What is...?

What is Intermittent Fasting?

The term ‘intermittent fasting’ seems to be coming up a lot lately, so I thought I’d look into it, and see what all the fuss is about. Is it just another fad diet released into the world to confuse us even more about what we should be eating and when we should be eating it?

Are you curious too? Well, great – read on then!

OK, so essentially, intermittent fasting is actually pretty self-explanatory – you fast intermittently…..Hmmm mmm, it’s that simple! So happy I could help out.

Oh, you were looking for more? Uh….okee doke…let me see….

Right. So, the general idea is that you don’t eat anything for up to 24 hours, once or twice a week, with the intention of losing weight and feeling better overall. Sounds a little hard to believe, considering we’ve been told for years that the best way to lose weight and reach a pretty great level of general healthiness, is to eat regularly so our metabolism works hard for us? I agree!

What’s the point of it?

Well, it seems multiple studies have shown that intermittent fasting can be good for your health (although most research so far has been done on animals). Results have been promising – people have lost weight, reduced their sensitivity to insulin (increased insulin sensitivity can lead to diabetes), and experienced less inflammation. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680567/), but it seems the jury is still out, and will be until more long-term studies are done with humans.

In a (very simple) nutshell – if you’re not eating for one or two days a week, that equals less food for the week, right? So that might mean less chocolate, less bread, less alcohol, less chips for the week? You still with me? That means less calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food for the week, yes? And what usually happens when we cut back on those foods?

Come on….you got this!

Yes, you are absolutely right (gold star for you) – we tend to lose weight, have less inflammation in our bodies, healthier blood sugar levels, and we feel much better overall. So, it makes sense for us to all get on the intermittent fasting bandwagon, right?

Image by Jim Ewoldsen from Pixabay

Should we all be doing it?

Uh….I’m going to say….not necessarily….actually, I’m saying nope…. I am not a fan of a one-size-fits-all approach to diet, because it simply doesn’t make sense. My body shape, my metabolism, my hormones, my digestion, etc are unique to me, and so are yours – so what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.

And, what I can make work with my lifestyle long-term might be completely different to what you can. The likelihood that you will be able to create habit change, and maintain any weight loss or health improvements in the long-term, should always factor strongly into your decision when you are pondering a diet change. I mean, really, if you can’t see yourself sticking with it long-term, what’s the point?

As a health coach, I help people to discover what foods and meal timing work best for their bodies and lifestyles, by supporting them in rediscovering their ‘gut wisdom’, and creating new habits for long-term results (email me for more info: hello@mellomotivation.com).

I always encourage my clients to check in with their doctor or dietitian before making major changes to their diet though, and I encourage you to do the same if you are considering intermittent fasting.

Mel x