Intermittent fasting (IF) is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting. Intermittent fasting is one form of dietary restriction.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that alternates between periods of eating and fasting. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. It’s not a diet in the conventional sense, but more accurately described as an eating pattern. There are several different methods of intermittent fasting, but the most common include:
- 16/8 method (Leangains protocol): This involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours (for example, 1 pm to 9 pm) and then fasting for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
- 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500-600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is to give the body a break from digestion so it can focus on other restorative processes. It can potentially lead to weight loss, improved metabolic health, and even extend lifespan, though more research is needed.