Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Reduce the body's burden of
toxins, fat deposits and
over-consumation of food

Intermittent Fasting
If you are looking for a simple fasting method, Intermittent Fasting (IF) may be just the right one for you. It is also called Every Other Day Fasting (EODV) and is some what a partial fasting method.

As the name says, you rotate between eating and fasting days on a 48 hour cycle. The non-food-days mean abstaining from food totally. You only drink water or plain herbal tea without any sweetener or milk. The next day is a food-day where you eat as usual breakfast, lunch and dinner without any restriction to food. Then it follows again a complate fast-day.

Intermittent fasting is usually done over a longer period of time. Many people implement them into their lifestyle as a dietary pattern for health prevention, to reduce body weight and to keep it at a healthy level.

Obviously, when eating only every other day you consume about half of the food you would otherwise. That means, the intake of calories, fat and toxins from food is reduced too. Beside that, on the fasting days the body turns into its own energy resource and uses up stored fat. So it can help you in achiving your weight loss goals.

It is also a popular dietary practice for body builders and other sports and fitness enthusiasts. Tests have shown that the one day fasting reduces body fat but still preserves the muscular volume.

Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

Pros - You can begin with it almost right now, ie. tomorrow. It is simple but may not be that easy (as explained further down). It does not need any preparation or planing whatsover. You do not have to count calories, following dogmatic food plans or weigh your meal. You do not even have to think what you should cook for lunch. And of course, you can save money.

It reduces your grocery bill by 50%. :-)

Cons - It may be difficult at the begining to overcome the patterns of regular eating at certain times. When you are used to eating every day 3 meals and each at a particular time, for example 8am, 1pm and 7pm, your body may automatically respond to these times with a grumbling stomach or feeling hungry.

It does not necessarily mean that you really are hungry. It may be a conditional reflex (Pavlow reflex), of the body to this times inducing a state of hunger. Others may fall into binge or over-eating on the food-days because of the feeling for compensation.

Tip - It does need self-discipline getting over the cons-challenges outlined above, specially for people who are new to this concept. So it may be difficult for some people to jump into it straight away.

An easier way to adjust to the eat stop eat regime would be to start with Alternate Day Fasting or with Fast 5 Diet first (see modified forms further down). After a week or two you then could begin with Intermittent Fasting.

Alternatively, start with one only water day and build each week with one more day (between food days) until you reach the full fasting/food cycle.

Modified Forms of Intermittent Fasting

A simular approach is Alternate Day Fasting (ADF) which is actually more a special form of dieting. It does not involve true fasting, instead you alternate between normal food-days and caloric restricted days. You can always eat what ever you like but every second day you have to reduce your calorie intake to 80% compared to what you normally would eat.

Alternate Day Fasting vs. Intermittent Fasting >>

For a better overview I have outlined the main differences between Alternate Day Fasting and Intermittent Fasting.

An other form is the Fast 5 diet. This method allows eating every day but the food-phase is limited to a frame of 5 hours. The time of the frame is individually chosen. It does not matter at which time of the day, but you can not split the 5-hour-eating-frame.

For example, you can choose to set your eating phase from 2pm - 7pm. Between this time you can eat what and how much you like. The rest of the day (evening and night included) is bound to drinking water solely.

Personal note: I lost 14 pounds (7kg) weight with the fast 5 diet, although by then I did not know about this method. Why I wanted to lose weight was because I had put on 14 pounds (7kg) on a 4 week holiday.

I have to mention, I am usually not over-weight. The reason for my rapid weight gain was the “dolce far niente” (sweet doing nothing) I enjoyed. I really over-indulged on pizza's, spaghetti, wine and ice cream and no exercise at all. Back at home and work I began to skip meals.

I did not starve, rather I waited with eating until my stomach grumbled.

That was usually in the early afternoon so then I had my first meal, often a snack, sandwich or something light. Some time in the early evening (when I got hungry again) I took a warm meal.

With this modified intermittent fasting, I lost my pounds almost as fast as I gained them. I must admit, I often do not eat breakfast early in the morning anyway. So it was easy for me to skip it and postpone lunch to a later time. Also, during that time I had a very busy job and worked long hours. I did not have much time to think about food. I am sure, that helped me too.

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For further Information read also: Fasting Detox.

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