Intermittent fasting may help with weight loss.

Intermittent fasting is a plan in which a person follows a pre-set cycle of eating and not eating.

Common Intermittent Fasting Plans

Here are some of the most common plans that people follow when they are intermittent fasters:

  • Fasting for 16 hours every day (skipping breakfast and eating only between noon and 8 pm, for example)
  • Fasting twice weekly for 24 hours each
  • Severely cutting calorie intake, usually to around 500 calories, on two non-consecutive days of the week
  • Eating only small amounts of fruit and vegetables during the day, then eating a large meal at night during a four-hour eating window (known as the Warrior Diet)

Why Do People Do Intermittent Fasting?

Throughout history, intermittent fasting has been used. Sometimes it's been because people didn't have enough food. For instance, hunter-gatherers might have limited amounts of food, so they would naturally fast while finding more. Also, intermittent fasting is prominently used in many religions, including Islam and Hinduism, as a way to gain spiritual clarity through sacrifice and focus.

Intermittent fasting keeps the body mobilizing and using fat stores to keep enough energy for cell function at all times. It is also an automatic way to control calorie intake.

Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Weight Loss?

Many people have good results by using intermittent fasting for weight loss. It is a plan that doesn't restrict what you eat, only when you eat it. Of course, you don't want to binge-eat during your eating times; simply eat normal amounts of healthy foods. But intermittent fasting can help keep your metabolism in gear and naturally decrease your calorie intake.

Of course, certain people should not use intermittent fasting. If you have diabetes, are underweight, have a history of eating disorders, are pregnant, or have any other medical condition, this might not be the plan for you. Everyone should check with their doctor before beginning this or any other new eating plan.

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