A new trend in healthy eating is intermittent fasting. It’s not just a fad; it can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar and your risk of disease!
Many people have tried this method, but only a few (very few) succeed at it. That’s why it’s very important to find the right one or you. But before you do that, you should check with your doctor. They’ll tell you if intermittent is right for you, and if so, they will guide you through the process.
Intermittent basically means not eating for a period of time. The key to losing fat is this: you go for long periods of time, or even a whole day, without eating.
You will not lose muscle mass and your eating habits will change for the better. While this may sound difficult, it’s really not. After all, our bodies were not designed to be eating constantly.
What is the 16/8 method?
The most popular form is the 16/8 method, which means not eating for 16hrs and only eating during an 8hr window. This method is so popular because it’s a very simple way of fasting, and it doesn’t require you to restrict yourself from any particular food group. It is not a diet, but rather a pattern of eating.
I just started doing it – I stop eating at 7pm and start eating again at 11am. That’s my 8hr window; you can choose the hours that work best for you.
In the 8hr ‘on food’ period I focus on eating healthy foods like lots of salads, vegetables, fruit and I try to minimise carbohydrates and fatty, oily, sugary foods as much as possible. This complements all the hard work I do when I fast for 16hrs.
In the 16hr ‘off food’ period I only drink water, tea or coffee (with no sugar!). It’s recommended that you stay away from sugary beverages as much as possible to get the most out of it.
I notice that I feel lighter, less puffy and have more energy since starting this method. My bowels move regularly and I feel less constipated because my digestive system is working properly, as my metabolism starts to kick in (which I haven’t felt for a very long time!).
What are the benefits?
This method has many benefits, including weight loss, a faster metabolism, improved digestion, improved blood sugar levels which reduces the risk of diabetes, enhanced brain function and longevity.
People have reported experiencing regular bowel movements, a clearer mind, reduced fatigue, a lifted mood, feeling lighter within the body, reduced hunger, being more selective with their food options and significant weight loss over a longer period of time.
These are amazing health benefits, so it’s worth giving it a try!
Are there any drawbacks?
This may not be the best eating method for you, especially if you have an underlying health condition. It’s recommended that you speak to your doctor first to be sure that it’s the right approach for you.
It may also cause some people to overeat during the ‘on food’ period, causing them to have digestive problems and health issues in the long term. Some may end up binge-eating on all the wrong foods like fried, fatty and sugary foods to compensate for the ‘off food’ period. This ultimately causes weight gain, which defeats the purpose of this practice. In this way, it can encourage bad eating habits.
Further, some research has suggested that intermittent fasting can cause reproductive problems in females. However, this research is not conclusive.
The 16/8 method is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health and well-being.
It is recommended that you stick to a balanced diet and make sure that you complement this method by consuming lots of water, veggies, fruits and salads.
Speak to your doctor first before trying it out, to make sure you don’t exacerbate any underlying health issues.
I hope you reach your weight loss and health goals! Here’s to your health journey!