If you hear the word “fasting” and immediately picture Gandhi on a hunger strike, you’re not alone.
Well, you and Hillary aren’t alone at least.
Fasting — especially intermittent fasting — has less to do with social activism and more to do with health and oftentimes weight loss.
Although everyone fasts multiple times a day (anytime you’re not stuffing your piehole, like when you’re sleeping, you’re technically fasting), intermittent fasting is a bit more deliberate.
Different people opt to IF (yes, that’s how the cool kids abbreviate it) in different ways. Some people find it easiest to skip eating from around 7 p.m. until the following day at 11 a.m. That’s a 16-hour fast or a 16:8. So, 16 hours fasted with an eight-hour “eating window” (you’re damn right there’s gonna be a quiz. Also, no, you do not eat a window. Try to keep up here.). Other folks forgo lunch or dinner.
No matter which route you take, the usual objective is to shorten the aforementioned eating window.
But why in the name of everything holy would anyone want to skip eating a meal?
In lots of people, fasting has shown myriad benefits, including better sensitivity to hunger signals, improved blood sugar levels, increased mental clarity and focus, decreased appetite, improved insulin sensitivity, and more.
So, is IF the magic bullet that everyone should start trying immediately OMG why are we still sitting here we need to stop eating for days at a time right this very second eeeeeee?!
Yeah, maybe not.
If you suffer from low blood sugar, IF might not be for you. Also, although the benefits of intermittent fasting in men tend to be fairly universal, that’s not always the case with women. Some women might actually see their blood sugar levels get worse. Or it can disrupt their menstrual cycle.
This goes without saying (but we’re gonna say it extra hard and loud for the people in the back), but if you do decide to try intermittent fasting — especially if you have lady bits — you’re gonna want to check with your doctor. And keep close tabs on how IF makes you feel and if it has any negative effects on your body or your sleep or your mood, etc.
What about you? Have you tried IF for any length of time? Seen the benefits? Suffered some not awesome side effects? Tell us about your IF experience in the comments!
Further info and deets
- Healthline: Intermittent Fasting 101 — The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
- Harvard Health Publishing: Intermittent fasting: Surprising update
- WebMD: Do Fasting Diets Work?
- U of M Health: Intermittent Fasting: Is it Right for You?
- What Breaks a Fast?
- Women’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting
- How to Break a Fast For Women