Fasting has been around for hundred’s of years , however, it is only in recent years that the benefits of fasting are becoming apparent. Included in this is weight loss, improvements in blood profile and even greater concentration and mental clarity. Of course as with any eating style IF or intermittent fasting is not for everyone and there are certainly those who should not try IF ( eg those at risk of an eating disorder, diabetes on insulin or anyone under 18 years old)
The most common modes of intermittent fasting include:-
This involves daily fasting for 16 hours. Sometimes this is also referred to as an 8-hour eating ‘window’. You eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours. You could do this 3 times per week.
For example, you may eat all your meals within the time period of 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. Generally, this means skipping breakfast. You generally eat two or three meals within this 8-hour period.
Or you could eat between 8am – 4 pm and fast until breakfast the following morning.
Dr. Michael Mosley popularised this variation in his book ‘The Fast Diet’. This involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. However, on these two fasting days, it is permitted to eat 500-600 calories on each day. These calories can be consumed at any time during the day – either spread throughout the day, or as a single meal.
24 hour fasts
This involves fasting from dinner to dinner (or lunch to lunch). If you eat dinner on day 1, you would skip the next day’s breakfast and lunch and eat dinner again on day 2. This means that you are still eating daily, but only once during that day. This would generally be done once or twice per week.