It’s the current buzzword in dieting. Does it work? Can it also improve your overall health and general well-being?
The pandemic has definitely taken its toll on all of us, mentally and physically. With lockdowns finally at an end, you have probably found yourself not where you were two years ago- health or fitness-wise.
Intermittent fasting is all the craze at the moment on social media. Could it be the key to help you shed those pesky kilos? Stress, as well as stay at home restrictions, have unfortunately resulted in many people experiencing weight gain. But the doors of freedom have now swung open for us all. So, let’s talk about the benefits of this new fad diet.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves abstaining from eating for long periods and then restricting your eating to a specific time frame within a 24 hour period. The benefits of this mean that you do not have to restrict what you eat or in other words, yes- you can eat chocolate. Intermittent fasting only restricts You only when you eat. An example of this would be in a 24 hour period, you would fast for 16 hours and allow for only 8 hours of eating. Ideally, you would eat a main meal in that 8 hour period instead of continually snacking.
What is the science behind it?
Research suggests that intermittent fasting is a more beneficial and healthy way of losing weight. This is because back before the world as we know it today, hunter-gatherers had no access to food the way that we do now.
These studies have found that the cellular and molecular levels change in your body when you are fasting. Your body will adjust its hormone levels so that stored body fat is used more readily. Additionally, during this process, your cells will also begin repair processes.
Changes in your body during intermittent fasting include:
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Grows 5-fold which assists with fat loss and muscle gain
- Insulin levels drop dramatically, making stored body fat more able to be used
- Cellular repair begins, as well as autophagy (cells regenerate new healthier cells)
- Gene expression is where a gene in a cell is turned on to make proteins and RNA. This benefits our immunity.
Intermittent Fasting methods
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. An example of this would be fasting from dinner one night until dinner the next night.
- The 16/8 method: This is also called the Leangains protocol. An example of this would be to skip breakfast and restrict your eating to 8 hours (for example 11–7 pm). Outside of these times, fasting is required.
- The 5:2 diet: Consists of eating 500–600 calories on two different days during the week (for example Monday and Friday) and eating normally on the remaining days.
Consult your General Practitioner
Intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone; always consult your doctor before beginning a new diet. Please be aware that this method of dieting is not suitable for everyone, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you’re considering losing weight and need expert guidance, speak to our team of Doctors or dietitian to find the most suitable diet plan for you.