Whether your main goal is to improve your health or lose weight, intermittent fasting could provide the results you want. This eating pattern is designed to cycle between periods of eating and fasting.

Intermittent fasting, when done safely and correctly, is a meal-timing fasting technique that can offer several health benefits. Before you start fasting, it is important to understand what this eating pattern means and how it can be helpful for your health. We also recommend meeting with your primary care provider beforehand to see if intermittent fasting would be beneficial for you. 

What Does Intermittent Fasting Mean?

Intermittent fasting is a basic eating pattern that involves eating and fasting—the willful refrainment from eating—at different intervals. Keep in mind that there are several techniques used for intermittent fasting, which is why the guidelines can differ.

The most common methods involve fasting for 24-hour periods around twice every week. It is also common to fast for 16 hours each day, which means that eight hours a day are left open for eating.

food in a glass container with silverware

Different Methods for Intermittent Fasting

While there are many different techniques used in intermittent fasting, the three most popular techniques are the 16/8 technique, the 5:2 diet, and the eat-stop-eat method. With the 16/8 technique, you fast for 16 hours and eat for eight. The eight hours open for eating typically extend from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., which means that you would be skipping breakfast every day.

The 5:2 diet involves consuming around 500-600 calories for two days per week. This means that normal eating would occur on the remaining five days. As for the eat-stop-eat method, it requires you to fast for 24 hours around once or twice every week.

No matter which method you choose, you should see similar results. Choose which method feels the most manageable for you or ask your primary care provider for a recommendation.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting offers several notable benefits. The primary advantages include:
• Reducing inflammation that commonly occurs with chronic diseases
• Reducing insulin resistance, which helps with the prevention of diabetes
• Reducing blood sugar and cholesterol, which keeps heart disease at bay
• Reducing weight

While fasting is never easy, intermittent fasting is a great way to obtain the benefits of fasting without needing to completely alter your lifestyle. The health benefits that come with intermittent fasting should be quickly noticeable.

To learn more about ways to improve your health through eating patterns, contact us and schedule an in-person visit or telehealth consultation today.

Do you have more questions about nutrition in Salem, OregonContact our friendly staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!

This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.