Got weight loss on the mind? Then you might’ve been curious about trying intermittent fasting. This craze has been helping many reach their goals more effectively, and has even been reviewed by famous dieticians and health professionals. In fact, there are even podcasts dedicated to the movement! And why do people love it so much? Because the weight of its success matters when you eat, as opposed to what you’re eating.
But the question is, does it really work? Or are we just wasting precious feeding hours for no reason?
First Of All, What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is essentially when you cycle between periods of eating and not eating (i.e: fasting), limiting your meals and snacks to a specific time window; typically between 6 and 8 hours of the day.
Other IF patterns involve fasting for 24 hours once or twice per week, or significantly cutting the caloric intake a few days per week, but eating normally during the others.
What Are Its Benefits?
Other than weight loss, IF has been associated with a score of additional health benefits. In fact, studies show that intermittent fasting may improve blood sugar levels, decrease cholesterol, and boost longevity.
Intermittent fasting may also increase levels of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter that boosts your metabolism, therefore increasing calorie burning throughout the day.
Adapting this eating pattern into your lifestyle may also beneficially reduce levels of insulin, a hormone involved in blood sugar management. So if your blood sugar is a little jumpy, you might want to consider practicing IF!
Also, if you’re on keto, pairing keto and intermittent fasting can speed up ketosis and amplify weight loss. It can help your body enter ketosis faster to maximize results. It can also mitigate some of the side effects that often occur when starting this diet, including the “keto flu” (episodes of nausea, headaches, and fatigue.)
Is Fasting Right For You?
While most people can practice intermittent fasting safely as part of a healthy lifestyle, it also may not be the best choice for everyone.
Children, individuals with chronic illnesses, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should preferably avoid fasting altogether or at least consult a medical professional to ensure that they’re getting the nutrients they need.
Diabetics should also exercise caution, as fasting can lead to dangerous drops in blood-sugar levels and may interfere with certain medications.
And finally, consider that fasting is not as effective for women. Studies have indicated that intermittent fasting may negatively affect women’s blood sugar control, contribute to menstrual-cycle abnormalities, and decrease fertility.