Updated: Dec 3, 2020
IF is a way of eating that employs a fasting window of 24 hours or less. IF has been used to facilitate weight loss, build lean muscle mass, improve digestion, decrease inflammation throughout the body as well as to increase energy levels.
IF is a way of life, not a diet. Our bodies are designed to fast and feed in regular cycles – our first meal of the day is after all called BreakFast! We are all very good at the feeding part but we miss the opportunity to take full advantage of the fasting part. During fasting hours, our bodies continue working and when not overwhelmed with the work of digesting food, our bodies can focus on repairing cells, healing illness as well as detoxifying our blood. More on the benefits of IF later.
Employing IF as a lifestyle choice facilitates our physiological organism to function at a more optimal frequency, thereby impacting our health and well-being in a plethora of ways – from digestive health to emotional balance, it all begins (and ends!) in the gastrointestinal track.
IF is not the same as water-only fasting; which consists of consuming ONLY WATER for a period of longer than 24 hours. That is a wholly different type of fast and not the type of fasting lifestyle we are discussing here. IF allows for ‘zero calorie’ beverages to be consumed during the fasting hours (lemon juice, ACV, tea, black coffee) and one type of IF allows for up to 500/600 calories to be consumed on ‘fasting days’. These allowances differentiate IF from medically supervised water-only fasting.
A key component to successful IF is your nutrition during your feeding hours. Be sure to focus on nutrient dense foods to ensure your body receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to perform optimally.
Remember that food is your only fuel and consuming nutrient dense options during your feeding hours (no matter the type of IF you choose) will better fortify your body to be able to do the healing work during your fasting hours.
Types of Intermittent Fasting
Type of IF: The 5:2 Diet
Developed by: Dr. Michael Mosley
You eat normally five days during the week. For two days each week you ‘fast’ for 24 hours. During those ‘fasting’ days, women are allowed up to 500 calories and men up to 600 calories.
Eat normally on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Fast (limiting calories to 500 or 600 depending on gender) on Tuesday and Thursday