The other day I said to my husband “I am about to embark on a 16-hour fast. No eating for the next 16 hours after my next meal. Want to join me?” Being a guy who loves to eat around the clock, he jokingly replied: “Um… how about I do the opposite and eat for 16 hours?” However, the joke was on him. Both methods of eating fall under the intermittent fasting category.
What is intermittent fasting (IF)?
An eating pattern in which an individual eats within a certain time window and abstains from eating and drinking when in ‘fasted state.’ During the ‘fasting window’, beverages which do not illicit insulin response/affect fasting – such as black coffee, herbal tea, and water, are allowed.
What are the benefits of fasting?
Even one fasting day per week can yield the following benefits: blood sugar balance/improved insulin sensitivity, increased cognitive function, hormone balance, and cancer prevention.
What is the 16:8 method of fasting?
Eating all meals and beverages (which contain added calories) within an 8 hour time period and not eating [“fasting”] for 16 hours.
What are the most popular fasting methods?
Besides the 16:8 method of fasting, there are more methods you can experiment with – click here for additional techniques.
Recent studies have shown women can experience similar fasting benefits to men when engaging in a 14:10 fast (versus 16:8) once or twice a week. Women should take extra precaution when fasting as hormones are affected differently than men.
Is intermittent fasting right for me?
Depends. Each body is different. As an endurance athlete, I typically choose a fasting window when I do not have strenuous training immediately before or after fasting window, as my body requires extra micro and macronutrients surrounding these efforts. A non-restricted eating period between 8am-4pm works well for my body, but I highly recommend you experiment within your schedule and activity levels. During the unrestricted eating window, remember, it’s not a license to eat candy, refined carbohydrates, and other energy-depleting foods. Fuel with healthy carbs (sweet potatoes, broccoli, blackberries, and other produce), protein (vegetarian and animal) and healthy fat (olive, coconut, avocado). And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
Stay tuned as I explore + explain more on intermittent fasting in upcoming articles!
Originally posted 2019-01-04 08:41:54.