Intermittent Fasting (IF) appears to be the most trending diet of our time. It seems that every time we turn around, someone else we know is trying out this eating style. Those who practice the intermittent fasting way of eating, refer to it as a lifestyle rather than a diet program. This leaves us with lots of questions.
Intermittent Fasting 101
I decided to do the research for you and tackle the FAQ’s for you here.
- Are there different types of intermittent fasting?
- What to eat while on IF?
- What are the benefits of fasting?
Fasting is something that has been popular for years. Think back to the cavemen, they had no refrigeration or preservation processes and regularly went long periods without food. It can even be referenced in the Bible and other religious outlets as a way to heal the body and even worship.
So what is modern day intermittent fasting?
When you hear the words intermittent fasting, this eating style is exactly what it sounds like, periods of eating and not eating. This, in turn, reduces your overall daily caloric intake. Anytime you reduce that, you lose weight. But let’s break it down further.
1. Types of IF:
16/8 – This consists of a restricted eating block of 8 hours, 12pm – 8pm while fasting the other 16. This is the most popular, as the fasting block is in the overnight hours while you sleep. Some women modify this form of fasting to 14/10.
Eat/Stop/Eat – You don’t eat for 24 hours for one or two days a week. This form is not as ideal for active individuals or athletes.
5/2 – You consume 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days a week, eating your regular caloric intake the other 5 days.
2. What to eat on IF:
There is no specific list of foods to follow while on IF. However, the individuals who get the best results on this plan are the ones who eat lean proteins and mostly whole foods. Many people who follow a ketogenic diet also incorporate intermittent fasting into their lifestyle, but you don’t have to follow a keto plan with IF. Instead, aim for a healthy, balanced eating plan.
Keep in mind, periods of eating do not include an all-out binge fest. For example, it would not be healthy to “fast” for your 8-hour block only to eat a high calorie, high fat, processed food menu on the 16-hour feeding block. That piece of the program works well for those on and off IF.
3. Benefits of IF:
While weight loss is common with this popular dieting approach, there are other benefits associated with the plan. When you follow a cleaner and leaner menu, you are more likely to reduce your insulin resistance and combat your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Healthier eating plans like IF can also benefit your heart health. Intermittent fasting may reduce LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. It also has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers. Consequently, these benefits will aid you in living a healthier, longer life!
As a personal trainer, I am not qualified to give beyond basic nutritional counseling. If you have further inquiries, please see a doctor or dietician.
Have you tried any form of IF? Let us know in the comments, or talk about it with friends and family on FamilyApp!