What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting or IF is a way of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. Modern humans are able to function for extended periods of time without food thanks to human evolution. After all, early humans did not have access to supermarkets as we do. Food was only available if they hunted and gathered.
There are several ways to do IF.
Some fast for 24 – 48 hours twice a week, some fast all day and only eat 1 meal at night. The easiest and most popular method is the 16/8 method.
In this method you fast for 16 hours and eat reasonably during an 8-hour period. For example, if I had dinner at 6:30 I would wait 16 hours before I ate again and then only eat during the 8 hours after.
I practice this method and honestly feel better when I eat this way. For those with gut issues, like myself, this allows your digestive system to rest for an adequate amount of time.
Why Should I practice Intermittent Fasting?
IF aligns with what the human body is designed to do. There are many health benefits to IF that go as deep as the cellular & molecular level. IF can cause muscle gain with fat loss, cellular repair, positive changes in gene expression and decreased insulin sensitivity.
These positive effects can result in weight loss, decreased inflammation, decreased bad cholesterol, cancer prevention, better brain health and youthful vitality.
IF will not impact your health in a positive way if you overeat, binge eat or eat unhealthy during periods of non-fasting. Portion control and the quality of what you eat go hand-in-hand with IF.
Those with Type 1 Diabetes and persons with a history of eating disorders should NOT practice IF.
Anita Wallak is the founder of Eat Right To Live Right and is a Registered & Licensed Dietitian in the State of North Carolina. She has her MS in Nutrition and has been in the field of nutrition for 20 years. She is a member of Dietitians of Integrative & Functional Medicine and The American Dietetic Association.
Anita works with individuals who are struggling with a variety of digestive issues leading to pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation & more. She teaches her clients how to identify which foods are triggering their symptoms so they can regulate digestion, manage their symptoms and enjoy food again.
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