The summer season’s here and more and more quick weight loss methods are popping up. The most recent, trendy way to shed off those last 10 pounds is intermittent fasting. From religious rituals to the ‘past 6’ principle, this practice has been present in many forms throughout the years. But, what do you have to consider to do fast in a safe and healthy way?
What Is Intermittent Fasting
In the simplest terms, intermittent fasting (or IF for the trend-savvy) is a controlled cycle of eating and fasting. It was popularized by Dr. Michael Mosley in his 2012 BBC documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and since then, many lifestyle physicians have been looking into the practice, verifying its safety and effectivity. In more operational terms, intermittent fasting or circadian rhythm fasting limits the feedings of the practitioner within specific intervals, generally to extend the natural fasting from sleep.
The beauty of intermittent fasting is that it tells you when to eat, not what to eat. To start this diet, you first have to consider your everyday activities and determine which feeding interval is right for you. An approach to intermittent fasting is the early-time restricted feeding where meals are had within the early eight-hour period of the day (7 am to 3 pm), or spread out over 12 hours (between 7 am and 7 pm). Other methods are the eat-stop-eat, 24-hour fasts once or twice a week and the 5:2 diet where the caloric intake is limited to about 500 to 600 twice a week. But perhaps, the most popular method is the 16/8 intermittent fasting where eating is restricted within an 8-hour window. Many prefer the 9 am to 5pm.
Is it Right For You
IF combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle can be a particularly effective weight loss method. It is generally considered safe for healthy adults but, do review your own medical history when considering any diets. It is still best to consult your physician with any health undertaking.
Tips for beginners
- Stick to a schedule. It’s always easier to stick to a habit if you do it consistently. Pick a regular time and stick with it!
- Track your progress. Download free intermittent fasting apps like Zero to help you stay on track.
- Stay hydrated. Water is the key to curbing your hunger pangs so make sure you drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day. You may also drink black coffee, and tea during your fasting period. Nutritionist, Stephanie Malouf, even recommends adding psyllium husk to your water which is a great source of fibre and also an appetite suppressant as it swells in your stomach.