Can Intermittent Fasting Help Blast Belly Fat From Menopause?
Why Our Bodies Shift From "Pears" to "Apples"
- Heart problems / heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels
- Breast and colon cancer
The Intermittent Fasting Cheat Sheet
In a nutshell, Intermittent Fasting is simply a compression of one's "eating window" into a set number of hours - or days, which we'll get to below.
In other words, rather than starting your food intake shortly after you wake up, and winding down with a pre-bed bowl of Häagen-Dazs circa 11pm (please don't do this), you corral your eating to, say, 10am to 6pm.
There are several popular ways to "do" IF:
1. 12-12: Twelve hours of fasting, twelve hours of food intake.
2. 16-8: Sixteen hours of fasting, eight hours of food intake. Note: Many IF newbies start with 12-12 before "graduating" to 16-8.
3. 5-2: Five days of "normal" food intake (i.e., three meals and a few snacks) per week, interspersed with two days of calorie restriction - typically as few as 500-600.
4. Alternate-Day: Just as the name implies, this diet toggles between normal food-intake and calorie-restricted days.
Why would anyone subject themselves to any of this, you ask? Don't we have enough on our plates without feeling hangry from fasting?
But here's the thing with IF: once you get used to it, you don't feel hangry. And if, at a given moment, you are feeling desperately in need of a nibble, just listen to your body, grab a healthy snack, and get on with your day.
There's just so much upside to fasting on a regular basis. In addition to reducing the number of calories we consume - and no matter how you slice it, weight loss ultimately boils down to calories consumed vs calories expended - IF has been linked to a tidy list of health benefits:
- It boosts "cardiometabolic" health, regulating our insulin levels and warding-off pre-diabetes.
- It optimizes brain function and "neuroplasticity," which is defined as "the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections."
- It lowers blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.
The bottom line: If you're tired of not fitting in your clothes anymore (and I, personally, am utterly over thinking of my closet as my new "scary place"), you might want to give Intermittent Fasting a go.