What is Intermittent Fasting? Does It Work?

Describing my goal to lose 100 pounds, I talked about looking further into Intermittent Fasting. I begin that research.

Image by aginorz via Flickr

I alluded to researching intermittent fasting more, when I wrote about my goal to lose a hundred pounds.  I have found that the best way to really learn something is to write about it, so here is my attempt to do that.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Basically, Intermittent Fasting, also known as I.F., is a way of eating that alternates between times of fasting and non-fasting (not eating and eating).  We already unknowingly naturally do this, since we are unable to eat during our sleep.  Our body is already undergoing a period of fasting during sleep.  Intermittent Fasting is a concerted effort to increase those periods of fasting for health benefits and weight loss.

Most of the time, intermittent fasting is seen as alternate day fasting.  Basically, you eat one day and then fast the next, thus alternating your days of eating.  By doing so, you lessen the days that you can overeat and thus lose weight.  A less extreme form of I.F. is called an eating window.  Basically, the faster chooses a window, or a period of time during the day, where they can eat.  For example, 12 to 8 or 2 to 8.  With eating windows, you are able to eat every day, which helps many fasters psychologically.

This form of calorie restriction has been shown to have great health benefits.  Studies done on animals have shown reduced serum glucose and insulin levels.  It also has shown to ameliorate blood pressure issues and coronary artery disease.

My Initial Thoughts On I.F.

Whether or not I can hack not eating for such long periods of time is another story.  I like the benefits that come from fasting, but I am still hesitant to see if it is indeed healthy and if it can really help me.  I am contemplating the purchase of Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon, since it seems to have some very good reviews.

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