Intermittent fasting became a huge trend a couple of years ago. Everyone who wanted to lose weight, and some who already had, were implementing intermittent fasting. Intermittent Fasting is a varying meal schedule that cycles between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period. It goes back to the age old weight loss principle, consume less calories than you burn. When you’re skipping a meal, you will be consuming less calories and allowing more fat burning time for your body. The prolonged time your body has when you skip a meal will allow more time to burn through their fat stores. But what are the other effects of intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting has plenty of health benefits. It can help with disease prevention and lower disease risk. It can help control diabetes, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. It has also been found to increase time spent asleep, which can be a huge help in exercise recovery and reduction in blood pressure. Intermittent fasting can also increase the rate of neurogenesis, which is the growth and development of new brain cells and nerve tissue, and improve body composition.
It has lots of benefits, but there are definitely some cons you’ll want to be aware of before you decide to implement this in your life. One con with intermittent fasting is hormonal imbalances. It could lead to irregular menstrual cycles in women and fertility issues. Another con is while you might be skipping one meal, the other meals might be overindulging. If you end up eating the same amount or more after skipping a meal, it will have had no effect. It can also be difficult to keep up with your social life if you often go out to eat with friends or work.
How to Implement Intermittent Fasting
There are many methods for intermittent fasting, but the most popular ones are listed below:
- The 16/8 method: With this method, you spend 16 hours of the day fasting and 8 hours where you have regular meals. Essentially, if you were to start fasting at 9pm, you would have your next meal at 1pm the next day.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This method includes a full day fast, 24 hours, once or twice a week.
- The 5:2 diet: This method involves a change in how many calories you eat 2 days a week. On two nonconsecutive days, you would eat 500-600 calories, and eat your normal amount all other days.