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What You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting Before You Give it a Try

To continue our series on new diets to watch, we couldn't skip out on intermittent fasting. 

So WHAT is intermittent fasting? 

Well, there's a lot more to it than just skipping breakfast. There are actually quite a few ways to practice fasting, and studies show that there are a number of benefits! 

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What will you eat?

  • There aren't any specific rules around what you can and can't eat, it's really about when
  • The goal is that you eat nothing outside of your eating window, except for water or other no-calorie alternatives like black coffee or tea–note, that bulletproof coffee you've been drinking each morning means you break your fast. 

What You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting Before You Give it a Try

So when can I eat?

You have a few options, so let's look at what you can do!

Alternate Day Fasting: Within each week, you go full days of fasting and days where you feast. This is supposed to mimic how our ancestors ate–going days without, or with little, food, then feasting when there was food around. On your fasting days, you can eat up to 25% of your regular calories.

The 5:2 Plan: Similar to alternate day fasting, here you eat normally for five days of the week, and restrict for two days. On your restricting days, you consume around 500-600 calories each day. 

Time-restricted fasting/eating: These are technically two different types of fasting, but quite similar. Both methods require you to fast for a certain number of hours each day (between 12-18), and eat within a certain window (between 6-12 hours). Many people will do this by skipping breakfast and starting with their first meal at lunch, ending at 8 pm. 

The warrior diet: This one is also pretty simple–you eat fruits and vegetables throughout the day, and have a large meal in the evening. Our thoughts on this one? Stick to mainly veggies or berries if using this method. Without a healthy fat or protein, high-sugar fruits will leave you hungrier and cause a potential crash. 

What You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting

What we like about it: 

  • It's a pretty self-explanatory diet: only eat within a certain time window
  • There are a number of different ways to make this diet work for you: eating a certain number of calories each day, only eating for a few hours, skipping a few days each week
  • Many people find it's a great weight loss tool, if done correctly
  • It can balance your ghrelin levels (the annoying little hormone that increases hunger levels and cravings for carbs) 
  • It doesn't really restrict the types of foods you eat and you can still have treats, protein, high-carb, etc. 

What we don't like about it: 

  • It affects each person differently, especially from men to women
  • It can have negative effects for women looking to get pregnant as it can impact your hormone levels, namely because your body is under stress from hunger
  • It can actually cause weight gain and illness if it's not done properly. Hint, skipping breakfast and lunch, then binging on McDonalds is not healthy
  • There are no set rules to what you put in your body. You can have cookies, ice cream and pizza during your eating window if you want
  • A lot of the research that shows the benefits on intermittent fasting has been done on the Alternative Day Fasting Diet 
  • It's NOT good for those with a history of eating disorders 

You can find more information on some of today's most talked about diets on the blog!

You can also talk to our team about a Nutrition Consultation to see what type of diet will work for you!

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