What’s Intermittent Fasting and Is It Safe?

What’s Intermittent Fasting and Is It Safe?

Although it’s recent spike in popularity might make you think that intermittent fasting is the newest fitness fad, this practice has been around for centuries.

What was once only reserved for religious experience is now practiced by celebrities to enhance health, lose weight, and boost cognitive abilities.

Intermittent fasting, or IF for short, means you temporarily go without food, and depending on the particular type you choose, it can be anything from a few hours to a few days a week.

  • 16:8 Method

This is the most popular intermittent fasting type. With this method, people are free to eat during 8 hours a day, while they abstain from food for the rest of the day. Most achieve this by skipping breakfast or dinner (or both) and including sleeping hours in their 16-hour food-free tally.

  • 5:2 Method

For five days a week, you eat as you usually do, and it’s the two weekdays that count, when you should restrict your food intake to just 500 calories.

  • Dinner-To-Dinner

As the name suggests, this method involves fasting that lasts from dinner one day to the next, or 24-hour without food. Maybe the most radical of the three, this type of intermittent fasting should be done once or twice a week for optimal results.

Majority of people who engage in this practice report various benefits, from the inevitable weight loss to energy boosts and improved health. But, is intermittent fasting really safe?

The jury is still out, both on long-term advantages of fasting practices and their potential downsides. What we do know is that intermittent fasting can be safe if done right. That means talking to your physician to eliminate any risk factors that could cause problems, such as hormonal imbalance or blood sugar issues before you decide to try this out. What works for some people might not work for you, which is why it’s important to inform yourself before making any drastic changes in diet, no matter how healthy they sound.

Of course, though it should go without saying, organization is the most important aspect of intermittent fasting. If you don’t plan your meals and eat wholesome, healthy foods, there is a high chance that not only intermittent fasting won’t work for you, but that it will be torturous to endure as well.

Photo credit: designelements/Shutterstock

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