Intermittent fasting

Paying attention to when you eat is as important as what you're eating. Intermittent fasting is a simple way to start experimenting with a diet. It requires you to abstain from food, or at least most food, for specific periods.

Diets based on intermittent fasting shows a huge list of benefits, such as weight loss, balancing out one's blood sugar, and mental clarity.

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How to Overhaul Your Diet With Intermittent Fasting

gq.com

There are three approaches to take:

  • Alternate day fasting: Eat whatever you want on off days, but limit calories to around 500 on fasting days.
  • The 5:2 diet, which involves fasting during the week and making eating what you want on weekends.
  • Time-restricted eating. Eating is limited to an eight-hour window each day. Most people make it from noon to 8 p.m.

The diet doesn't specify what you should be eating, only when.

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Typical Western diets consist of simple carbohydrates, such as pizza or sandwiches. These food items provide the glucose your body uses as fuel. Spiking glucose increases insulin levels, which the body uses to process blood sugars.

  • Fasting for 16 hours evens these spikes out and recalibrates the body.
  • A longer fast leads to lower blood pressure.
  • Time-restricted eating is associated with better cardiovascular health because the body starts to burn fat, and as the body releases more fat, the level of insulin drops.

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A 12-week randomized trial found that overweight adults who started time-restricted eating lost about the same weight as a control group, and most of the weight lost was lean muscle mass, not fat.

But the take on time-restricted eating is still open because so few studies exist that examine its effects.

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