What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the world’s most popular health and wellness trends.
From celebrities to athletes to everyday folks, people all over the world are sharing the benefits they’ve experienced from trying intermittent fasting.
Today we’re going to explore what intermittent fasting is. In next week’s email, we will explore the science behind it.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating schedule that cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting.
It’s not really a diet in the sense that it doesn’t dictate what foods you should or shouldn’t eat.
Instead, think of it more like an eating pattern.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll experience health benefits if you only eat Twinkies and gummy worms during IF; what you put into your body is still extremely important 😉.
Although the fad of IF is relatively new, fasting is in fact a very, very old human practice.
Ancient hunter-gatherers did not have the luxury of eating 3 meals a day every day.
Sometimes, there wasn’t any food to be found. Thus, the human body evolved fully capable and conditioned to fast.
Fasting for health benefits dates back to the 5th century.
The Greek physician Hippocrates, widely regarded as the father of medicine, would routinely recommend his patients fast to combat certain illnesses.
Throughout history, fasting has been practiced by noteworthy physicians, religious leaders, and people of cultural significance.
Today, one of the most common fasting schedules is the 16/8 method.
This means for 8 hours of the day, say noon to 8:00 pm, you can eat whenever you want. Then for the other 16 hours, you fast; only drinking water or other calorie-free beverages.
At first, this might sound difficult.
But, if you think about it, you are asleep for a big portion of your fast. It’s really just like skipping breakfast, having your first meal at lunch, and then limiting that night time snacking.
“But I thought breakfast was the most important meal of the day!?”
That’s what we were always told; however, the science doesn’t fully agree.
One of the newest studies on the importance of breakfast found that it is not the most important meal of the day at all.
In fact, if you dive deep into the history of the breakfast myth, you’ll find that sugary cereal companies are largely responsible for pushing breakfast importance on Americans.
We are not saying that everyone should skip breakfast. But, if you want to try IF, we want to highlight that it is ok to skip breakfast if that is what fits into your schedule the best 😊.
Fasting is certainly not for everyone and people with certain medical conditions should not try an IF eating pattern.
That being said, there are some extremely interesting scientific studies that suggest some pretty incredible benefits from practicing IF.
And we’ll explore them in depth next week!