Nutrition Throwdown: 2 Types of Intermittent Fasting
For our next installment of Nutrition Plan Throw Down, we’re digging into the world of intermittent fasting, also referred to as IF, and exploring two popular methods. But before we dive in, let’s first understand what this diet is all about.
Intermittent fasting generally involves limiting the time you eat to a specific number of hours and fasting the rest of the day. Seems fairly simple, but there are a number of popular ways to do it.
Why do some people fast intermittently?
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, fasting has a number of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, reduced cancer risk, gene repair, and increased longevity. He also argues that it helps reset your body to burn fat for fuel. He also points to mounting evidence showing that when your body becomes adapted to burning fat instead of sugar as your primary fuel, you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease.
But IF is not for everyone! If you have chronic stress or cortisol dysregulation, fasting could make it worse. You should also avoid fasting if you are pregnant, nursing or have a history of disordered eating. Always speak to your doctor before trying out any new eating plan.
What does it do to the body?
Intermittent fasting essentially copies the eating habits of our ancestors, who would go long periods of time between meals. Thanks to grocery stores, refrigerators and GrubHub, we don’t HAVE to live that way anymore. Our Neanderthal relatives would go from feast to famine, and some recent research shows this is beneficial for the body.
- It could normalize your insulin and leptin sensitivity to increase your energy.
- It could help reset your body to use fat as its primary fuel.
- It could regulate your hunger hormone.
- It could lower triglyceride levels.
There are a few different popular intermittent fasting approaches. Let’s compare two of them side by side. And importantly, if you decide to try one of these IF programs, please talk to your doctor to make sure it is suitable for you.
Some people use an Intermittent Fasting Calculator to plan their IF diet.