The number of options available with regards to dietary changes is staggering, both as our understanding of the human body improves as well as innovative diets are discovered. One such example is intermittent fasting, an alternative that is more specific with regards to the timing of when you can and cannot eat. It can be an effective means of staying healthy and even lead to weight loss, but what is it, and how does it work? James Hauschildt offers the details.
As with any dietary change, it’s important to proceed with caution and based on sound medical advice. Although intermittent fasting is a perfectly safe routine to incorporate into your lifestyle, just keep in mind that it’s not for everyone. According to James Hauschildt, the pursuit of better health is all about finding what works for you. In addition, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, please consult your doctor first.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a modification to your eating schedule. Unlike more traditional diets, it’s all about when you choose to eat, as opposed to what you eat. According to James Hauschildt, intermittent fasting takes advantage of the different states of the human body following a meal; immediately afterwards it goes into the ‘fed’ state, where digestion occurs. During this time, it is more difficult to burn fat, but 8–12 hours afterwards when the body shifts to the ‘post-absorption’ state where fat burning is significantly easier.
With a traditional three-square meals diet, you might not even experience this state at all aside from when you are sleeping, and intermittent fasting modifies eating times with longer gaps in-between so you can spend more time in this fat-burning state.
James Hauschildt shares that there are three common methods of intermittent fasting.
5/2: With this method, you choose two non-consecutive days of the week on which you consume only 500–600 calories, eating normally for the other five.
16/8: This method involves skipping breakfast and maintaining a regular daily eating period of eight hours each day, resulting in a 16-hour fasting period.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This method involves fasting for a full 24 hours, once or twice a week.
It’s always important to remember that hunger and feeling both physically and mentally tired are completely normal side effects, and your body simply needs time to adjust to a new eating schedule.
Intermittent fasting comes with several benefits. First, it can be a time-saver in your daily routine because you will be eating less. Second, a direct result of this type of fasting that can occur is weight loss, which compliments healthy eating choices and physical activity. Finally, and most importantly, it is a much easier change to adjust to than traditional dieting, which can be hard to stick with over long periods.
Intermittent fasting represents an accessible alternative for a healthier lifestyle and weight loss. James Hauschildt is a first-generation college graduate with a strong desire to help others through improving our state of health and wellness. He has had a variety of benevolent endeavors in healthcare and education in various different environments.