The new year is here, and it’s time for a fresh start.
As part of a 12-month series, we’re discussing the health trends Nutex Health is getting behind in 2020, and why. We hope to inform, clarify, and inspire you to embark on a healthier journey this year!
For January, we’re tackling the popular topic of fasting—what is it, and how can it help you?
Intermittent fasting is a popular health trend where food consumption is controlled by periods of fasting and eating. With intermittent fasting, it doesn’t necessarily matter what you eat, but when you eat, as it’s less of a diet and more of an eating pattern.
Don’t let the word “fasting” intimidate you. Humans have been practicing forms of fasting since the beginning of time, and it’s said to be more natural for our bodies than the three meals a day we’ve become accustomed to.
Because they didn’t have grocery stores, refrigerators, or harvestable food available year-round, ancient hunter-gatherers evolved to function without food for extended periods of time. And today, fasting is still a widely practiced ritual for religious and spiritual reasons.
There are various ways to execute intermittent fasting. Each method can be personalized to fit your lifestyle, but the key is to stay consistent once you find a routine that works for you.
The most popular fasting methods are:
- 16/8: This requires skipping breakfast and having an 8-hour eating period and a 16-hour fasting period.
For example, eating is allowed from 1-9 pm, and not allowed from 9-1 pm the following day.
- 5:2: You eat regularly for 5 days of the week, and for 2 (non-consecutive) days, you only consume 500-600 calories.
For example, eat as you usually do on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and eat 600 calories maximum on Monday and Thursday.
- Eat-stop-eat: This involves a total 24-hour fast once or twice a week.
For example, eating dinner at 7 pm Sunday night and not eating again until 7 pm Monday night.
- OMAD: This method stands for One Meal A Day and is most effective if practiced 3-5 times a week. You fast for 23 hours straight and then eat one meal within a 60-minute window.
For example, eating only one large meal at 6 pm Mon-Thurs.
It’s important to keep in mind that fasting is not only restricted to food but anything over 50 calories. Water, black coffee, and tea will not break your fast, but smoothies, juices, and other sugary drinks should be avoided.
Why should you give it a try?
Intermittent fasting can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your overall health, and simplify your routine. During fasting periods, human growth hormone levels increase, while insulin levels decrease. This allows your cells to release glucose as energy, using the fat stored in your cells as fuel.
Other basic health benefits of IF include:
- Reduces inflammation
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves heart health
- Reduce insulin resistance
- Supports brain health
- Boosts immune system
- Curbs appetite
“For me, I feel my sharpest when I’m intermittent fasting. My mind is clearer, my body feels more energized, and I sleep better at night. Being meticulous about when I eat has had such a positive influence on my body and overall performance.” – Dr. Vo, CEO of Nutex Health, Inc.
A note from Nutex…
Cutting meals and limiting calories can be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions. As always, please consult your healthcare provider before implementing new health-related lifestyle changes.
As a service to our readers, Nutex Health states no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve.