Many diets focus on what to eat, but intermittent fasting is all about when you eat.
With intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time. Fasting for a certain
number of hours each day or eating just one meal a couple of days a week can help
your body burn fat. And scientific evidence points to some health benefits, as well.
Extra calories and less activity can mean a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart
disease, and other illnesses. Scientific studies are showing that intermittent fasting may
help reverse these trends.
How does intermittent fasting work?
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on
choosing regular periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during
an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder , or you might eat only one
meal a day, two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules. After hours without food, the body exhausts its stored sugars and starts burning fat. This is refered to as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting prolongs the period when your body has burned through the calories
consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
Intermittent Fasting Plans
It’s essential to check with your doctor before starting intermittent fasting. Once you get
the go-ahead, the actual practice is simple.
Some popular approaches to intermittent fasting include:
Alternate-day fasting. Eat a regular diet one day, and either completely fast
or have one small meal (less than 500 calories) the next day.
5:2 fasting. Eat a regular diet five days a week and fast two days a week.
Daily time-restricted fasting. Eat normally but only within an eight-hour
window each day. For example, skip breakfast but eat lunch around noon and
dinner by 8 p.m.
More extended periods without food, such as 24, 36, 48, and 72-hour fasting, are not
necessarily better for you and may be dangerous. Going too long without eating might
encourage your body to start storing more fat in response to starvation.
It can take two to four weeks before the body becomes accustomed to intermittent
fasting. You might feel hungry or cranky while getting used to the new routine. But
people who make it through the adjustment period tend to stick with the plan because
they notice they feel better.
What can I eat while imittent fasting?
Water and zero-calorie beverages such as black coffee and tea are permitted when you're not eating.
Eat good food without high-calorie junk food during your eating periods.
Most nutritionist regards the Mediterranean diet as a good blueprint of what to eat,
whether you’re trying intermittent fasting or not. You can hardly go wrong when picking
complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats, and
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Thinking and memory. Studies discovered that intermittent fasting boosts
working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans.
Heart health. Intermittent fasting improved blood pressure, resting heart rates,
and other heart-related measurements.
Physical performance. Young men who fasted for 16 hours showed fat loss
while maintaining muscle mass. Mice who were fed on alternate days showed
better endurance running.
Diabetes and obesity. In animal studies, intermittent fasting prevented
obesity. And in six brief studies, obese adult humans lost weight through
Tissue health. In animals, intermittent fasting reduced tissue damage in
surgery and improved results.
Is intermittent fasting safe?
Some people try intermitting fasting for weight management, and others use the method
to address chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, or
arthritis. But intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone.
Children and teens under age 18.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
People with diabetes or blood sugar problems.
Those with a history of eating disorders.
People not in these categories who can do intermittent fasting safely can continue the
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on different people. Talk
to your doctor if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea, or other
symptoms after you start intermittent fasting.
Wishing you excellent health, wellness, and prosperity.
Dr. Michael Nunez