Intermittent fasting can be a great way to get your health in check and reset your metabolism. However, there’s some confusion about intermittent fasting. How is it different from other fasts? What’s the best way to do it?
We’re going to tackle some of the biggest questions and help you figure out if intermittent fasting could be a good option for you.
First, what exactly is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF is a type of fast where you choose a specific time to consume food and a specific time to abstain from eating. The structure of the fast allows you to reap health benefits while resetting your body’s metabolism (we’ll get more into this later).
While there are many different types of intermittent fasting, we recommend choosing one day of the week to devote to IF and then working to slowly build up the number of hours that you fast.
Who is a good candidate for intermittent fasting?
IF has many benefits for those who commit to the program. Some people who may be a good candidate are:
- Those who want to lose weight
- Type 2 diabetics to monitor glucose levels
- People with high blood sugar or cholesterol
Who shouldn’t do intermittent fasting?
- Children under the age of 18
- Type 1 diabetics
- Pregnant women
- Anyone with an eating disorder
How exactly does it work?
Intermittent fasting is a great way to give the pancreas a break from releasing insulin in response to foods (especially carbohydrates).
When you allow your system a time frame of when to consume calories, you allow the body to rest or fast in between and not release insulin (a fat storage hormone). This can cause your body to burn fat stores in a healthy way.
Some benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Better control over appetite
- Ability to keep insulin levels in check
- Reduced inflammation
- Better brain and heart health
How should I fast?
The first thing we always recommend: Start slowly! This is how you’ll be able to make fasting a sustainable part of your lifestyle.
Choose a day of the week and start with a 12-hour window of eating and a 12-hour window of fasting all done consecutively. Then, graduate to a half hour at a time until you reach a maximum of 16 hours fasting and 8 hours eating.
Keep in mind, as you’re increasing the time of your fast, you may decide your maximum fasting time is less than 16 hours. This is okay. The most important part of this process is that you find what works best for you.
While you’re fasting, make sure to drink plenty of water. If you plan to workout, drink electrolyte water as well.
Is it something you’d recommend?
Yes. If you are a good candidate (as mentioned above) intermittent fasting is a great way to regain control of your health and give your pancreas a break. As with any type of fasting, it’s wise to seek professional advice to make sure that it’s a good option for you.
Our team is passionate about helping you reach your wellness goals with programs tailored to your needs. If you’d like to set an appointment with one of our nutritionists, click here to schedule a consultation.