What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
It doesn’t matter which foods you choose to eat, but rather when you choose to eat them.
There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.
Many people already fast everyday accidentally, while they sleep. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast a little bit longer.
You can do this by skipping breakfast, eating your first meal at noonish and your last meal at 8pm.
This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, known as the 16/8 method.
Despite what you may think at this point, intermittent fasting is actually pretty easy to do. Many people report feeling better and having more energy in a fasted state. This is huge in Silicon Valley right now.
Hunger is usually not that big of an issue, although it can be a problem in the very beginning, while your body is getting used to not eating for extended periods of time.
No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages.
Taking supplements is generally allowed while fasting, as long as there are no calories in them.
Why should you fast?
Humans have actually been fasting for thousands, if not millions of years.
Most of the time it was done out of necessity, when there wasn’t any food available to eat.
In other instances, it was done for religious reasons.
Humans and other animals also often instinctively fast when sick. I especially know this to be true for me.
Clearly, there is nothing unnatural about fasting, and our bodies are very well equipped to handle extended periods of not eating because it’s built into our DNA.
All sorts of processes in the body change when we don’t eat for a while, in order to allow our bodies to thrive during a period of famine.
When fasted, we get significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as a drastic increase in human growth hormone (HGH).
Many people do intermittent fasting in order to lose weight, as it’s a very simple and effective way to restrict calories and burn fat.
Others do it for the metabolic health benefits, as it can improve various different risk factors and health markers.
There is also some evidence that intermittent fasting (or eating less in general) can help you live longer. Studies in rodents show that it can extend lifespan.
Some research also suggests that it can help protect against diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and many others.
Other people (like myself) simply like the convenience of intermittent fasting.
It is an effective way to make your life simpler, while improving your health at the same time. The fewer meals you need to plan for, the simpler your life will be overall.
Not having to eat 3+ times per day also saves time. A lot of it!
Here are some of the most popular forms:
The 16/8 Method: Fast for 16 hours each day.
Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, don’t eat anything from dinner one day, until dinner the next day (a 24 hour fast).
The 5:2 Diet: During two days of the week, eat only about 500 calories.
Then there are many other variations.
I’m personally a fan of the 16/8 method, as I find it to be the simplest and the easiest to stick to.
I pretty much naturally eat this way. I’m usually not very hungry in the morning, and don’t feel the desire to eat until about 1-2pm.
Then I eat my last meal somewhere between 8-9 pm, so I end up instinctively fasting for 16ish hours every day.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, or improve your health, or even just make your life more simple, why not give it a shot?