Intermittent fasting is something many vegans like CEO Sara Soulati of Global Cardio Care believe in. Sara developed the Sara Soulati Health for Life Program as a lifestyle modification program for disease prevention that is based on plant-based nutrition. Whether you’re vegan or not, people believe in the merits of fasting.
Intermittent Fasting Works for Cardiovascular Health
Intermittent fasting has got the health and fitness community all fired up and it’s become one of the hot topics of the moment. Many are adopting this practice to kick start weight loss or turn around their general health and wellbeing.
If you’ve heard all the chatter and want to get clued up, check out the beginners guide to intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting isn’t about what you eat, its emphasis is on when you eat. Also known as “cyclic fasting”, it involves a rotational sequence to determine when you eat (also termed “feed”) and when you fast.
There are many different approaches to intermittent fasting. If it suits your lifestyle you can skip meals or even refrain from eating for an entire 24 hour period. When you think about it, everyone fasts when they sleep – you don’t eat for a period of around eight hours, after all how do you think breakfast got its name?
You might think intermittent fasting is a new idea, but in actual fact it’s been around for years.
Fasting Forms a Big Part of Many Religions
Christians observe restrictions during Lent and the Jewish abstain from eating for Yom Kippur. In Buddhism, monks often fast when they are in deep meditation and Muslims respect the Islamic month of Ramadan which involves not eating or drinking from dawn until sunset.
Going way back to the times of the cavemen, they didn’t have the convenience of a local grocery store – no food meant they had to fast until the famine was over.
Back to the modern day, patients preparing for surgery are told to fast as a safety measure.
With intermittent fasting, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach, this means you will have plenty of variations to choose from.
The general concept entails dividing either your week or your days into set periods when you are allowed to feed and when you have to fast.
In some intermittent fasting plans you are allowed a very restrictive calorie intake whereas others involve avoiding food altogether.
Options for Intermittent Fasting
I’ve put together the most popular intermittent fasting protocols to give you an insight into what you can expect.
#1 The Warrior Diet
This method involves a once-a-day meal strategy and prioritizes certain food groups. Your meal can be eaten in aset four hour window – preferably the evening time.
The remaining 20 hours are deemed the fasting period although you are allowed to munch on raw fruit and vegetables and small amounts of protein throughout this time.
The Warrior Diet is a popular choice for intermittent fasting fanatics because even though you are fasting you can snack to help you get through. That said, some people do struggle with the restrictions on what you can eat and the time allocated for eating.
#2 The 16/8 Fasting Method
This concept is great if you are new to fasting. The basic principles are fasting for a period of 16 hours (men) or 14 hours (women) and restricting your “feed” time to the remaining 8 or 10 hours. While fasting the rule is no food whatsoever but you can drink beverages without calories such as unsweetened tea.
There are no set rules for when you have to fast, however most people find not eating after dinner and avoiding breakfast is the most straightforward approach.
The flexibility of when you can eat appeals to many, although if you are someone who can’t leave the house without eating breakfast it can be a challenge to break this habit.
With this fasting protocol you choose one or two days per week to abstain from eating for 24 hours straight, although you can consume calorie free drinks. On the remaining five days your healthy eating habits can carry on as normal.
For many this plan is simple to follow and not having to count calories is a plus. On the downside, some people find the 24 hour fasting period a bit of a stretch.
#4 The 5:2 Diet
With the 5:2 diet you pick two days of the week to restrict your food intake. For women, the calorie limit for fasting is 500 calories and for men it’s 600 calories. The other five days you eat as normal.
If weight loss is your goal, this plan gets positive results for most who try it. That said, you still have to exercise some self control and not go overboard and binge on junk food on your feed days.
Again, many thanks to Helen Sander of HealthAmbition.com for today’s blog post.