals, and is not recommended for those taking food dependant medications, or those with dietary conditions such as diabetes.
According to Nutritionist Kelly Carter, “it may work better for men, as it can affect hormonal balance in a negative way for women if not done correctly.”
If you are interested in trying intermittent fasting click here to book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our Nutritionists for more guidance.