No doubt you have heard about fasting or intermittent fasting. And you are probably starting to wonder what’s it all about? Should I be doing it? Do I need to be doing it?
To help clear this up for you. I’m going to talk a little about what intermittent fasting or fasting is from my understanding and my perspective.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting basically is an amount of time where you reduce your calorie intake, or you miss food completely. It is for benefits of a healthy body, weight loss, and other areas of our life. That is my understanding of intermittent fasting. When you get stuck into the idea of, “I want to do fasting”. or you really like the concept of doing it. First understand what it is to fast & then think about the reason of why.
Concept of Fasting?
The concept of fasting isn’t a new one. It’s been around for centuries. Many of our ancestors have done this throughout their lives.
When you take a moment to think about the concept of fasting. All it is, is a given period of time where you stop eating. That is all it is. You might have skipped a meal because you’ve had a bad evening with your kids and in your mind, you say “Oh, I can’t be bothered with dinner”. You may have missed breakfast, or you go most of the day without eating until late lunch or dinner. Going into surgery is a time where you need a period of no eating, so you have just water. (This is so surgery can be performed safely & neatly).
If you are religious, you might have gone through Ramadan. Which happens every single year for a 30-day period. Fasting appears to be a normal way of living for many in this world. But what is your reason for wanting to fast?
Find your purpose for fasting?
Is it weight loss? Are you doing it for health benefits? Are you doing it for a simpler life, living without having to eat or cook as much food? Only you know the answer to these questions. Once you have established the reason of why. Let us have a look at some of the types of fasting or the ways to fast that are out there.
What are the different types of fasting?
A water fast means that you only consume water. One may do a water fast for a variety of reasons, including medical and religious requirements.
A juice fast also known as a juice cleansing. This means you consume vegetable juice and fruit juices while abstaining from solid food consumption.
You’ve got a partial fast when you restrict certain food groups from your daily intake, ie no lactose.
Five and two
You might have heard of the five and two diet. It is where you have two days where you’re eating a smaller calorie intake. The remaining 5 days is normal eating & calorie intake.
16 and 8 diet
The 16 and 8 diet, which is 16 hours of no eating and 8 hours where you can eat. (most commonly spoken about at this point in time)
24 hour fast
A 24 hour fast is also known as eat stop eat, which is a 24 hour fast. Alternating days of eating and others skipping whole day.
Skip a meal
Well it is pretty self-explanatory, you just skip a meal.
What is the sort of reasons and the benefits of fasting?
Doing a bit of research through websites & looking around. The big point that I understood, is doing a fast has positive effects on our health indicators. For example; your blood pressure may start to improve, your triglycerides and cholesterol levels are altered positively. Blood sugar levels change meaning your insulin starts to change and modify to balance the levels.
You will also feel yourself becoming stronger. Reason being is our muscular strength and growth increases due to our growth hormone increasing through fasting. These are some of the good benefits that we can use, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be done.
Remember to take a step back and think of it the reason why you want to do it. If that lines up with where you want to see results, then go down this pathway and check it out. Before starting any change in your diet or going into a fast, I strongly recommend seeking out the guidance and advice of a health professional in this field. So, someone like a nutritionist, a dietician or even a doctor. You may have restrictions that need to have certain food groups and need to be eating more frequently? So, it is best to seek medical advice or nutritional advice from a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist to guide you along this pathway.