26-Oct-2020 - 3 min read
*Intermittent Fasting: Here's what you should know*
You've probably heard a lot about this Intermittent fasting, but what is it exactly? Is it safe? And does it mean you can't eat?
Here’s everything you’ll need to know before heading into the unknown.
▪ What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction is an eating plan that switches between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. Intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
▪ How does Intermittent Fasting work?
Intermittent fasting focuses on improved physical and biological health by regularly deciding dieting schedules between feast and fast.
It works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
▪What is allowed during Intermittent Fasting?
Water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted. Some forms of intermittent fasting allow small amounts of low-calorie foods during the fasting period.
▪ Intermittent Fasting Patterns
There are many types of Intermittent Fasting eating patterns, and some are more restrictive than others. It’s important to check with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting.
Here are some of the several different types/methods that have emerged;
❇ The 16/8 Method: This involves fasting for 16 hours each day. It requires that you restrict your eating window to just 8 hours. It’s very important to primarily eat healthy foods during your eating window. Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast. You can drink water, coffee, and other zero-calorie beverages during the fast, if this is a struggle.
❇ Eat-Stop-Eat: This method doesn't provide a consistent daily fast schedule. It involves a 24-hour fast once or twice per week. By fasting from dinner one day to dinner the next day, this amounts to a full 24-hour fast.
❇ The 5:2 Diet: During 2 days of the week, eat only about 500–600 calories. For example, you might eat normally every day of the week except Mondays and Thursdays.
❇ The Warrior Diet: It is otherwise known as the fast all day and feast at night method. It involves eating small amounts of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating one huge meal at night.
❇ Alternate Fasting: This entails rotating days of eating and days of fasting. On fasting days no foods or beverages with calories are consumed. On non-fasting days, you can eat whatever you want (healthy eating is advised) Eventually, you would have cut the total number of calories that you typically consume.
❇ Spontaneous Meal Skipping: Skipping one or two meals when you feel inclined to do so is basically a spontaneous intermittent fast. You can do this by skipping one or two meals when you don't feel hungry.
▪ Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
❇ *Weight Loss*: Intermittent fasting enhances hormone function to facilitate weight loss.
❇ *Enhances Better Sleep*: Intermittent Fasting regulates circadian rhythm, which determines sleep patterns. A regulated circadian rhythm means you’ll fall asleep easily and wake up feeling refreshed.
❇ *Boost Brain Function*: Intermittent fasting may improve mental acuity and concentration.
❇ *Cancer Prevention*: Research have shown that alternate-day fasting may reduce cancer risk by decreasing the development of lymphoma.
❇ *Reduces Insulin Resistance*: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels, at least in men.
❇ *Enhances Heart Health*: Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
▪ Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting
Here are the side effects that the diet is likely to cause;
❇ Unhealthy diet
❇ Changes in menstrual cycle
❇ Mood swings
❇ Hair loss
Common Intermittent Fasting Myths and Facts
Myth: Fasting makes you overindulge
Fact: You’ll probably eat less, not more, on most intermittent fasting protocols.
Myth: It's for everyone.
Fact: While fasting is safe and healthy for most people, certain groups should steer clear. These groups include: children, pregnant women etc
Myth: Fasting makes you lose focus
Fact: Burning body fat also produces ketones—tiny molecules that fuel your brain with clean, efficient energy.
Myth: You shouldn't drink water while fasting.
Fact: Fasting has a diuretic effect, restricting water can lead to dangerous dehydration.
You can also download the CareClick app to speak with a doctor anytime and anywhere.