Intermittent Fasting: Is It Worth The Hype?

A lot of people want to either lose weight or get to a good healthy balance with their bodies in a way that’s not too demanding. How does Intermittent Fasting come into play?

Intermittent fasting is not about teaching you what to eat per se but it’s more so focused on the when. Knowing when to restrict yourself from eating and when to allow yourself to eat as much as you want, that’s the key here. One of the main reasons people intermittent fast is to lose weight and reduce heart-related health risks. Obviously though, reducing your food intake and not eating for long-ish periods of time can also have negative effects depending on a couple of factors. The idea of fasting is generally very popular in many different cultures, and when it comes to losing weight, fasting is sold as a quick solution. Despite that though, you always have to be wary of quick solutions about anything. Here are some pros and cons of intermittent fasting and you can decide for yourself if this is something you’re interested in further researching.

 

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Roman Chazov/shutterstock

The Pros

Intermittent fasting helps introduce a structure to eating. For some people, it helps a lot to have a plan to follow for when and what to eat at certain times every day. Then there’s some obvious stress that goes away with structure, although having to plan ahead is certainly not everybody’s cup of tea. Moreover, there’s research that shows that such fasting helps reduce diabetes risks and especially future heart problems. That in turn could translate to a longer and healthier life.

Following this kind of eating pattern can also be easy in many aspects, to begin with. Naturally, you don’t have to go all-in from the very beginning. One of the easiest methods that most beginners use is the 16/8 method. That’s when you fast for 16 hours and eat for the other eight during an entire day. Usually, people choose to skip breakfast in this scenario. It’s also good to remember that fasting is by no means a new thing. Due to the lack of available food in the earliest period of human evolution, our bodies have developed the ability to function without eating for a long time. Considering that nowadays for a huge number of people (though not everyone, unfortunately) food is available at all times, it can lead to the need to slow down a little and reconsider eating habits. Many different diseases can come as a result of just eating whenever even when you don’t particularly feel like it. After beginning on an easy plan like the 16/8 one, or 14/10 if that’s too difficult at first, after a few weeks or a month you can move on to longer hours without eating for more results.

Additionally, intermittent fasting can help with the way your body stores fat, cellular repair, and, perhaps most importantly, shows almost immediate results in the loss of belly fat.

 

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Pormezz/shutterstock

The Cons

It’s essential for everyone thinking of trying intermittent fasting to be aware that most of the research around it is still in the early stages. Nothing is yet proven long-term-wise. While the promise of living a healthier and thus longer life is there, that’s not something anyone has yet undeniably proven they have a direct correlation.

Intermittent fasting has also been referred to as a “fad diet”. Though no clear definition of fad diets exists, it’s basically when a diet that provides immediate results is being sold as something rather long-term. Especially once something is being offered to everyone as a solution without being too aware of the overtime effects on the body. The lower the effort is on the partakers’ side, the more the idea of something can be pushed everywhere as a true solution. Do not highly restrict your diet. Stopping yourself from eating your usual foods forever or completely and suddenly changing your diet can’t be good for the body.

You need to make sure the food you’re consuming is high in nutrients. Low-calorie diets such as always eating only one type of food are also harmful to no end. Though intermittent fasting does not usually regulate what you eat, there are still so many easy ways that a person can fall into that rabbit hole once they’ve gotten into fasting as a quick solution. You have to always be careful what you’re putting into your body and most importantly, especially if you’re feeling any sort of negative effects on your body, talk to a health professional for proper personal care.

 

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Nok Lek/shutterstock

If intermittent fasting is something you’re really considering then it’s probably best to do as much research into it as possible. It’s also good to remember that you can’t go wrong listening to healthcare professionals. The best first step is probably not to listen to an app but to check with your doctor about what you’re planning to eat and your fasting plans.

 

Photo: vetre/shutterstock

 


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