Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet; it is an eating pattern that focuses on eating meals rather than what you eat. This trend has not only been making its way throughout social media but has made its way into studies from organizations such as Harvard Health. The research behind intermittent fasting presents promising results for losing weight, as this practice goes back to ancient times and has spread across all religions. Religions such as Islam and Hinduism practice this eating pattern for religious purposes. Still, medically, intermittent fasting has caught up with the times and has created a way for people to lose and maintain weight, increase energy, and have a healthier life.
Is Intermittent Fasting As Good As It Appears?
To best approach this new trend, we must look at the surrounding facts as medical physicians. Many marketers in today’s age focus on advertising this pattern for its increased benefits, but for people wishing to begin this process, it takes a great understanding of how it’s used and who it works for. Here, we’ll outline what we know about intermittent fasting:
- Fasting Isn’t About Starving: This trend is about changing eating patterns, rather than about what you eat and the consistency you eat. Intermittent fasting revolves around time, and the timing of meals makes intermittent fasting have an impact.
- The Schedules for Fasting Can Vary: When performed correctly, intermittent fasting can provide people with a timed-controlled eating food method. Some of the most commonly used schedules used include:
- Short IF: The short schedule works best for beginners. A person under this schedule will fast for about 16 hours and then eat within an 8-hour window.
- Medium IF: This is the intermediary stage for intermittent fasting. A person with this schedule will fast for 20 hours and then have a 4-hour window for eating meals.
- Long IF: The long intermittent fasting schedule is the most aggressive form. Under this schedule, a person will fast for 24 hours and then have a 36-hour window for eating.
- Satisfactory Meals Are Necessary: These schedules require long-lasting, adequate meals with high protein, high fiber, and good fats. Depending on the schedule used, snacks such as water and bone broth can help satisfy food cravings throughout the day. However, meals with whole grains, lean protein, and hearty vegetables are recommended for their ability to fill a person’s satiety.
- It’s Not for Everyone: Intermittent fasting can be a demanding schedule to achieve, especially for people usually accustomed to regular eating patterns of two to three times a day. Those wishing to begin this pattern should start slow and vary their eating patterns within the first month of practicing this schedule. Those who have recently had some form of surgery or are suffering from an illness should not begin this eating pattern due to the potential physical effects it has on the body.
To learn why intermittent fasting can be useful for weight maintenance and more activities you can use for your health, contact Dr. Stephen Clouthier at The Alternative Health Center in The Woodlands, TX, for more information.