The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

According to the International Food Information Council, intermittent fasting is one of the most used dietary strategies in the United States. It’s clear that Americans have become more interested in when they eat versus what they eat and that’s what intermittent fasting is all about.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasts

Why is intermittent fasting so popular? Research has been growing dramatically and shows that this eating pattern can help with weight management, cholesterol levels and may also help with the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.1

A 2022 analysis of 43 randomized clinical trials (which is a lot of studies!) found that intermittent fasting helped reduce body weight, waist circumference, and fat mass while improving cholesterol levels and glucose management compared to people who did not fast.2 Intermittent fasting has also been shown to help with brain function and may even help you live longer.3

Types of Intermittent Fasts

The main types of intermittent fasts feature a different fasting timeline. For example, time-restricted eating involves an overnight fast of at least 12 hours with the goal being 16 hours. There is an 8-hour eating window during the day if you achieve the 16-hour overnight fasting goal.

The 5:2 eating pattern is eating normally five days a week and then restricting calories to about 500 on the remaining two days of the week. The alternate-day fast is similar, but you eat about 500 calories every other day of the week.

One of the appeals of intermittent fasting is that it is easy to implement into your routine. There is no calorie counting or restricting, however, it’s highly recommended that you try to eat healthy when you are not fasting. You also don’t need to buy any special foods to eat this way.

For some people, this way of eating comes naturally. If you are done eating and drinking (not including water or non-calorie beverages of course) at 7 pm and you want a 14-hour fast, you will eat breakfast at 9 am. If you want to hit the 16-hour goal, you will skip breakfast and have an early lunch at 11. 

People who have blood sugar issues, get very hungry first thing in the morning, or have schedules that make it challenging to eat this way, may have difficulty adjusting to an intermittent fasting timeline.

Keep in mind, that with any type of fast, you may feel hungry. That’s normal. Stay the course because there is a good chance that those hunger pangs will subside the longer you stick with this eating pattern. 

Before You Begin…

As with any new eating pattern, talk to your doctor before embarking on an intermittent fasting lifestyle. There are certain people who should not do intermittent fasting such as those with an existing eating disorder or predisposition to disordered eating.4

If you find that intermittent fasting is a good fit for you, start slowly and ease into it over time. How long does it take for intermittent fasting to work? It takes about two to four weeks for the body to get used to intermittent fasting so you should start to see results in about a month.5 

If you need further support for blood sugar management, consider Blood Sugar Defense™ Tablets. For more tips on nutrition, mind & body health, and taking care of your family follow us on Facebook @kalvits and Instagram at @kalvitamins!

References

  1. Song DK, Kim YW. Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting: a narrative review. J Yeungnam Med Sci. 2023;40(1):4-11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9946909/?report=reader
  2. Gu L, Fu R, Hong J, Ni H, Yu K, Lou H. Effects of Intermittent Fasting in Human Compared to a Non-intervention Diet and Caloric Restriction: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Front Nutr. 2022;9:871682. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9108547/?report=reader
  3. Wilhelmi de Toledo F, Grundler F, Sirtori CR, Ruscica M. Unravelling the health effects of fasting: a long road from obesity treatment to healthy life span increase and improved cognition. Ann Med. 2020;52(5):147-161. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877980/?report=reader
  4. Hoffman R. Talking to your patients about intermittent fasting. Natural Medicine Journal Podcast. 2020;Feb 26. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/podcasts/talking-your-patients-about-intermittent-fasting
  5. Jones K. Intermittent fasting. Family Doctor. 2023;July. https://familydoctor.org/intermittent-fasting/
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