Intermittent Fasting: Yay or Nay?
If you haven’t already heard, intermittent fasting is all the craze right now. So the question is, is it worth it? Here’s everything you need to know:
What It Is
Intermittent fasting is not actually considered a diet but instead a pattern of eating. There are a few different methods to intermittent fasting, but the most popular one is the 16/8 rule in which you restrict your eating to an 8 hour period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. While that may seem like a long time to go without food, you’re actually sleeping for a good portion of those 16 hours. This means some people may eat their final meal at 6 then wait until 10 in the morning the next day for their next meal. Or you could do 7 to 11 or whatever other variation works for you. During the fasting period, you can load up on all the water and sugar free coffee or tea as you want (well, in moderation, of course).
There are several reasons health professionals say fasting can help with your overall health and weight loss. When your body is in a fasted state for a long enough period of time, it allows insulin to burn off excess fat. It also allows your cells to repair themselves and improves gene function which can help prevent disease and lead to a longer life.1
Check out this TED Talk to learn more about the science behind what practicing nurse and nutritionist, Cynthia Thurlow, calls a “transformational technique.”
The Pros and Cons
Intermittent fasting is most commonly used to lose weight because it reduces the number of calories you consume. Goodbye late-night snacks, hello new you!
Like any lifestyle change, intermittent fasting is only effective if you don’t overindulge during the 8 hour period. Focus on high quality, protein packed meals and appropriate portions. Be sure to include lean protein like chicken and fish as well as a hearty serving of vegetables.
While there are numerous benefits to intermittent fasting, the research on it is still new so there could be unknown risks. It’s also not for everyone, so be sure to consult with your doctor before trying it.
So the question remains, is intermittent fasting right for you? Only you can make that decision. But, by weighing the pros and cons and understanding the science behind it, you can be on the way to a happier, healthier you!
- Nashua Nutrition