- Intermittent fasting has become exceptionally popular among celebrities and on social media as a sure-fire way to lose weight.
- You can follow this diet in multiple ways, either choosing to fast through most of the day each day, or choosing to alternate fasting days with regular days, or drastically limiting caloric intake for two days in a row.
- Scientific studies seem to prove the effectiveness of intermittent fasting as a weight loss method over the medium and long term, without changes to one’s own diet.
- Athletic performance does not seem to be hampered by the adoption of this diet and there is some scientific evidence supporting this theory, though academic literature in this field is still really new and uncertain.
However, before doing that it is important to address two important questions: what is intermittent fasting and how should you do it?
What is intermittent fasting?
A really good reason why people like intermittent fasting is that they don’t have to worry about counting the calories of what they eat; rather, they are only limited to the time in which they can eat food.
Alternate day fasting methods do not necessarily require the complete shutdown of caloric intake: for example, you could drink a lot of juice or rely on low caloric food two consequential days a week. To that extent, Beyoncé’s Master Cleanse and the “5:2 intermittent fasting diet” are the most popular forms of partial alternate day fasting methods.
What are the real effects of intermittent fasting? The floor to the expert
To that end, a paper published by Stella Lucia Volpe in ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal provides an adequate literature review to scientifically prove some of the most direct effects of intermittent fasting on the body.
Intermittent fasting and weight loss
Another study from Dr Volpe’s paper tested the effect of intermittent fasting over a longer period. In this study, conducted by Dr Sundfør and others, 61 people underwent an alternate days fasting diet using the 5:2 method. The result concluded the group reduced their caloric intake by 26% on average and lost 8 kg on average per person.
Furthermore, the study concluded that intermittent fasting improved blood pressure, waist circumference, and triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol concentrations.