Intermittent Fasting: Everything You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

Losing weight through intermittent fasting (alternating fasting) is popular. As with everything: it helps for some, not for others. Has to do with all kinds of side factors. But if you are planning to, this is all you need to know. Just reading for 5 minutes does not hurt.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is done in different ways. Some people fast every other day, which means that you eat very little one day (less than 25% of your energy requirement) and you can eat everything the next day. Intermittent fasting is also an option, meaning that you fast 1 to 2 days a week and not 5 to 6 days a week. 

People also try to achieve weight loss by fasting for a number of hours a day and eating only at certain times.

The most popular way of intermittent fasting is to skip breakfast, eat the first meal at noon, and the last meal at 8 pm. This way, you fast 16 hours a day. During the fast, you can drink water, coffee, and other drinks without calories. Supplements and vitamins are also allowed during fasting, as long as they do not contain calories.

What are the advantages?

Many people practice intermittent fasting purely for weight loss, but it has several proven benefits for your health.

  • Your blood sugar remains constant throughout the morning.
  • Many people say they have a higher level of well-being and more energy.
  • Once you get used to intermittent fasting, you would get an increased ability to concentrate.
  • Significant reduction in your insulin level.
  • Increase in human growth hormone (the hormone that keeps you young).
  • To lose weight.
  • Faster metabolism.
  • May increase stem cell production, according to research.
  • According to some studies, it makes you live longer.
  • Time savings, because you have to prepare one meal less per day.

What are the risks?

If you want to lose weight by fasting like crazy, know the nuances. These are the risks of intermittent fasting.

  • Fasting makes you prone to dehydration because you don’t get enough fluids from food. So drink enough water.
  • Hunger. Sounds logical, but if you’re not used to it, fasting makes you hungry, leading to increased stress levels and disturbed sleep.
  • Heartburn: Smelling food or even thinking about it during intermittent fasting can prompt the brain to tell the stomach to produce more acid, leading to stomach acid.
  • Some nutrition experts believe that intermittent fasting can deter people from following healthy eating recommendations, such as eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Fasting could also cause binge eating (this is not a direct risk, but a domino effect).
  • People with eating disorders can make the problem worse by fasting.
  • People under the age of 18, pregnant women, people with type 1 diabetes, and people recovering from surgery are strongly discouraged from fasting.
  • Long periods of fasting (24 hours and more) can activate your body’s survival mechanism (calorie conservation), slowing down your digestion.
  • Drinking alcohol while fasting carries risks. You don’t have the well-known bottom.

The variants

People who want to lose weight with intermitting fasting have roughly three options.

  • The 16/8 method: 16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating. The 16-hour fast is usually from 8 p.m. to noon.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: Once or twice a week, you don’t eat anything after dinner until dinner the next day. (Note that there are also studies that conclude that fasting increases the risk of type 2 diabetes)
  • The 5: 2 diet: take in no more than 500-600 calories two days a week.

Tips & Tricks

  • Rookies going 16/8 for the method, it is advisable to start (delay breakfast three hours rather than skip it altogether) with 12 hours instead of 16 hours fasting.
  • Do not eat snacks and drink enough water.
  • If you’re really hungry, just eat something healthy. You have to be disciplined, but don’t overdo it.
  • You are your own test case, so listen to your body and understand that different variations are suitable for different people.
  • To break the fast, start with yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit and vegetables and a nutrient-rich smoothie.
  • Concentrate on building a strong foundation Monday through Friday so that you can indulge every now and then on the weekend, not unimportant if you want to lose weight.

Does intermittent fasting help you lose weight?

You already read it a few times in this article: you can lose weight through intermittent fasting, provided you consume fewer calories in your diet than you consume. Every other day fasting leads to greater weight loss than intermittent fasting. 

Studies on the long-term effects of intermittent fasting are limited. Therefore, it is not possible to indicate whether this form of fasting poses long-term health risks or health benefits. It is also not clear what it does in the long term with regard to losing weight.

Popular among celebrities

Intermittent fasting is known to celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Chris Pratt. Read the success stories here.