At a Glance
- Science suggests that intermittent fasting can improve health of both body and mind.
- Intermittent fasting is an effective weight loss tool
- Intermittent fasting is all about YOU taking control of your diet – not the diet controlling you.
Intermittent fasting has got the health and fitness community all fired up and it’s become one of the hot topics of the moment. Many are adopting this practice to kick start weight loss or turn around their general health and wellbeing.
Experts have seen promising results using fasting therapy for treating and preventing disease. (source)
If you’ve heard all the chatter and want to get clued up, check out the beginners guide to intermittent fasting.
What’s the Deal with Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting isn’t about what you eat, its emphasis is on when you eat. Also known as “cyclic fasting”, it involves a rotational sequence to determine when you eat (also termed “feed”) and when you fast.
There are many different approaches to intermittent fasting. If it suits your lifestyle you can skip meals or even refrain from eating for an entire 24 hour period. When you think about it, everyone fasts when they sleep – you don’t eat for a period of around eight hours, after all how do you think breakfast got its name?
You might think intermittent fasting is a new idea, but in actual fact it’s been around for years.
Fasting Forms a Big Part of Many Religions
Christians observe restrictions during Lent and the Jewish abstain from eating for Yom Kippur. In Buddhism, monks often fast when they are in deep meditation and Muslims respect the Islamic month of Ramadan which involves not eating or drinking from dawn until sunset. (sources 1, 2)
Going way back to the times of the cavemen, they didn’t have the convenience of a local grocery store – no food meant they had to fast until the famine was over.
Back to the modern day, patients preparing for surgery are told to fast as a safety measure. (source)
So as you can see, there are many ways intermittent fasting is already a part of our lives.
Options for Intermittent Fasting
With intermittent fasting, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach, this means you will have plenty of variations to choose from.
The general concept entails dividing either your week or your days into set periods when you are allowed to feed and when you have to fast.
In some intermittent fasting plans you are allowed a very restrictive calorie intake whereas others involve avoiding food altogether.
I’ve put together the most popular intermittent fasting protocols to give you an insight into what you can expect.