Intermittent fasting has become a widely popular eating pattern due to research indicating that it is an effective weight loss strategy and may improve health.
What is fasting? Fasting is periods of abstaining from eating and sometimes drinking.
There are different variations to fasting including the
→ 5:2 diet (eat 5 days, fast 2 days)
→ 24 hour fasting (alternating days of fasting with normal eating days)
→ 16:8 Intermittent fasting (16 hours of fasting, 8 hour eating window)
Intermittent fasting 16:8 has become a health trend in recent years and is the go-to fasting method for people interested in trying fasting.
Before trying intermittent fasting here are some things you should know!
•Promotes weight loss - significant DECREASE in weight, body fat, and waist circumference
•Positive effects of on cognitive performance (memory and learning)
•Fasting can lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol
•Improves blood sugar levels
•Decreases hunger over time
•May improve immunity
•Protect against age related and chronic disease
• Protein intake
Sometimes it is difficult to meet daily protein requirements (recommendations are 1g / lb of body weight) in the small eating window. For instance if a 170 lb
individual is fasting it may challenging to get in that amount of protein in 3 meals. To put that in perspective that is the equivalent of 27 oz of chicken breast.
• Make temporarily reduce energy levels
While your body adjusts to fasting and not receiving fuel at regular intervals you may feel bouts of fatigue and tiredness. This may affect productivity and reduce motivation for physical activity and exercise.
•Hormone production (especially in women)
When people intermittent fast they are likely putting themselves in a calorie deficit. Without adequate protein and fat intake, hormone production may be disrupted and create imbalances. In particular, estrogen is a common hormone impacted by fasting. This can have implications on digestion, metabolism, bone health, recovery, and mood.
•Not recommended for people taking medications that require food, individuals with thyroid dysfunction, pregnant women or women trying to conceive
•Indigestion and bloating. More susceptible to abdominal pain and bloating if eating large portions in a small-time frame.