It seems like there are always new ways coming onto the market on how to lose weight or how to treat your body better. One day eating protein can be the enemy and the next, it’s so heavily recommended that you think you might never quit eating chicken. With so much new information coming out and gaining popularity, it can be hard to decipher what’s really best for your body. This article is going to take a look at intermittent fasting and discuss the positive and negative aspects of it so that you may make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you and your lifestyle.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating, or rather not eating, in order to do what some people feel is properly fuel your body. There are planned periods of time that you refrain from eating, and other time periods that are referred to you as your eating window. This is the time span that you use to get all of your caloric needs and nutrients in. Outside of the window, there are rules about what constitutes eating. Some people feel that things like black coffee are acceptable or they are allowed some sort of broth. Others stick strictly to drinking water during their fast. The time frames that you decide to fast can vary, and even how often you fast during the week. For some, a 16 hour fast is a daily routine.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting makes you pay very close attention to your body and the food you are eating. This can help you because you know you are only allowed a certain time to eat and you are more likely to choose foods that are going to be full of things like protein and fiber in order to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Intermittent fasting can also produce other desired effects, like weight loss, because your body is given ample time to properly digest food. Lastly, there are studies coming out that show the potential for this way of eating to provide you with things like an improved immune system and cardiovascular effects.
Risks of Intermittent Fasting
One of the main drawbacks of using intermittent fasting is that you have a much shorter time span in order to get your required nutrients and calories for the day into your body. In order to make sure you don’t end up deficient in anything, you are going to need to pay more attention to the foods you eat. You might also need to spend more time planning and preparing your meals so that they include everything your body needs. Being more conscious of what you are eating is generally a positive aspect; however, not everyone has time to prepare meals in advance and check the nutrition content of everything. This is something only you can judge for yourself if you will be able to handle.
As you can see, there are many aspects of intermittent fasting. It can help your body process through foods easier, and provide you with resulting weight loss, but it can also be more difficult for you to get proper nutrition from eating this way. This does not make the lifestyle impossible, but rather something that you need to be diligent with. In addition, many people feel like they do not have to watch their caloric intake while in their eating window. This type of thinking can lead to unhealthy behaviors and a damaged relationship with food. If you decide to try intermittent fasting, clear it with your doctor first and make sure you enlist the help of a dietician to make sure you get all of your required nutrients in during your eating window.