From the time you go to sleep at night until you wake refreshed in the morning, you go without food. What if you could extend these eight hours of basic fasting to jumpstart your metabolism, live longer, and easily lose weight? Intermittent Fasting, or IF, has been a trick of the trade for years and is slowly becoming a recommended and healthy form of weight maintenance. So what is Intermittent Fasting, and how does it work?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
At its most basic level, Intermittent Fasting stems from the idea of limiting your caloric intake over a certain period of time. There are many different approaches to this technique. A few are:
The 5:2 Diet – Fast for 24 hours two days a week and eat normally the other five. While some approaches restrict dieters to no calories on fast days, the 5:2 Diet lets men eat 600 calories and women 500 on the days when they are in restriction mode.
Eat Stop Eat – Perhaps one of the most popular texts on the idea of Intermittent Fasting, Brad Pilon’s book asks readers to go on a simple water fast for one or two 24-hour periods a week. In practice, this could mean eating a normal dinner, then subsisting on water and tea until dinner the next night. Remember, a third of those 24 hours will most likely be spent asleep anyway!
The 16:8 Diet – How about, instead of not eating to severely restrict calories on a day, you dedicate an 8-hour window to your daily nourishment? You could eat between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm and let your body and digestive system rest for the remaining 16 hours of your day.
Alternate Day Fasting – This technique is simple. Fast for one day, and eat normally the next. Continue like this for the entire week (or longer).
So, How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?