For most of us, the word “diet” is the most unholy of four letter words. Whether it’s counting calories, keeping track of points, or (God forbid) cutting out bread…most of us have tried it all. A new diet that has become increasingly popular doesn’t ask you to do any of that. Sounds great, right? All this regimen asks of you is to fast either part of the day, or a few days out of the week. Sounds…not so great, right?
But the fact of the matter is…many people love this diet because of its simplicity. And they’re getting results.
There are three different methods of changing up your eating pattern:
- The 16:8 Method
This is the most popular form of intermittent fasting, largely because it is the easiest. It divides each day into a 16-hour fasting period and an eight-hour eating period. For example, you could skip breakfast and then consider your eating period from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
This method involves fasting for a full 24 hours once or twice a week.
- The 5:2 Method
On two non-consecutive days of the week, you limit yourself to between 500 and 600 calories, then just eat normally the other five days.
Eating fewer meals automatically reduces calorie intake. It’s important to note that calorie reduction is the main reason that intermittent fasting is successful in weight loss; so if you binge during your eating periods, then it may not result in any weight loss at all. Aside from calorie reduction, intermittent fasting also changes hormone levels, which can cause an increase in your metabolic rate by as much as 14%.
This strategy seems to be more than just a great way to lose weight. The Mayo Clinic has noted a real correlation between periodic fasting and improved heart health. Other health benefits include decreased insulin levels, an increase in human growth hormones and increased cellular repair.
As with any lifestyle change, be sure to listen to your body. What works for others may not be right for you, and that’s okay.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. And (apparently) stay a little bit hungry!