* Time-delayed eating can yield some impressive weight loss results
* Long-term studies haven’t been conducted in humans to ensure its safety
* So is intermittent fasting safe?
Intermittent fasting is a popular diet plan where you swear off all food for a large portion of your day. It is also sometimes called time-delayed eating. Basically you give yourself a window during your day to eat, typically anywhere from 7 to 11 hours. Then you fast for the remaining 13 to 17 hours of the day. So if you wanted to do a 14-hour fast then that gives you 10 hours to eat in the middle of the day.
The idea is to wake up and not eat for as long as you can bare. So let’s say you give in and eat at 10am then your last meal of the day has to come before 8pm that night. Even coffee will start this clock. Water is the only thing you can have during the fasting hours. This is because anything with calories like coffee or juice and of course any food will start up your metabolism. By only eating in a certain window of the day, you’re sending your metabolism into a distress mode where it relies on burning stored fats for energy.
In short, this diet is like a controlled starvation and it can have some pretty incredible effects on the human metabolism and brain function. However, the risks and damage to your long-term health are too often swept under the rug. To decipher if this diet is right for you, take a look at our review of the pros and cons.
This diet has been made popular by Hollywood elites and influencers alike for its incredible ability to help lose weight and improve brain function. When you restrict your food intake, you’re going to get hungry. Hunger triggers many things in the human body. Your metabolism will start burning fat for energy when there’s nothing left being put in your stomach to convert to energy. Even after doing a fast for a couple days you will notice a healthy difference in your body fat. Not to mention that fasting has been proven to boost Human Growth Hormone which will make it easier to maintain your current muscle mass while restarting your diet.
But what hunger on the verge of starvation will do for you mentally is even more impressive. Controlled, hunger will trigger increased brain activity and neurogenesis, which is the production of more brain cells. Yes, fasting will lead to better memory, brain performance, mood and focus.
Unfortunately, intermittent fasting is not all sunshine and rainbows. Depending on your current physical and mental health you may not yield all the awesome benefits we listed above. This diet could be seriously risky for beginners who have no health regiment already established. Whether it be your physical activity level or diet, start by fixing one of the two and become consistent about it. Don’t go from eating pizza rolls and burgers everyday to starving yourself, as it could have awful side effects on your digestive health and other bodily systems. Once you have reigned in your health routine, then you should start with a shorter fast and work your way to longer ones. Start your first day of this diet with an 11-hour window for eating and a 13-hour fast to follow.
The most important thing to be aware of when starting this diet is your mental health. If you’re someone who has ever been bulimic or had any other eating disorder, it would be ideal to consult your doctor before trying something like intermittent fasting. The idea of intermittent fasting is to adhere to an eating schedule. It is very important that when you start, you stick to that schedule and you feed yourself adequately. If you finish a 15-hour fasting period and you don’t feel hungry, eat anyway. You have to replenish your body with calories and nutrients. Don’t be the guy who passes out at the gym or collapses on the subway because you took your dieting too far. This is particularly an issue for those of us with eating disorders as we may be more likely to put ourselves at risk. Trying a new diet like this should never lead to subjecting yourself to life threatening disease.