3 Ways to Get Started With Intermittent Fasting
By Amber Page
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular "diets" in the country. Proponents cite everything from significant weight loss to improvements in gene functions as reasons to adopt this eating pattern.
And there is significant evidence that intermittent fasting can be good for you.
One recent study of people using the alternate day fasting protocol found that not only did they lose weight, they lowered their cholesterol and reduced levels of several amino acids and molecules in the body linked to increased longevity.
Ready to see what it can do for you? Give one of these three methods a try.
Start With the 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Method
This is the easiest style of intermittent fasting to adopt for most people. All you have to do is restrict the times you eat to an eight-hour window.
That means you're not eating for 16 hours, which might sound scary, but in reality you're asleep for most of that time. Many people using this method choose an eating window from noon to 8 p.m. or 1 to 9 p.m. -- so basically you're just skipping breakfast.
Experiment With the 5/2 Method
When you use this method of intermittent fasting, you eat regularly five days of the week (within reason, of course), and restrict yourself to 500-600 calories the other two days.
It's generally best to break up your fasting days -- don't try to do it two days in a row. And when you are fasting, fill up with healthy, protein-rich foods, like whole fruits and vegetables, eggs, beans, and lean meats. Avoid junk food at all costs on these days.
If You're Ready for a Challenge, Try Alternate Day Fasting
This might seem like it would be the most difficult style of intermittent fasting, but it works well for many people -- it just takes a little while to get used to.
If you choose to try this method, you'll avoid eating or drinking anything with calories for 24 hours, then eat regularly for the next 24 hours and repeat. However, this doesn't necessarily mean you can't eat anything for an entire day. You could choose to fast from 6 p.m. one day to 6 p.m. the next, meaning that even on your fasting day, you can have a regular dinner.
Intermittent fasting puts you in control. You choose when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat, which can feel liberating to anyone who's spent a lot of time counting points or restricting calories.
But, as with any diet plan, the better you eat, the better your results will be. Just make sure you check with a doctor before beginning to make sure intermittent fasting is right for you.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntington Beach, Calif.