There is a long human history of fasting, whether it be for cultural, religious, or political reasons.

However, you may or may not be familiar with the new diet trend known as intermittent fasting.

A diet where one eats normally some days and little to nothing other days has lately gained much attention around the world.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

So what’s all the buzz about?

Intermittent fasting (IF) involves periodic fasting paired with strategic eating and has become popularized as a method of achieving weight loss.

HOW IT WORKS:

 
There are two major ways in which IF is effective for weight loss including creating a caloric deficit and aiding in insulin regulation.

Research shows that in order to burn fat and lose weight you have to consume less calories than you use and this effect is achieved through IF.

Fasting works because the dieter eats less in one week than they normally would. For some individuals it may be easier to reach this goal through IF as opposed to reducing daily caloric intake.

Fasting also helps control insulin levels in the body. The hormone insulin is essential for the regulation of sugar and fat in the body.

Insulin is only released by the pancreas after a meal is eaten and therefore insulin levels drop during a fasted state. When insulin levels are constantly high, body cells can become less sensitive to its affect.

Periodically fasting can help regulate insulin levels which helps with sugar and fat processing in the body.

Types of Intermittent Fasting:

There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting and although the research is limited, some methods have shown to be more successful than others.

Time Restricted

This method involves consuming all of your meals within a certain time  

window and fasting for the remainder of the day. 

Alternate Day

This method involves alternating between eating meals regularly for an entire day and 

fasting for an entire day

Modified

This method incorporates IF throughout the week with some days being fasting or 

restricted days and others being regular days. The most popular being the 5:2 method in 

which you eat regularly for 5 days out of the week and you restrict your calories or fast 

completely for 2 days out of the week.

Circadian

This method is a type of Time Restricted IF that is dictated by circadian rhythm principles 

where you only eat while the sun is up and fast when the sun is down.

Is Intermittent Fasting For You?

Fad diets such as intermittent fasting get so much attention is because they offer new hope for people caught in the yo-yo diet cycle.

Despite the evidence that intermittent fasting can cause weight loss and improve risk factors for heart disease, many dietitians remain skeptical and wouldn’t recommend the dietary pattern as a weight-loss tool or method to improve heart health in most people.