Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting

What is it?

Intermittent fasting involves using an 8-hour window, called your “awake” hours, to eat, followed by a 16-hour window of fasting. The idea is to consume all your calories in a short amount of time and give your body additional time to use the fuel.

Some small studies show greater weight loss with intermittent fasting vs. a control group consuming the same number of calories in a day. Additionally, there are very few limitations when it comes to types of foods, but choosing a healthy, well-balanced menu is always encouraged.

It is also recommended to stick to your same 8-hour window of eating every time for consistency and consume your calories in 3-4 meals during that 8-hour window - not one big meal. This can be done daily or once a week.

Advantages:

  • May help improve blood sugar levels.
  • May help with weight loss due to fewer calories consumed in the 8-hour feeding window.

Disadvantages:

  • No specific dietary requirements are given, so that is up to the individual.
  • Individuals will have to adjust to eating their meals in a smaller time window.
  • Fasting for 16 hours can be quite difficult at first, but most individuals can adjust after a period of time.

Information courtesy of Nicole Hahn, Registered Dietitian at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

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