Nutrition > What is Intermittent Fasting, and How Does it Work?
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What is Intermittent Fasting, and How Does it Work?

27th Aug 19

Intermittent fasting is another topic in fitness that appears to be cropping up more and more as time goes on. Its popularity is growing pretty consistently, but still, despite knowing of its existence, many people are still not sure what it is, never mind if it is a good move for them to try. It has a range of different bodily processes involved to make it work, but if you’re going to make it work for yourself, you need to know your stuff.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

What Intermittent Fasting Is

As you might already know, fasting is going through periods of consuming no food. It happens daily without you realising it, and it’s all technically under the same umbrella category. It’s not starving yourself; it’s just going through phases without regularly eating, like when you sleep. You can change the time of the fasting and the duration, but fasting is fasting, whether you mean to or not, even if it’s just routine.

How It Works

How does it work? Well, you’re essentially not giving your body no new calories to burn, so you’re going to burn the calories already stored. Usually, that’s from fat. When you eat, you might even put them back again, but that’s the idea behind it in a nutshell. It’s not proven to be factually successful, but there are studies to suggest both that it is and that it isn’t. It’s a dietary preference for burning fat really, and different things may work differently for different people.

Man eating with intermittent fasting in place

What It Does

So that’s how intermittent fasting works, but what happens, theoretically at least. Your body is supposed to be burning the stored fat in your body as a source of fuel to keep you going. Whether or not that works, or is healthy, is up for debate. Generally, you need to eat for set hours during your day, not before or after it. Usually, it’s like eating between 8 am and 2 pm or 2 pm and 7 pm, but any example is accurate.

Is It Safe?

This one is hard to answer. The safety of it is still up in the air, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions about it. Research would suggest that it is not detrimental to your health, but it does not have many benefits either. It has similar effects to a controlled calorie diet in relevance to your weight loss, and that’s about it. It may be harder to stick to the regime you want, but the effects appear to be almost the same.

Overall, studies suggest that intermittent fasting is neither good nor bad. However, there are too many uncertainties about what it offers in the studies that have been done, and more research is needed to deem it worth doing.

Check out sites like Hardvard Health or the NHS for the latest info.

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If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.