Should You Try a Fasting Diet?
There are countless types of diets out there, ranging from keto diets and cutting out carbs to paleo diets and the Atkins diet. The choice is overwhelming, but a common theme for many is to focus heavily on calorie counting and restricting certain foods. For the most part, many of these diets are unsustainable and leave people with an unhealthy relationship with food, seeing it as nothing more than a bunch of numbers or something to be avoided.
Fasting Diet Tips
Rather than falling into this trap, try the intermittent fasting (IF) diet. There are various types of IF diets, but for the most part, IF involves eating during a set timed window.
Common formats include 16:8 and 12:12. The 12:12 format is good for beginners because it gives you a 12-hour window in which to eat, and a 12-hour window not to (typically overnight).
The concept is that you can enjoy a more flexible diet without it actually feeling like a diet. A lot of people aim to fit in their five a day and eat moderate-sized portions, but other than that, there’s rarely any calorie counting or cutting out entire food groups.
This is what makes it one of the more sustainable types of diet. Many people assume it’s like the rules of Ramadan fasting, but IF is more lenient in the sense that you can schedule your eating as and when you please.
If you needed any more convincing about IF, here are three of the benefits you can get from a fasting diet.
1. Better blood sugar control
When you enter a state of fasting, your body is forced to call on its stores of things like sugar and use them up.
Generic diets where you eat a calorie deficit can help to manage sugar levels since you’re typically eating healthier foods (and less of them at that), but intermittent fasting actually goes a step further.
As you enter a fasted state, your body naturally lowers its serum insulin. In turn, this encourages your body to burn the sugar it has stored. This lowers your blood sugar level and can even reduce your weight, with both of these things making you less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
2. More natural way of eating
At first, you might struggle to get used to only eating between certain hours of the day, but it’s actually a more natural way of eating. Despite modern habits of eating three meals and three snacks a day spread out from sunrise to sunset, humans didn’t evolve to do this. These days, food is readily available and you don’t need to hunt for it.
For the longest time, humans were hunter-gatherers which meant they did, so they grew accustomed to only eating at certain times of the day, mainly during sunlight hours when it was easier to hunt.
So, as unnatural as intermittent fasting feels in the beginning, it’s actually a part of your natural evolution and you’ll settle into the routine in no time!
3. Develop better eating habits
The final benefit is perhaps the biggest one for most people. A lot of us are guilty of settling down at night in front of the TV and munching on unhealthy snacks – not because we’re hungry, but more because we’re fidgety.
By setting your window to eat from 6 am-6 pm or 8 am-8 pm, you can entirely cut out those pesky late-night munchies, leading to better eating habits overall. You’ll soon find that you don’t have any cravings to eat late at night.
In a similar fashion, if you struggle to eat breakfast, forcing yourself to do so and stopping eating earlier in the day will soon get you more into the habit of starting your day healthily with a substantial breakfast.
This is because you’ll wake up hungry as you’ve had a longer period in between meals. If structured eating is an issue you have, intermittent fasting could help you massively. It will also encourage a better routine overall – perfect for families and busy people.
So, now you know the benefits, will you be trying intermittent fasting?