How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting
January 16, 2020 | Abigail Mckay

How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has become wildly popular in the last few years due to reports of weight reduction and increased energy levels.  Fasting is not a new concept, and it has actually been documented since ancient times.  Although, recently many people have been hesitant to try fasting due to the view that it is incredibly restrictive and not easily manageable.  This is where the concept of intermittent fasting is a useful alternative to the multiple-day fasting crazes.  Intermittent fasting is not only easy to manage, but the results will be noticeable externally and internally.
There are a variety of ways to approach intermittent fasting, but the most common one is the 16/8 model.  This concept involves fasting sixteen hours a day and then eating during an eight-hour window. The 16/8 concept is easy to maintain on a long term basis, and it is not considered incredibly restrictive.  Many people still eat three meals a day using this method, while implementing moderation during the non-fasting period.  To implement this into your daily life, start by finding a doable eight-hour window that you eat the majority of your meals. For instance, if you do not usually eat breakfast, schedule your eating window from 11 am to 7 pm.  However, if you are an avid breakfast eater, try a non-fasting period between 9 am to 5 pm.  Water and coffee are allowed during your fasting window, but it should not contain any added sweeteners.
During your eating window, try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, in addition to lean protein.  It is essential to understand that this kind of eating style does not allow you to eat anything you want with no self-control or moderation. This diet will be highly successful when paired with moderation and healthy eating.  Without these two factors, this lifestyle will not be effective and the results will not be noticeable. When we eat, the main source of energy to continue all of the normal body functions comes primarily from our food.  However, when we fast and abstain from food, our body still needs to be supplied with an energy source. The fat that is stored in the body is used as the main energy source when we fast.  Essentially, when you fast for an extended period of time, the body is burning fat. 
In addition to burning fat, which leads to weight loss, there are a multitude of benefits from intermittent fasting.  The benefits of this lifestyle include glucose stabilization, lower cholesterol, and improved blood pressure.  Better sleep has also been reported because the body is not in a constant state of digestion.  In conclusion, intermittent fasting is a simple way to lose weight and change the body from the inside out.  To get started, pick eight hours you will eat and sixteen hours you will not eat.  Remember to drink water throughout your fasting window.  During the hours you eat, utilize healthy eating habits, such as moderation and stick with whole foods.  If you have tried multiple diets and have not lost weight, talk with a physician at Shifa4U as this may indicate an underlying medical condition.

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Abigail Mckay

Abigail has been a nurse for five years, and throughout her time as a nurse, she has worked in multiple medical-surgical units as well as spent time in the infusion therapy clinic and endoscopy lab. She is passionate about preventative medicine through patient education regarding nutrition and exercise. Due to her passion, Abigail has gone on to earn two certifications including a certification in medical-surgical nursing (CMSRN) and a certification in holistic nursing (HNB-BC), in hopes of being able to better serve her patients. Abigail earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and now bettering patient education in the healthcare system through partnering with American TelePhysicians.