Is Intermittent Fasting a Healthy Way of Eating?

Is Intermittent Fasting a Healthy Way of Eating?

While there are so many different types of diet philosophies, eating plans and nutritional methodologies out there, one of the most talked about eating programs in recent years is known as intermitted fasting. There is no denying that there has been a lot of hype surrounding intermittent fasting—but you may be wondering if all this attention is justified; or is it just hype?

Here’s what you need to know about intermittent fasting, what it is, and whether or not it is really a healthy way of eating.

So, What is Intermittent Fasting?

Simply put, intermittent fasting is a term to describe eating during a short, specific period of time, and then you fast for the rest of the time. While there are a few different approaches to intermittent fasting, the most common is the 16:8 approach. In this approach, you fast for 16 hours per day and eat for 8 hours per day.

The best way to think about this is that you will need to skip breakfast in the morning (don’t worry you can still have coffee) and then give yourself an 8-hour period of time to eat your meals for the day. So, if the night before, you finish your last meal at 8 PM, then you shouldn’t eat the next day until 12 PM. Then you have from 12 PM to 8 PM that day to eat the rest of your meals. 

While most people, particularly those who are new to fasting give themselves an 8-hour eating window, others prefer to do a 6-hour eating window. Your eating window shouldn’t ever be less than 6 hours. There are also alternate-day fasting approaches—which includes eating 25% of your daily calories one day, and then normally the next.

What Are the Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?

So, now that you know what intermittent fasting is, it is time to understand the benefits of this way of eating, or why you should give yourself such a specific eating window. The biggest health benefit is that intermittent fasting helps you lose fat.

When you fast, it drains your body of its glucose reserves. This means that your body’s main energy source is food. When you don’t have glucose reserves, your body switches over to burning fat for fuel. This process is known as ketosis.

This is the main reason that people try intermittent fasting, however, there are other health benefits as well. According to studies on this process, here are some of the biggest perks of intermittent fasting.

  • Intermittent fasting can reduce obesity and help protect you against diabetes. 
  • It can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • This form of fasting can help improve learning and memory. 
  • Intermittent fasting can help ease depression and other mood disorders.

We would love to see you as a new patient, just schedule an appointment here at Continuum Internal Medicine by calling 817-617-8650. 

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