The last decade has been all about going harder and faster all day, every day. We saw the rise of high-intensity interval training, the adoption of restrictive diets like keto. While Intermittent fasting has been more and more popular during the last decade, celebrities like Beyonce, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lopez talked about their experience publicly. So, what is this health and wellness trend and how does it work?
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction, is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It focuses on not which food to eat but when you should eat them.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
This is probably the most popular type of Intermittent fasting. 16:8 is where you have a restricted window for eating. In this case, 16 hours of fasting and 8 hour of eating. Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating after dinner and skipping breakfast.
In 5:2 Diet, you choose 2 non-consecutive days within the week where you restrict your daily calorie consumption to 500 calories for women and 600 for men. The rest of the 5 days you can eat pretty much what you like.
As simple as it sounds, it involves a 24-hour fast, either once or twice per week. This method was popularized by fitness expert Brad Pilon and has been popular for the last few years. Water and coffee are allowed during the fast, but no solid foods are permitted.
Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day. There are different versions of this method. Some allow 500 calories during the fasting day. Meanwhile, a full fast every other day can seem rather extreme, so it’s not recommended for beginners.
The Warrior Diet
This involves eating small portions of raw fruits and vegetables during the day and eating a big meal at night within 4 hours. This was popularised by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler.
Why Intermittent Fasting?
Clearly, there is nothing “unnatural” about fasting. Our bodies are very well equipped to handle extended periods of no eating. When we are fasting, it allows our bodies to thrive during a period of famine. It has to do with hormones, genes and cellular repair processes. Some people do Intermittent Fasting in order to lose weight, as it’s a simple and effective way to restrict calorie intake. Some studies also show that it can help improve metabolic health and can help extend lifespan.
On the other hand, it is also good training for us to learn to control our mind hence to our action. While fasting you may face a lot of temptation in your daily life, you have to be strong in mind in order to commit to the whole program. It’s also your journey that leads to the overall balance to your mind, body and soul.
*Every human body is different, we recommend you seek a doctor or nutritionist’s advice before you start Intermittent Fasting.