For whatever reason, intermittent fasting is all the rage right now. Why is it so? There may be a variety of reasons as to why this trend came about recently. It might be because it is the new year and everyone is making resolutions to improve themselves. But as it is with most trends, they come about gradually over time because of the consistent the different needs and solutions that arise to meet those demands.
Let’s take a look at these potential causes that propel intermittent fasting and understand what intermittent fasting is all about.
Losing Weight is Always Trending
Harvard states that “in 1990, obese adults made up less than 15 percent of the population in most U.S. states. By 2010, 36 states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher, and 12 of those had obesity rates of 30 percent or higher.”
That is a scary statistic as it shows that the problem continues to persist and grow gradually over time. It is a problem because obesity is tied to an increased risk of a slew of other health issues, which is a bigger problem when healthcare costs continue to go in one direction, up.
Harvard also states that “today, nationwide, roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese (69 percent) and one out of three is obese (36 percent).”
Thankfully, studies also note that the problem hasn’t grown as much as expected and seems to have plateaued.
On the opposite side, you have those who are health nuts or wannabe health nuts. You know, those who talk about the paleo diet or the keto diet. Some methodically track their heart rate, their sleeping patterns, and other health aspects of their life. They might be into yoga, Crossfit, and use brands like ClassPass to try out different experiences in life. Millennials may also gravitate toward the potential mental health benefits from trends such as dopamine fasts and intermittent fasting.
Combine the Two and You Get A Trend
Two categories, one demographic wants to lose weight, the other seeks to optimize health, both combined, may make for a trend. There’s also one, third element, that of social media and the rise of influencers and gurus on a large scale.
Health gurus, spiritual gurus, beauty gurus, fortune cookie philosophy gurus, and others, all can help to stoke the flames of intermittent fasting and other simple practices that have been around in some form or fashion for ages.
They may catalyze trends and harness demand and channel into to some regimen. I’m looking at you, Tai Lopez, and Gary Vaynerchuck, and the rest of the famous talking heads on Youtube, Instagram, etc.
But now we know what may have fanned the flames of this trend, let’s look at what intermittent fasting is and how it may help improve your life.
The simple concept is that you go without food or liquids for a prolonged period.
It may be for 18 hours straight.
But why would people engage in this specific practice? There are tons of weight loss benefits attached to this, like boosting longevity, cutting down on obesity, diabetes, cancer, and many heart diseases.
Remember that when you are fasting, your body flips a metabolic switch and conducts different processes. The new England journal of medicine notes the many benefits of fasting as well, which goes to show that it is not just another trend, but something that many people could benefit from when they incorporate it into their lifestyle.
Mark Mattson, who is a co-author of the Intermittent Fasting way, talks about another benefit of fasting, which is the boost it gives your cellular health.
Intermittent fasting has three methods.
The methods are Time-Restricted Feeding, The Whole Day Fast, and the Alternate Day Fasting.
The good thing about Intermittent Fasting is that there is no restriction on what you want to eat. But you have to be careful about the hours you wait for your next meal. You need to eat between a 6 to 8-hour window during the day, then fast for straight 18 hours. During this time, people consume water or even have zero-calorie tea if they like.
Your Intermittent Fasting could be from 8 am to 4 pm as you have breakfast and lunch at work, which won’t get in the way of you missing meals while you are working and need the energy to stay focused.
The Whole Day Fast
This method is also called the 5:2 method. This routine involves fasting two days a week. This method is particular about the sort of diet you consume. You may drink water and 500 calories of food. Two hundred calories will include protein. You should only do this for two days out of the week and then restart the next week.
The Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate Day Fasting also involves being careful about the number of calories you may consume. On the day that you are fasting, you can only consume between 500 and 600 calories. You can do this in one meal, or bits throughout the day. The next day you can eat as much as you like.
Should You Dabble in Intermittent Fasting?
The diet is not for everyone, as each person has different health needs. Experiment with the diet, approach it cautiously, and see which method works for you.