What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting has become a popular health and fitness trend and has been studied for its potential benefits, including fat loss and hormone regulation.

By HourlyTraining

Published September 22, 2020.

Fasting can be defined as the avoidance of calorie-containing substances, such as food and beverages, for a specified period of time.

Intermittent fasting, in particular, has become a popular health and fitness trend and has been studied for its potential benefits, including fat loss, hormone regulation, and inflammation reduction. Intermittent fasting may also assist in anti-aging, brain health, metabolic improvement and even cancer prevention.

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern which cycles between periods of fasting and eating. There are many different methods for intermittent fasting, with the most popular methods listed below:

The 16/8 method: This method involves fasting for a 16 hour period, followed by eating for an 8 hour period. This is repeated every day of the week.

Eat-Stop-Eat: This method involves fasting for an entire 24 hour period, once or twice per week.

The 5:2 diet: This method involves eating normally for 5 days of the week and only consuming 500-600 calories on the other 2 days of the week.

During fasting periods, all substances which contain calories should be avoided, but calorie-free substances such as water, coffee and tea are allowed, as they have no effect on the fasting state. The consumption of calorie-free substances is encouraged during the first few weeks of intermittent fasting, as they may help make the fasting periods more manageable.

During eating periods, it is important to remember that healthy foods should be consumed and total calorie consumption should still be controlled.

Although intermittent fasting may provide many benefits, the following groups of people should not follow intermittent fasting:

• Children under the age of 18.

• Pregnant or breastfeeding women.

• People with Diabetes or blood sugar problems.

• People with a history of disordered eating.