What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting is a type of eating pattern that includes an eating window and a period where you fast for many hours at a time. The key here is not necessarily what kind of food you eat, but rather, when you eat it.
It might seem strange to go without food for so long, especially since we are taught to eat three meals per day, or many smaller meals throughout the day to keep our metabolism going. The thought of being hungry after not eating for such a long period might seem uncomfortable and off-putting. That is, until you learn about the benefits of intermittent fasting.
The benefits include:
- Regulating blood sugar
- Increasing fat burning and muscle gain
- Increasing cellular repair
- Aiding weight loss
- Reducing inflammation
Methods of Intermittent Fasting
There are several ways to go about fasting, including the 16/8 method, the eat-stop-eat method, and the 5:2 diet.
The 16/8 method of intermittent fasting includes a “eating window” of eight hours, and then fasting for the rest of the time (16 hours). For example, you may choose to have your first meal anoon and end by 8pm, and then fast the remaining hours.
You may find it difficult in the beginning, and you can alter the ratio of eating to fasting in the beginning. For example, you can fast for 14 hours and eat for 10, until your body has gotten used to the change. If you choose to try intermittent fasting at PhySlim, one of our healthcare professionals can help you find the balance that works for you.
The eat-stop-eat method includes a 24-hour fast one or twice a week. That means you eat normally for five days out of the week, and then for two days you will put your body through a 24-hour fast.
Many individuals might find that this is a more challenging fast, but water, coffee, tea, and other noncaloric beverages are allowed. You cannot eat any solid food or high-calorie liquids during your fasting period.
The 5:2 diet involves eating normally for five days out of the week and restricting calories for two days out of the week. For women, that means eating 500 calories per day during those two days, and for men, the calorie count bumps up to 600.
There are many different ways to go about intermittent fasting and working with a healthcare professional at PhySlim can help ensure you find the right method that works for you. Your doctor will also be there to ensure that you are following a plan that is tailored to you, even if you have a health condition.
Food to Eat During Intermittent Fasting
While it does not matter what you eat as much as when you eat during intermittent fasting, you do want to make sure you are sticking to healthier food options while you are in your eating window. There really are no rules or restrictions about what you should consume during your eating window, however, by choosing nutritionally-dense foods, you can not only lose more weight, but also feel healthier.
Some of the best foods to include in your diet during intermittent fasting include avocado, fish, cruciferous vegetables, potatoes, probiotic-rich foods, eggs, and whole grains.
Intermittent Fasting with PhySlim
Your PhySlim specialist will help you understand what method you will be following, take your health conditions into consideration, and work with you to develop an intermittent fasting plan that can help you lose weight and feel healthier.