A phenomenon called intermittent fasting is currently one of the world's most popular health and fitness trends. It involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Many studies show that this can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, protect against disease and perhaps help you live longer.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. No food is allowed during the fasting period, but you can drink water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages.
There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.
What are the Benefits?
- Lowers cancer risk – Multiple studies have shown a link between intermittent fasting and a reduced risk of breast cancer.
- Improves blood sugar – When it comes to managing blood sugar, intermittent fasting takes center stage. Intermittent fasting has a proven ability to lower insulin resistance and increase metabolism.
- Encourages weight loss – Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve chronic inflammation that can dull the brain’s leptin receptor sites.
Is it Healthy?
By not eating for an entire day, you aren’t going to develop any nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances—you’re just going to be hungry.
While fasting can be a safe option for weight loss when employed correctly, the jury is still out on if it is a more effective method of weight loss. Many of the metabolic benefits that you see as a result of fasting are also experienced on a very low-carbohydrate diet.