How to Start Intermittent Fasting | Intermittent Fasting for Beginners
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a dietary lifestyle that has been around for centuries and is a vital part of many different religions. Intermittent fasting can be performed many different ways and is described as eating on a set schedule while fasting (or not eating) for certain prolonged periods of time. It is generally fine to enjoy water and unsweetened coffee or tea during a fast, but no food should be consumed.
There is immense research on intermittent fasting, and much of the research shows great benefit to this practice, no matter how it's done. Intermittent fasting has the potential to lower levels of oxidative stress throughout your body. This means your body is better able to fight free radicals and inflammation.
Second, fasting improves your body's ability to handle stress. Essentially, fasting activates stress response systems that reinforce the fight against stress, decreasing your chances of chronic disease and the aging process in general.
Is this the fountain of youth? Well, there's much to still be determined!
We do know that intermittent fasting shows benefits such as the following:
- Decreased inflammation and chronic disease (this includes benefiting those with dry eyes, since inflammation is a huge component)
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar management
- Protection for your brain
- Improved heart health
Intermittent fasting should be thought of as a lifestyle change and not a diet. Although weight loss is one benefit, losing weight doesn't need to be the primary goal because there are many other benefits that contribute to a healthier you.
Everyone is different, and any fasting practice should be discussed with your doctor before beginning. Some women may run into issues with intermittent fasting due to hormone levels, so it's best to ease into the practice and follow some of the tips below.