Intermittent Fasting Explained

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that cycles between eating and fasting.  It’s not a diet as such, more a pattern of eating.  It essentially restricts calories while in the fasting phase, then boosts metabolism (potentially) when you resume eating.  Can then make it difficult to over consume calories in the eating window – for people who eat healthily.  The easiest way to intermittent fast, is to finish your evening meal at 8pm, then not eat again for 16 hours – so 12pm the next day.  I’ve had mixed results with clients following IF, however it is worth trying if you think you will benefit and don’t have any medical conditions?

Who Can Benefit?

  • Helpful tool for anyone trying to lose weight or tone
  • Can help someone who’s reached a plateau
  • Anyone who finds a diet that worked in the past, is no longer as affective.
  • Can help reduce calories while on holidays
  • Helpful on “cheat days”
  • Can also be beneficial to anyone who struggles to reduce portion sizes and therefore calories.
  • Can be an easier way to reduce calories for those with a hectic life, who only eat infrequently.

Intermittent Fasting Explained

  • It is not a free for all in the eating window
  • Will only work in conjunction with a healthy diet
  • Not recommended for anyone with eating disorders, diabetics, pregnant, breastfeeding or women trying to conceive.  Anyone on medications, with hormonal, thyroid or other medical conditions. Always consult your doctor
  • Longterm, it may lose effectiveness, may be best to cycle?
  • Several ways to IF, some easier to follow than others

Ways to Intermittent Fast

  • The 16/8 Method: After evening meal, fast for 16 hours before next meal.  Easiest method to follow, target 2 days per week.
  • The 8 Hour Window Method: Only eat in an 8 hour window every day. Difficult to follow for most people.
  • The 5:2 Method: Eat a normal healthy diet 5 days a week.  Then consume only 5-600 calories on 2 non consecutive days.  Not a longterm option for most people, but may be good post holiday etc?
  • 24Hr Method: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.  The most extreme option and very tough to follow.

Only water & black tea/coffee allowed during fasting phase

For a much more detailed explanation, checkout this excellent article here.

author: Andy Kenny