What Should I Know About Intermittent Fasting?

I know you have heard of Intermittent Fasting by now, Dr. Oz has even been talking about it recently. Dr. Oz thinks in 2020 we should just cancel breakfast completely and all take up fasting. But, Intermittent Fasting can be more than just giving up breakfast. There's a few things you should know though before you jump into this new craze!


There has been quite a bit of research regarding intermittent fasting. Multiple questions have risen on if it is healthy, or if it is just another fad diet. There are several different ways to start the intermittent fasting diet. If you do decide to do it, then there are several things that you need to know.


First is the fact that most people associate intermittent fasting with eating in an 8-hour window 8:16 and fasting for 16 hours per day. Fasting can be 12:12, 10:14, 8:16, 6:18, or any amount of time you wish to go without eating with the remainder of the 24-hour day as the consumption time. This may be extremely challenging for a lot of people, especially at first. Things that should be considered, are that your breaking of the fast, starts the timer for your consumption. When you eat your last bit of food for the day, is when the fasting begins. If you start eating at 7am, and you are on an 8:16 ratio, then the last time you can eat anything for the day is 3pm.


One of the next most important things to know is the short-term effects of the diet. Some of these effects are changes in mood, extreme hunger, binge eating behaviors, anger, fatigue, low energy, and confusion. Many different reasons for this exist; but most of them are psychological. Knowing that you are restricted on eating, leads to thoughts of food crossing your mind, and affecting your thought process. Knowing that you cannot eat, or that you are calorie restricted in certain times, leads to frustration or anger as your body works to process the changes that you are forcing upon it. As your body works through the initial weeks of the dietary change, the metabolism makes the change very difficult for some.


As the consumption window opens, it is very easy for those that are not careful, to overeat in order to make up for the times that they had not been able to do so. Recommendations for beginning the intermittent fasting diet are to start slow and then work as your body adjusts to a stricter diet. By starting with a 12-hour fasting period, and introducing your body to it, then you can find the time that is optimal to start the ending of your fast in the mornings.


After fasting this time period for a month, work to increase the amount of time that you are fasting to figure out what works best for your schedule and body. Some of the long-term effects of the diet are reduced appetite, increased insulin response, and overall weight loss if you can pair the intermittent fasting with a well-rounded diet plan.


Other key questions that are brought up regarding intermittent fasting are: • Can I eat whatever I want? • Can I still workout? • Do I have to do this forever? • Can I fast if I am diabetic?

While you can eat whatever you want, unless restricted for other health reasons, it is best to follow a well-balanced diet. While you can still workout, it will be difficult to predict how your body’s energy levels will react, especially at first. It is recommended that all efforts are made to continue with the normal habits of your daily life as you begin intermittent fasting. While it may not be feasible to complete this diet daily; some research shows that if you fast two days a week, it can work to provide slight health benefits.


This diet program is not recommended for diabetics, type 1 or 2. The prolonged periods of time that your body is needing nutrients can be detrimental, dangerous, and potentially deadly.


Before starting an intermittent fasting diet, it is important to consult a doctor or registered dietician to ensure that you can live healthily.

Have you ever tried IF or are you planning on adding fasting to your routine? Let me know in the comments!

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