Intermittent Fasting: Everything You Need to Know

Intermittent fasting is a widespread diet among celebrities and those losing weight successfully. However, not everyone can handle it.

You are probably aware that this type of diet involves going without food for a particular period of time. But, what is intermittent fasting exactly? Here’s how it works.

What is Intermittent Fasting Exactly?

It is a type of diet centered around an eating and fasting plan. To clarify, it allows you to consume food only during specific hours throughout the day.

Different kinds of intermittent fasting are available out there for you to follow. The 5:2 diet is one of them. On this plan, women tend to eat less than 500 calories (600 calories for men) for two days per week (non-consecutive). Therefore, you might eat less than 500 calories on Monday and Wednesday, and then eat normally throughout the rest of the week. The 5:2 diet does not require eating specific foods.

Another type of fasting diet is the 16:8 diet. This last requires you to eat only for 8 hours a day and fast for the 16 hours left. But don’t worry, you would be sleeping for part of those 16 hours. That way, you won’t have to think about food the whole time.

A “fast diet” also includes the 24-hour fast. As its name indicates, you must abstain from food for the whole day (once a week). On the other hand, no one expects you to survive on just water. Some people have lemon juice, tea, coffee, or any other sugar-free and non-caloric drinks.

Is Weight Loss Possible With Intermittent Fasting?

You will definitely lose weight while fasting. However, not enough proof is available to make us believe that this is the best way to lose weight. As a matter of fact, in 2018, the JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports published research and proved that intermittent fasting has similar results compared to calorie-restrictive diets.

To add, other cases proved that intermittent fasting was not a sustainable diet. According to JAMA Internal Medicine (2017), there was no big difference in weight loss between those who fasted every other day and those who followed a calorie-restricted diet. To add, almost 38% of individuals who fasted had trouble sticking with this particular diet.

In short, you can lose weight while fasting, but, watching what you eat every day will lead to similar results. It is important to mention that, you might gain double the weight you lost while fasting.

Will You Have to Avoid any Foods?

The huge plus of intermittent fasting is that you can eat whatever you want within a specified window of time. That said, many people combined intermittent fasting with other types of diets (i.e. keto diet).

You are not required to follow any specific diets along with fasting, but balancing what you eat will no doubt help you get faster results.

What About Side Effects?

You might experience a few things while following this specific diet. One thing you must keep in mind is that fasting will increase your hunger and cravings. Once off fasting, you might get obsessed with food.

Some people find it easier to control their cravings and food desires while fasting, yet, extended fasts can lead to disrupted sleep, mental fogginess, decreased alertness, and affect your blood sugar levels.

Should You Try Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is considered to be best suited for overweight/obese people, or for those suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other weight-related cases.

Everyone can try intermittent fasting. It’s definitely not easy to go without food for a long period of time, but it does get easier with time.

In any case, make sure to contact a specialist first for better guidance.

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