Fasting isn’t a new concept. People have been doing it for centuries for different reasons. In the past few years, it has gained more traction and adaptation for its incredible effects on disease and aging.
Intermittent fasting is basically when you restrict your food intake for a block of time. By reducing your calorie intake, intermittent fasting causes weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.
There are different types and methods for intermittent fasting:
- 5:2: This method allows you to eat normally five days a week. The other two days are your fasting days, although you do still eat. You just keep it between 500 and 600 calories.
- Eat-stop-eat: With this one, you restrict all food for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
- 16/8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period — typically 6 to 8 hours — and fast for the remaining 14 to 16 hours. You can do this every day, or a few times a week.
- Other protocols are 14:10 (fasting for 14 hours), 20:4 (fasting for 20 hours) and so on.
Benefits of intermittent fasting may include:
- Boosts weight loss
- Increases energy
- Promotes cellular repair and autophagy (when your body consumes defective tissue in order to produce new parts)
- Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Protects against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Improves memory and boosts brain function
- Makes cells more resilient