While there are many different types of diets out there for you to choose from, one of the most popular one’s is called intermittent fasting. While it may sound as though it is very technical and complicated, it really isn’t. In fact, all intermittent fasting really is, is when you go for a preplanned, extended period without eating any food.
Now you are probably asking yourself why on Earth you would want to go through an extended period without being able to eat or snack? While that is a great question, the reason that intermittent fasting has grown so much in popularity is due to the scientific data showing that it helps you to burn fat and lose weight quite quickly.
Intermittent fasting may sound like something that only professional athletes are doing; you may be surprised to find out that you actually do some intermittent fasting every day. However, when you do it you are not calling it intermittent fasting. When you do it, you are calling it sleeping.
You see, from the time you eat your very last meal at night, all the way until you eat your very fist meal of the next day is called a ‘fasting interval’. Conversely, during the day when you are eating, your very first meal of the day until your very last meal of the same day is called your ‘feeding interval’.
And that is exactly what intermittent fasting really is. It’s a feeding window partnered with a fasting window. Pretty simple, right?
For those who do decide that they are going to want to start an intermittent fasting diet plan, all they are going to do is to extend the amount of time that is between their feeding intervals. So essentially, they are just extending the amount of time that they do not eat.
Now of course, as with anything, people are always going to try and get it just right, meaning that there have been several different protocols that have emerged. For example, you have ‘the Warrior Diet’, ‘Eat Stop Eat’, ‘the 52 diet’, ‘Leangains’, plus many more variations as well. But at the end of the day, they all do the same thing. They are going to shorten your eating window time, while simultaneously extending your fasting window time.
Why Fast in the First Place?
While the term ‘fasting’ is one of the more recent inventions, the actual practice of intermittent fasting is nota new concept in anyways. In fact, people have been fasting since the beginning of time. Whether it be overnight while sleeping, for one of the many religious regions, or even during extended amounts of time when food is scarce.
However, what is newer about intermittent fasting is that fact that there has now been scientific research done on its benefits. The results have been nothing but great news for those who are looking for health benefits, weight loss, and even longevity.
Some of the data that has been researched shows that intermittent fasting is a great way to help you:
- Extend your life
- Control your blood lipids
- Manage your weight
- Help regulate your blood glucose levels
- Decrease your risk for certain coronary diseases
- Increase the amount of lean mass you have
- Lower your risk for certain cancers
Now you must keep in mind that the studies being done are still among their earlier stages, but all of the benefits seem to outweigh nay negative. However, as with anything, you are still going to have those people who are skeptical. But even the skeptics cannot deny that fact that the results and health benefits from intermittent fasting are looking pretty promising.
It is because of the promising outlook that so many people looking to become healthier are starting to hop on the intermittent fasting bandwagon. Even though there is no ‘hard data’ to support it, these people are opting to do their own personal experiment with intermittent fasting, using themselves as the guinea pigs.
Before you go and jump into the intermittent fasting lifestyle, there are a few things that you must be aware of first.
Intermittent Fasting Is Not For Everybody
While there have been many people who have tried intermittent fasting who have gotten some amazing results, this does not mean that it is going to be a perfect fit for everybody.
First off, by doing intermittent fasting it does not mean that you get a ‘free ride’ and are able to eat whatever you want. In fact, if you are skipping meals randomly and are continuing to eat foods that are high in sugar and highly processed, there is a very good chance that you are not going to lose any fat or improve your health at all. If this is the type of foods you are going to be eating, you will more than likely start to see the complete opposite of that start to happen.
So just remember that while there is not a ‘right’ way that you can start to practice intermittent fasting, the one thing that is not going to change is the fact that there will need to be some type of attention giving to what types of food you are eating and their nutritional values. This means that you will essentially have to get yourself prepared to make sure that the food you are eating is healthy and has high nutritional value.
Some people may find that there is too much trouble and inconvenience attached with intermittent fasting. For others, the risks that are associated with intermittent fasting may outweigh any of the benefits that they could potentially receive. In fact, depending upon your individual circumstances, intermittent fasting may actually be downright dangerous.
With that being said, you should probably find out whether or not intermittent fasting is right for you before you start skipping meals. So how do you know if intermittent fasting is right for you?
Signs That Intermittent Fasting Is Right For You
Here are some of the traits that will ensure that your intermittent fasting goes exactly how you want it too.
- You have monitored your food and calorie intake in the past. This essentially means that you have done some type of diet previously.
- You are already living a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising.
- You don’t have children and/or are single (while it can still be done with children and partner, it will make it much more difficult unless they are also doing intermittent fasting with you).
- Your spouse/partner is either doing it as well, or is very supportive of you
- You have a job that allows you to be able to adapt to a completely new eating plan.
While this is by no means a definitive list of requirements before you are allowed to get started with intermittent fasting, these five factors will help you to get adjusted to the new protocols that you will be adapting, as well as allow you to incorporate them into your everyday life more easily.
But even if you do not meet all of the above requirements, there are a few more factors that if you have them, you may want to be a little more cautious while starting out your intermittent fasting diet plan.
- You have children and/or are married.
- You have a job that is based off of your performance or that deals with clients face to face.
- You are involved with athletics or competing in sports
As with the first list of protocols, if you relate to any of these conditions, there is a good chance that transitioning to an intermittent fasting meal plan may be a little tougher for you. And if you are involved with sports or competitions, fasting for most of the day may become a conflict with what your specific performance goals may be for your designated sport.
Finally, if you have experienced any of the following conditions, intermittent fasting may not be the best eating plan for you.
Sings That Intermittent Fasting Is Not Right For You
If you fall under any of the following categories, intermittent is not going to be for you and you should stay aware from it altogether.
- You are currently pregnant
- You have some type of history with disordered eating
- You are not sleeping well at night
- You have never done a diet or exercised before
- You suffer from chronic stress
If you are new to exercise and diet, intermittent fasting may sound like the perfect way for you to get the results that you are looking for. However, starting out by addressing your current nutritional deficiencies would be a much smarter way to get started as opposed to experimenting with fasting. Like anything, to ultimately be successful and achieve the results that you are looking to achieve, it is always best to get started with a solid platform first. This meaning that start by getting your nutrition right first, then you can start to transition over to intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is a great way to help boost your weight loss goals, as well as increase your overall health. Just be sure that starting with intermittent fasting is something that you are ready for, and you will have no problems at all.