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What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a form of dieting that involves switching between eating and not eating on a schedule. Studies have shown it is a proven way to appropriately manage your weight. This diet plan has many different approaches, with some examples including:

  • alternate-day fasting: normal calorie intake one day and completely fast or gave one small meal the next day
  • 5:2 fasting: regular consumption five days out of the week and fast two days out of week
  • daily time-restricted fasting: regular consumption for a six-to-eight-hour window, fast remainder of day

There are numerous different intermittent fasting plans, so it is important to find what is right for you!


How does it work?

The act of fasting will alter where your body gets its energy. The energy your body needs comes from carbohydrates and sugars in your body. If the body does not use all the carbohydrates and sugars consumed within a day, it will be stored as fat within your body. Therefore, if you practice intermittent fasting, your body will begin to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates and sugars.

What health benefits are associated with intermittent fasting?

  • sleep improvement: fully digesting food prior to sleeping
  • heart protection: reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • decreased risk for diabetes: keeping blood sugar controlled
  • weight loss: using fat for energy resulting in decreased body fat
  • reduced inflammation: improvement in arthritis, MS, and asthma

Does it work?

Mark Mattson, neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins, has heavily researched intermittent fasting and its ability to help patients manage their weight. He concludes that our bodies are naturally able to withstand long periods of time without consuming food. For individuals who practice this diet, there will be health benefits.

Tips for intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting will not work overnight and may take two to four weeks for your body to adapt to a new schedule and for results to show! Follow these tips for the best success with this dieting regimen:

  • Always make sure you talk with your primary care physician before dieting
  • Don’t follow a fasting schedule where you do not eat for more than 24 hours
  • Exercise and eat healthy foods while intermittent fasting
  • Design your eating schedule for earlier in the day

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