What is Intermittent Fasting?

If you follow the health or weight loss trends then you’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting, but do you know what it means?

To be honest, when i first heard the term i was “here we go, another fasting/detox diet” but I was wrong. Once i did my research and found out what it was all about it sparked my interest and thought it was worth a try.

Intermittent Fasting is exactly what the name implies, it’s fasting but not continuously. It is NOT a diet. By fasting for a period of time each day it allows your glucose and glycogen stores to be fully utilized before the next meal is eaten. There are different opinions on how long this takes but it’s generally between 12 and 16 hours. For example, if you don’t eat between 8pm and 8am then you have completed 12 hours of intermittent fasting.

There are some other popular ways of fasting. One is called the “Warrior Diet” and involves all your daily eating is carried out in a four-hour window, leaving 20 hours for fastingThere is also “5:2 fasting” where eating is done in a 12 hour period daily (e.g., between 8:00 AM and PM) for five days weekly, with an all-day fast performed on two, non-consecutive days (e.g., Tuesday and Thursday) weekly. These can often be too extreme for beginners so I would definitely ease in by starting with a daily 12 hour fast.

If you are only eating between a specific 8 or 12 hour period in the day, the key is to ensure that you eat sufficiently during that time. Just because you may be eating during a smaller window, that doesn’t give you permission to eat less or to not eat at all. If you are only going to have 2 meals a day then they need to be made of real nutrient rich food to nourish the body and be balanced (check out next weeks blog if you’re not sure what that means.)

Research is beginning to emerge on the benefits of this type of fasting in relation to weight loss, fasting glucose levels, gut microbiome and lifestyle habits such as sleep.

From my own personal experience, I have been doing 12 hour intermittent fasting for a few months now and have noticed that my blood sugar and hunger are definitely more under control i.e. I feel more satisfied and have less cravings and the quality of my sleep has also improved.

If you have tried intermittent fasting, I would love to hear from you with your thoughts?

In the meantime, check out my recipe for Instant Pot Meatballs – they are super easy and quick to make, the meatballs cooked in just 5 minutes, yes you heard right, 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it either!

References:

https://blog.paleohacks.com/intermittent-fasting-benefits/#

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28715993

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394735/

 

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