Intermittent fasting is the practice of maintaining overall caloric intake by consuming those calories in fewer meals or in reduced periods of time (time windows).
Studies revealed reducing calories (Calorific restriction diet) every other day was beneficial but not as much as fasting.
There are two ways to begin this fast:
1) Eating regularly during a specific period of time.
For example only eat from 12pm - 8pm (8-hour window). The period of time can be adjusted to a different period of time, for example a 6-hour or 4-hour window of time.
2) 24 hours full fast.
Eating a normal meal at a certain time and then not eating again until the same time on the following day. Example if you eat lunch at 1pm you will not eat any food until the same time on the following day.
Why and how does it work?
Intermittent fasting works by not wasting energy on digestion and focuses on regenerating whatever cells are required in the body.
Benefits of intermittent fasting:
- Helps regenerate cells
- Improving brain function by creating neurons
- Weight loss and maintaining a balanced weight
- Muscle growth
- Increase insulin sensitivity
- Increase growth hormone secretion
- Reduced grocery bills
What you eat after the fast makes a huge difference, in general you should stick to a healthy eating plan. Certain foods and nutrients can impact the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Flavanoids - found in cacao
Curcumin - found in turmeric powder, ginger
Essential Fatty Acids DHA, EPA - eggs salmon sardines linseeds
Fruits berries etc
Vegetables for their nutritional content
Whilst exercise is important, during the fast it is best to avoid strenuous activity. Drinking teas (consider herbal teas) and water is fine on intermittent fasting. Try not to drink anything with high calories, example fizzy drinks, high fructose juices.