What is IF?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. Many people follow it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles.

How does it work?

Most intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week. IF doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. Always aim to eat healthy though.

Different types of fasting:

16/8 method: It involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. You then fast for 16 hours in between.

Eat-Stop-Eat: You fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.

5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

Most people choose the 16/8 method.

Benefits of fasting

Weight loss: IF can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories.

Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation (responsible for many chronic diseases.)

Heart health: IF may reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance: IF can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, which should protect against type 2 diabetes.

Cancer: Animal studies show that IF may prevent cancer.

Brain health: IF increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It could also protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats lived 36–83% longer.

Always chat to us first

There is a ton of research online regarding fasting, although still in its early stages. Always consult a Registered Dietitian before fasting, as it may not be suitable to your health.