Intermittent fasting has been getting a lot of attention lately, so what is it?
By Kirsten Janz, Owner and Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. It is not a diet in the traditional sense, but rather a pattern of eating that can be incorporated into any diet. Intermittent fasting can be practiced in many different ways, but the most common methods involve fasting for a certain number of hours each day i.e. 10 hours of eating and 14 hours fasting. Some people opt to fast completely for one or two days a week.
Due to limiting the amount of time food is consumed daily, intermittent fasting can help to promote weight loss by reducing the overall calorie intake. It can also be beneficial for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes as it may help to regulate metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity. Intermittent fasting may also increase longevity as it reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which are known to contribute to aging and age-related diseases. Lastly, it has also shown in medical research to be beneficial for cognitive function and may reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
People, who have chosen to adopt intermittent fasting, typically do so because it allows for flexibility in foods consumed as it doesn’t follow a strict eating plan. It is also a fairly low-maintenance way to improve your health. However, it is important to note that while intermittent fasting has been shown to have many potential benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. If you have a history of disordered eating, are pregnant, or have a medical condition, it is best to consult a doctor or nutritionist before making the decision to change up existing eating patterns.