What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting alternates between periods of fasting and eating. The approach is based on the concept that human bodies were designed to eat for short periods of time followed by hours, or even days, of fasting.
In intermittent fasting, there are usually no food or caloric restrictions in terms of what to eat or drink, and only restrictions on when to eat and drink. Healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are recommended for maximum benefits.
How Do You Intermittently Fast?
In intermittent fasting, the food or calories are usually not restricted, but there are restrictions on WHEN to eat. For example, eating may be limited to an 8-hour window during the day, with 16 hours of fasting in between.
3 intermittent fasting methods
Popular methods of intermittent fasting include:
- 16/8 daily regimen: of 8 hours of eating followed by 16 hours of fasting
- 5/2 method: eat only 500-600 calories for 2 non-consecutive days, and 5 days of normal eating per week
- “Eat-Stop-Eat” method: two 24-hour fasts per week on non-consecutive days
It can take two to four weeks for the body to acclimate to intermittent fasting.
Fasting for periods longer than 24 hours is generally not recommended because it might be dangerous.
What Are Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
Some research has shown benefits of intermittent fasting such as:
What Are Risks of Intermittent Fasting?
Tell your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting plan because it is not advised for everyone.
Intermittent fasting is not recommended for:
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